Top 5 most iconic League of Legends World Championship plays - Dexerto
League of Legends

Top 5 most iconic League of Legends World Championship plays

Published: 20/Sep/2019 14:17 Updated: 17/Oct/2019 10:42

by Joe O'Brien

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Some of the most legendary and iconic moments in the history of League of Legends have taken place at the World Championships, and soon players from 24 different teams will have an opportunity to leave their own permanent mark on the game.

The World Championship stands above all other events in the League of Legends calendar, and those who pull off an incredible play there can establish a legacy in a single moment.

Which plays are the most iconic is obviously a subjective matter, but Riot themselves recently implied their feelings on the matter by immortalizing five moments from past World Championships in the video for the 2019 orchestral theme.

The video features a collection of marble-looking statues featuring the Summoner’s Cup, in-game icons like the Baron and Elder Dragon, and real-world landmarks from Europe, where this year’s Worlds will take place, such as the Eiffel Tower and Arc de Triomphe.

What many viewers may have missed, however – especially those newer to the game – is that the various champions seen around the statues aren’t randomly chosen. Instead, each were part of an iconic play in the World Championship’s history.

Here’s a look at the plays Riot chose to honor in the orchestral theme video, and their significance to the tournaments in which they took place.

xPeke outplays Dade – Fnatic vs Samsung Blue, 2014

The first two characters that can be seen in the video after the view pans down over the Summoner’s Cup are Talon and Zed, who stand beneath the statue of the Baron.

While the play didn’t take place near the Baron, the two champions do represent a legendary duel between Samsung Blue’s mid-laner Bae ‘Dade’ Eo-jin and Fnatic’s mid-laner Enrique ‘xPeke’ Cedeño Martínez in the group stage of the 2014 World Championship.

Dade’s Talon appeared to have caught out xPeke’s Zed in the jungle, but an incredible outplay for the Fnatic mid-laner saw xPeke secure the 1v1 kill, surviving with just a tiny portion of health.

In Season 4, Dade was considered one of the best mid-laners in the world, one of the only players to be held up as a potential rival to Lee ‘Faker’ Sang-hyeok, who had been dominating the game since his ascent in 2013.

xPeke’s outplay acted as a statement, reminding the world that the Fnatic legend could still go toe-to-toe with some of South Korea’s best, even as the region was consolidating its status as the world-beaters they would remain for several years to come.

Unfortunately, despite xPeke’s play, Fnatic weren’t able to close out the game and were ultimately eliminated in the group stage. Samsung Blue went on to reach the semi-finals where they lost to Samsung White, who ultimately won the tournament in dominant fashion.

Riot GamesxPeke is responsible for several of League of Legends’ earliest iconic plays.

Ruler catches Faker – Samsung Galaxy vs SK Telecom T1, 2017

Next up, the camera jumps to the Elder Dragon statue on the opposite side, revealing Varus taking aim at a fleeing Karma.

This pair represent the deciding play of the 2017 World Championship final between Samsung Galaxy and SK Telecom T1, when Park ‘Ruler’ Jae-hyuk flashed forward on Varus to land his ultimate on Faker’s Karma, resulting in a kill that snowballed into the match-winning push for Samsung.

SK Telecom T1 were competing in their third consecutive World Championship final, having won the previous two, and while it was also the third consecutive all-Korean final and a rematch of the previous year, neither SKT nor Samsung were the biggest favorite coming into the tournament.

That role should have been played by LCK Summer champions Longzhu, but Samsung dismantled them in the quarter-finals to advance in their place. While SKT had scraped through two five-game series to reach the final, in the battle for the trophy it was clear which side was stronger, and Ruler’s catch on Faker was the play that sealed the 3-0 sweep for Samsung.

Riot GamesRuler’s Varus play put the final nail in SKT’s coffin in the 2017 final.

