All three Korean teams at the 2016 League of Legends World Championship will finish in the top four. Following Samsung Galaxy and SK Telecom earlier in the week, reigning Korean champions ROX Tigers secured its spot in the semifinal by defeating Chinese champions EDward Gaming 3-1 Saturday night in Chicago. ROX will face SKT in the semifinal in what will be a rematch of last year’s Worlds final.
After struggling in the group stage at taking leads in the early game, ROX found a solution in this series: Aurelion Sol. Roams from mid laner Seo-haeng “Kuro” Lee were crucial to gaining advantages in the side lanes in the first two games, setting up leads they never gave up.
ROX took Game 1 in convincing fashion, snowballing an early lead in the top lane and taking advantage of the Smeb vs. Koro1 mismatch.
After multiple ganks top, Rox built up a lead across the map thanks to roams from Kur0’s Aurelion Sol, and led by 6k gold by 20 minutes.
At 29 minutes, ROX turned a 3-0 fight into a Baron, and won the game 18-4 in 35 minutes. Smeb finished the game 2/1/10, Peanut was 3/1/10 and Kur0 was 7/0/6.
Game 2 was another rout for ROX, using the exact same composition with the exception of a surprise Maokai in the top lane for Smeb.
Once again it was Kur0’s Aurelion Sol setting the tone for ROX in the early game with a crucial roam.
Another roam three minutes later netted ROX the first tower of the game.
At 19 minutes, a 5-1 ace for ROX helped build up an early 10k lead.
From there, it was easy. At 23 minutes, four kills and a broken base. At 25, an ace and the end of the game, 18-5. ROX’s whole team dominated — Gorilla’s Zyra even did more damage than Pray’s Caitlyn.
Game 3 was a completely different story. Smeb locked in his signature Fiora, as ROX gave the Aurelion Sol away to EDG. While Smeb earned First Blood, EDG used Aurelion Sol’s roaming power to group up early and win fights.
At 29 minutes, Deft’s Caitlyn picked up four kills in an extended fight that netted EDG Baron.
EDG won the game 25-15 in 34 minutes, led by an 11/1/9 performance from Deft.
In Game 4, with Aurelion Sol banned, ROX returned to form. An early move bot from EDG’s Clearlove was countered by ROX, and a full-on team fight at nine minutes went 4-1 in ROX’s favor.
That set the tone for the rest of the game: while EDG did gain some advantages including the first two towers of the game, ROX was still fully in control thanks to a superfed Peanut in his first competitive game on Olaf.
ROX close it out 16-3 in 32 minutes, with a final scoreline of 11/0/5 for Peanut.