League of Legends $2 Million Championships come to a close

South Korea's SK Telecom T1 sweeps China's Royal Club to win tournament and $1 million.

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The League of Legends $2 million Season 3 World Championships came to a close on Friday as 13,000 fans at the sold-out Staples Center in Los Angeles watched South Korea's SK Telecom T1 sweep China's Royal Club in three straight games to win $1 million.

Led by the 17-year old Mid-Lane superstar Lee "Faker" Sang-hyeok and team Captain Lee "PoohManDu" Jeong-hyeon, SKT1 brings home the first world title for South Korea in League of Legends, the overwhelming national favorite for the championships. SKT1 was the final team from Korea to qualify for the world championships, and the final team overall as well.

"Back when I was participating in the Korean championships at OGN, all I thought was about making it to the World Championship," Faker told GameSpot shortly after hoisting the Summoners Cup. "But as I was walking down and lifted the cup up, I realized that my goal was to win this title and lift this cup up. This meant so much to me."

SKT1 practiced with Royal Club for dozens of games to prepare for the teams previous opponents Najin Sword and Fnatic in the Semifinals. Before the finals began, Royal Club Captain Pak-Kan "Tabe" Wong said that their team only won a few games during practice, and believed they only had a 20 percent chance of winning against SKT1. Faker was surprised by this.

"We were really apprehensive about whatever cards Royal Club may have been hiding because during our scrimmages, Royal were really easy; we won a lot of those games," he said. "So we figured there was something more that they were hiding. The games were a lot easier than expected. Now saying that, we did expect to win this match because we put in a lot of work for this."

"SKT just outclassed us," Tabe said after the finals in a Reddit AMA. "We disrespected the Jax pick and were just outplayed by mechanics, IQ, and team coordination. SKT is really a monster team. They are in my opinion the best."

While a number of teams will be undergoing roster changes and vacation time as the World Championships are over, SKT1 will continue to compete in the Korean qualifiers for the World Cyber Games 2013 Finals. Faker is grateful for his championship experience, and sees only continued success for his team.

"This is the happiest moment of my life," he said. "I can't believe it and I don't think I'll ever forget this moment. I'd really like to thank the fans in North America for their support. I'd like to ask the fans to instead of just focusing on me, give that attention to all of my teammates. Thanks to Riot Games for everything."

Riot Games Vice President of eSports Dustin Beck tweeted during Game 1 of the broadcast that there was an estimated 1 million concurrent users watching through Twitch, YouTube, and AzubuTV, with another 1 million concurrent users watching through streams in China and South Korea. Beck added in conservative estimates of an additional 4 million watching on TV in an unspecified number of countries.

"We aren't focused on numbers to measure whether we're succeeding with our eSports efforts," Beck told GameSpot before the finals. "We're mostly concerned about providing a great experience for fans. Audience numbers are certainly one metric to help understand whether we're doing that, and to that end we're really happy that fans continue to watch in increasing numbers. We're just as excited to read feedback from players that helps us improve, and to see an incredible outpouring of community support, like the hundreds of viewing parties that are happening around the world for tonight's games."

In a press conference prior to the finals, Riot Games revealed initial details for Season 4, including a January start date, and remaining 8 teams per region for North America and Europe. The location for next year's World Championship is still to be determined, with all options on the table. Through a new partnership with Coke Zero, Riot Games will be running a Challenger league in tandem with the LCS for the growth of the amateur players and stability of the league.

"It'll provide exposure to the next generation of pro-level teams and players, and give them crucial event experience and stability," said Beck. "Coke's sponsorship is unique--they recognized the importance of this aspirational level, they're as excited about it as we are."

Riot Games' Nick Allen said that the Challenger league will run alongside the LCS so that there will be attention overlap for both leagues, with Challenger games starting at the end of LCS each night.

Stay tuned to GameSpot eSports for coverage of the off-season leading into Season 4.

Discussion

42 comments
wexorian
wexorian

overall year rewards were 5 million in tournaments, and this new is 1 week old allready, 

As fro dota fans Lol was created by guiniso and other guy with riot Original dota creators that's why Game is better than dota 2,

billnye69
billnye69

Hope the money is comforting when North Korea starts dropping Nukes.

fredwv
fredwv

that'll buy em a lot of hot dogs ...


sinadoom
sinadoom

I don't get why MOBA games are so popular

pyro1245
pyro1245

yay. it came to a close. good to hear

bkohary
bkohary

What's the bet this report appears in the tech section of mainstream media and not the Entertainment or Sports section?

