China’s LPL defeated the Korean LCK in the finals of the 2017 Rift Rivals tournament in a 3-1 series win.
The tournament started with a group stage with each region playing four games against the other regions. The region with the most wins got a bye directly into the finals, while the other two regions had to play a tag team series to determine who would advance. These elimination series are best of fives with each of the four teams from a region playing one match and one team playing two.
Korea took the number one seed in the tournament after Group Stages moving onto the Finals without having to play in the Elimination matches on day 4 of the tournament. The elimination matches were played between the LMS and LPL with the LPL barely managing to win in an incredibly close 5 game series.
In the Finals the LPL performed much better as a region struggling far less with the, normally dominant LCK, than they did with the LMS, winning the series in only four games.
Though the tournament’s odd structure, which eliminated any ability for preparation and turning every match into a best of one made the results slightly less predictable, this is still a surprising upset for the LCK. This is also only the second time, as a region, the LPL have come out ahead of the LCK in a tournament, with the first being the 2015 Mid-Season Invitational.