[LoL] Worlds 2016 Semifinals Prediction

We're down to the wire with another League of Legends World Championship on the verge of finals.  We've seen some memorable upsets in group stage but Quarterfinals went about as expected.  The 3 Korean teams that qualified for Worlds were able to make it to the top 4.  The only non-Korean team is H2K, the 2nd seed from Europe.  Here's how I expect next weeks' series to pan out!




ROX Tigers vs. SK Telecom T1    (10/21 - 6 PM)

Prediction: ROX 2-3 SKT

What way does this one go?  ROX comes into the tournament as the first seed from Korea, but many think that this has to do with the fact that ROX did not have to face SKT in the LCK Summer Finals.  SKT have been the Season 3 and 5 world champions and, since they did not qualify for worlds 2014, they have not lost a world championship that they have attended.  

As for performance at worlds this year, both groups are playing clean League of Legends.  Both groups won their quarterfinals against elite Chinese teams, each of which have two notable Korean talents (EDG- Pawn & Deft, RNG - Looper & Mata.)

As far as individual talent, both rosters are stacked from top to bottom (heh...) Every player has a formidable counterpart and will have to be handled very delicately.  These are the games that will be won in pick/ban phase, so it's a big responsibility for coaches to help their team get a draft that has the edge. 


At the end of the day I give the series to SKT in 5 games.  This is mostly due to my inability to see a Worlds Finals where SKT is not the first there.  

Despite this, I do see ROX's Smeb having an edge in the top lane against Duke.  Smeb holds a 4.3 KDA to Duke's 2.7 in the knockout stage.  The ROX top laner has also had a bigger presence for his team with 64.2% kill participation.  Duke, surprisingly, only had a 38.7% kill participation.  If these numbers hold up, ROX may have some wiggle room, but regardless will be an extremely hard fought set.  



Samsung Galaxy vs. H2K    (10/22 - 6 PM)

Predictions: SSG 3-1 H2K

I'm fairly certain that this will be a showing of who is the better team.  I'm also fairly certain that if H2K actually does take a game, it will be the first game.  From that point, the cool and collected Korean squad will make the necessary adjustments to win pick/ban and snowball their win conditions.  

H2K hasn't had the hardest journey this worlds, sharing a group with INTZ, ahq and EDG, while winning their important matches against EDG.  There is undeniably some great chemistry going on among these 5.  At many points, they were simply doing the right things at the right time.  

My concern for H2K is that they will let FORG1VEN take too many unfavorable matchups in the bot lane for the sake of the team, while SSG with the stronger 2v2 are known to perform better when they snowball out of laning phase.  

SSG also have an incredible wrap around the macro game post 20 minutes, where as the 2nd seed of Europe will not be able to push the same advantages into the mid game.  

I'm imagining that H2K will be prioritizing Lucian after game 2, putting their eggs in the FORG1VEN basket.  If there were a series for H2K to win against the other top 3 teams, it would be this one!  These are the 'Top 4' teams in the world so there is absolutely no room for error.
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