Smeb’s Kennen ultimate – ROX Tigers vs G2 Esports, 2016

The next champion seen is Kennen surrounded by several champions, which pays homage to a defining play of the group stage at the 2016 World Championship.

As the match between G2 Esports and ROX Tigers moved into the late-game, it was G2 who had the advantage, up in gold, kills, towers, and dragons.

As the Europeans looked for a potentially game-winning engage in the mid-lane, however, Song ‘Smeb’ Kyung-ho – then considered not only the best top-laner, but perhaps the best player in the world, ranked number one on Riot’s top-20 list – turned the play with an incredible Kennen ultimate to help his team secure the ace.

The game was a crucial one for both teams. G2 Esports were struggling in the group, while Albus Nox Luna were in the process of one of the biggest underdog runs in the event’s history. Even ROX, one of the tournament favorites, were in danger of losing the top spot in the group.

If G2 had been able to close out the game, they might have kept their playoff hopes alive at least a little longer, and ROX might have found themselves playing tiebreakers to even escape the group, rather than to take the top seed. Smeb’s play may well have changed the entire course of the tournament.

Riot GamesBoth PraY and Smeb made iconic plays at the 2016 World Championship.

PraY’s Ashe arrow – ROX Tigers vs SK Telecom T1, 2016

On the Baron platform stands Ashe, bow drawn back, while on the opposite side Ekko stands on the Elder Dragon, their separation representing the distance of Kim ‘PraY’ Jong-in’s legendary Ashe arrow.

In game two of the semi-final between ROX and SKT, PraY and team-mate Lee ‘Kuro’ Seo-haeng were pushing in the top lane when SK Telecom T1 tried to respond with an attack of their own, picking up ‘Peanut’ in the bottom lane and skirmishing in mid.

While the teams traded kills, the fights bought time for PraY and Kuro to keep pushing, working their way onto the nexus towers. As SKT top-laner Lee ‘Duke’ Ho-seong, playing Ekko, attempted to teleport back to base to defend, PraY fired off an arrow that travelled all the way across the map, denying the teleport and delaying enough that ROX were able to finish the game then and there.

ROX and SKT were the two big favorites for the 2016 World Championship, having traded domestic titles during the LCK season. The series ultimately went all the way to five maps, but it was SKT who closed it out, and went on to become the first team to ever win Worlds in back-to-back years.

TheShy’s Aatrox 1v4 – Invictus Gaming vs G2 Esports, 2018

The most recent play is appropriately shown last, with Aatrox stood elevated above four other champions, representing the incredible 1v4 engage that Invictus top-laner Kang ‘TheShy’ Seung-lok pulled off against G2 Esports in the 2018 semi-finals.

Invictus were looking to close out a sweep in the third game of the series, but after 20 minutes of play both teams were evenly matched. As both teams looked towards the Infernal drake, it was iG who were able to secure it, but the ensuing fight opened in G2’s favor with a quick kill onto Gao ‘Ning’ Zhen-Ning .

The LPL team looked set to disengage, but TheShy had different ideas, moving forward alone while his team backed off and hitting a massive four-man strike with the Darkin Blade, dealing massive damage and allowing his team to come back in and clean up, which ultimately proved a turning point in the match.

G2 might not have been one of the favorites for the tournament, but they’d already eliminated Royal Never Give Up, for whom the World Championship was supposed to be the crowning moment of an otherwise dominant year.

Instead, it was Invictus who advanced and eventually claimed the first World Championship for China, and their success came off the back of solo-laners Song ‘Rookie’ Eui-jin and TheShy, with the latter establishing himself as the best top-laner in the world with incredible plays like this in his international debut.

League of Legends

Tahm Kench rework coming in LoL Season 11: everything we know

Published: 26/Nov/2020 6:17

by Isaac McIntyre

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Tahm Kench is set to have his ‘acquired taste’ adjusted slightly in early 2021. The River King will be receiving a mini-rework targeting Devour and Abyssal Voyage during the Season 11 preseason, Riot devs have revealed — and it looks like it will soon be time to unbench the Kench again.

