With their three victories today, Korea’s Samsung Galaxy (SSG) will advance to the quarterfinals of the League of Legends 2016 World Championship as the first seed of Group D.
However, the Korean side’s near-flawless 5-1 group record was not so easily won. Their first game of the day against North America’s Team Solo Mid (TSM) proved to be the “most difficult,” said SSG support Jo “Core JJ” Yong-In.
And it was. Despite claiming two quick kills at the four minute mark, SSG found themselves in a near 3 thousand gold deficit at 20 minutes due to the outstanding performance of TSM’s star AD Carry, Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng.
It was only through calculated late-game teamfighting and an incredible Elder Dragon steal by SSG AD Carry Park “Ruler” Jae-hyuk that Samsung Galaxy was able to emerge victorious over the North Americans— a hard-fought victory that would eventually aid in eliminating TSM from Worlds.
The Koreans’ next two games, however, would prove to be much easier.
In two consecutive sub-25 minute “spankings”, SSG would break the record for the fastest game played at Worlds 2016 not once, but twice by winning against China’s Royal Never Give Up (RNG) and Europe’s Splyce (SPY) in 23:49 and 23:39 minutes, respectively.
With Splyce’s 1-5 record to end Day 7, the Europeans were eliminated from the tournament, and only H2K remains of Europe’s original three representatives at the World Championship. The other two teams, G2 Esports and the aforementioned Splyce, will exit the tournament with a combined 2-10 record—undoubtedly a disappointment when considering last year’s World Championship, which saw both Fnatic and Origen in the semifinals.
With their opening victory against TSM, SSG pigeonholed the North American side into having to win the final match of the day against RNG to advance to the quarterfinals—an obstacle that, through a 36 minute bloodbath, proved too difficult to overcome. Consequently, Cloud 9 will be the sole remaining North American team at the League of Legends 2016 World Championship. In addition, RNG will advance to the quarterfinals with SSG as the second seed of Group D.
Looking forward, CoreJJ said that Samsung is extremely confident going into the quarterfinals. Well, that is, against everyone but fellow Korean team SK Telecom (SKT): “As long as we don’t play [SKT], I think that we’ll be fine. I hope that [they] play well tomorrow, so we can both advance to the quarterfinals [as first seeds].”
Photo courtesy of Riot Games