We’re only a few days away from the semifinals of the League of Legends Season 5 World Championships, and it’s all but guaranteed that some amazing games are going to take place. Surprises just keep coming, and it seems like a safe bet that something unexpected is going to occur when the top four teams face off.
Though my original pick'em bracket has been thoroughly destroyed by now, I'm always happy to see teams rise above modest expectations, and force us all to re-evaluate what we thought we knew. It’s time once again to make some predictions, based on everything we’ve seen so far.
Origen vs SK Telecom T1
Origen looked quite strong in their match against the yoe Flash Wolves. They weren’t playing for the quick 25 minute stomp, but were rather quite happy to play team compositions that scaled well into the late game, and then look for a victory around 40 minutes or so. This worked well for them, and with Anivia being played by xPeke in all three wins, OG didn’t have to reveal too much about other strategies they may have had prepared. They then get just over a week to prepare for their semifinal match, and may have something new in store.
With that said, they are going against SK Telecom. There is no question that SKT has been the single most dominant team throughout Worlds, and it appears unlikely that trend will stop here. While they’re certainly not perfect, they’ve received outstanding play from all parts of the map, and continue to have an excellent macro game. If there’s any team that can punish the late-game centered style that Origen favors, it’s SKT. While SKT can also perform well in the late-game, they absolutely have the ability to punish even small mistakes in the early game, snowballing out of control to the point where no matter the team comps, trying to scale up to beat them just isn’t an option. SK Telecom, like every team, does have their weaknesses, and it’ll be up to Origen to figure out what those are and how to exploit them. In just one week, however, that will be a tall task.
Fnatic vs KOO Tigers
Fnatic started off this tournament with a 1-2 record in the first week of the group stage, looking very little like the team that stormed through the EU LCS. After that, however, things have completely turned around for them. They continued their strong run by bringing down Chinese powerhouse Edward Gaming in the quarter finals, sweeping their way to victory. Febiven proved he has to be involved in the discussion of best mid laners in the world, and the team as a whole looked sharp and focused. Fnatic has prided themselves on their ability to adapt quickly to anything their opponents throw at them, and that’s an invaluable skill that has served them well here.
Few expected the KOO Tigers to take down KT Rolster in the last round, but they did so while only dropping one game. Top laner Smeb was an absolute monster in that series, and KurO redeemed himself after a shaky game 1 performance. Even with that, there were certainly concerning signs for KOO. Even in games they won, they often faced large deficits, and it was only questionable decisions from KT that allowed the Tigers to get back in the game. There is no doubt that KOO is a strong team, and absolutely have the capability to win a series like this. However, I underestimated Fnatic once, and considering the way KOO got this far, I won’t make that mistake again.
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