Riot unveiled their plans for the notorious support in a dev blog in late June. Their idea to “carefully balance” the River King, game designer Kevin ‘Captain’ Huang said, was to target his two most iconic abilities: his deep-diving ultimate, and his ‘Devour’ mechanic.

“It’s no secret [Tahm Kench] is one of the champions most famous for being weak for a vast majority of players because his kit is strong for pros,” Huang said. “Tahm has a lot of power that specifically requires the highest degree of coordinated play.”

The main issue with these kinds of champions ⁠— a category other famous picks like Kalista and Ryze also fall into ⁠— is “if they ever rise about 44-45% win rate [in their roles], they simply take over the professional scene,” Huang explained.

Riot’s aim, then, is to tweak his two “high skill cap” moves in the Season 11 mini-rework. TK’s ultimate, Abyssal Voyage, will be switched to his ‘W’ ability, while Devour/Regurgitate will be the River King’s ultimate heading into Season 11.

Tahm Kench could see his iconic kit shuffled around slightly in a Season 10 mini-rework.
Riot Games
Tahm Kench is set to see his iconic kit shuffled around slightly in a Season 11 rework.

Abyssal Voyage, Devour being reworked

There’s a few smaller tweaks the devs have already tabled for these two abilities too. Kench’s Abyssal Voyage would become the support’s “new engage tool,” would be “faster” and have a “shorter range”. It would also deal damage, and knock up enemies on arrival.

His Devour ability, which would be headed to the premiere “R” slot, would come with damage (for enemies) or a shield (for allies) depending on targets. On top of that, its cooldown would be stretched, and obviously it would be locked behind a level 6 experience barrier.

“We have moved Devour to his ult slot, where it gets to be significantly more powerful as a spell cast, and therefore less dependent on allies,” Huang said.

“With a longer cooldown and no access to the ability before [level] 6, opponents should also be able to capitalize on its downtimes [in better ways.]”

River King gets more self-healing

Finally, Tahm Kench may be getting a bit more self-healing in his reworked kit, with his Q ability Tongue Lash currently giving the River King a little HP top-up on-hit.

The last time Tahm Kench was handed a balance update outside of minor bug fixes was in League Patch 9.19, last season. His Thick Skin passive had its ‘Grey Health’ bonus changed from 30-100% (based on levels) to 75% at all levels.

Most of Tahm Kench's kit will be changed in Season 11.
Riot Games
Most of Tahm Kench’s kit will be changed in Season 11.

When will Tahm Kench be updated?

These new changes have been in Riot’s testing chambers for more than half a year now, but it looks like we may have to wait just a little bit longer before the new Tahm Kench actually arrives.

Originally, Riot said the River King’s ability update would arrive “after the Worlds patch [10.19].” That expected release date has rolled up in the distance, arrived, and now is weeks in the rearview mirror; Season 11’s preseason has begun.

The Tahm Kench rework will land after that, Riot Phlox confirmed on Nov. 25.

He said, “The TK rework is coming once preseason is more settled, and we have time to finish up the work and allocate the resources. Really would prefer to have it out before pro starts again, but I sadly can’t just slap a timeline here.”

The plan was originally to “avoid upheaval” around the pro scene, but that appears to have fallen by the wayside, at least for the time being.

Riot admits the River King is hard to balance around solo queue and pro play at the same time.
Riot Games
Riot admits the River King is hard to balance around solo queue and pro play at the same time.

Tahm Kench “thicc” changes, as Phlox called them, aren’t the only ones planned champion-wise in League of Legends’ huge Season 11 shakeup either.

Support Pantheon is being targeted in patch 10.25, in an attempt to shift the Artisan of War top lane again, while Amumu has just been whacked with a hefty chunk of nerfs after the new item reworks fired his win rate into the clouds.