Trickymaster
Trickymaster

Is that a League of Legends arena or a megachurch?

Fia1
Fia1

it was funny because the final was the most anti-climatic match ive ever seen that team just won 3 in a row and destroyed the other team in all of those games...

rtircoklled
rtircoklled

Soth Korea won a video game compitition what a shocker!

fatee
fatee moderator

Glad to see and hear E "sports" take off. Making an event out of things like this is really cool - and shows how much games have evolved into an part of our culture.

MOBAs still do not interest me though :P

eze_sl89
eze_sl89

some people have too much free time

gplayer5
gplayer5

$2 mil for playing a videogame? Sounds good to me.

Solace427
Solace427

I tried LoL. To me it takes a certain type of gamer to really get into that game. The fact that a $2 mil competition is held and that many people come to watch is interesting.

If this is a thrill to them, cool. Personally, LoL is boring as hell

enartloc
enartloc

@wexorianwho is "guiniso'?You mean Guinsoo Feak?He's not the creator of DotA,you may want to document yourself when trolling forum boards.

DMND
DMND

@billnye69 And USA start droping young american soldiers over the nukes.

Jd234
Jd234

@sinadoom why is anything popular just because you dont like it doesnt mean it isnt good or etc nothing more then a personal opinion

Neo_Sarevok
Neo_Sarevok

@sinadoom Because they are easy to learn but hard to master, require teamwork to encourage meeting new people, free to play (usually), can be played by overseas players with minimal translation efforts, and even poor computers can run them.

RiKanKiDD
RiKanKiDD

@eze_sl89 yeah but the winners of the 2million obviously spent that time becoming millionaires. Jealous that you are still a broke piece of shit.

ForteMilo
ForteMilo

@Solace427 As someone who does play LoL and has tried to invite their friends to play it. I do agree. When it comes to league its "kind of" a hit or miss thing. Some like it, some don't and i respect with whatever decision they make. But what really saddens me is when i got to league related articles, scroll to the comment section, and seeing so many people hating on it without giving a definite reason. It's nice to see people like you who are at least honest and give a reasonable opinion. Since some of my friends actually say it's boring too lol.

DKRises
DKRises

@iampenguin Why shouldn't they? It's a new hobby that people enjoy. It's not like Football was immediately recognized as the greatest sport ever. Example: People take throwing a ball around too seriously.

naryanrobinson
naryanrobinson

@Jd234 He just said he doesn't understand why they're popular, get off his back already.

pyro1245
pyro1245

@ForteMilo @Solace427 i would say it's strictly hit or miss. I know people who love it, and people who hate it. none that just kinda like it

TonnFool23
TonnFool23

@DKRises @iampenguin Football? Throwing a ball? Mate I don't think thats football, it's that american trash. Soccer or w/e you call it, that's football mate. Don't believe me? Name one country out of north america that plays american football and even has a professional league of it.

iampenguin
iampenguin

@DKRises @iampenguin I see and now that I think about it like that I hate soccer and soccer fans got much more respect for LoL gamers

enartloc
enartloc

@wexorian @enartloc I not I'd,hurt not hurth,feelings not feeligns,did i not did not i,your mommy better sell your PC and use the money to get you some spelling lessons

enartloc
enartloc

@wexorian @enartloc You we're probably 5 years old when RoC came out,how would you know anything?I'm not the fanboy who can't make a 5 word sentence without making spelling mistakes,i think both games are great,scum puberty kids like you ruin both communities.Also,what does "Masp" mean?Is it so hard to spell a FOUR letter word without messing it up?

wexorian
wexorian

@enartloc @wexorian Eul made it, he gave it to guinsoo and he gave it to icefrog, Masp was created by eul , as for allstars it was created by guinso, Still Lol is better now go hide rude kiddo.

enartloc
enartloc

@wexorian @enartloc "Guiniso"?"createor".learn to write,you 12 year old primate.Eul made DotA,but how would you know that,you can't even spell the name of the developer of LoL,a game you fanboy about