The Season One Finals at Dreamhack continued today with some truly extraordinary matches. Most of yesterdays matchups seemed to be fairly one-sided, match by match. One team would gain control of the map and exploit that advantage to the end of the game. Some of the matches had exciting moments and there were a few upsets, but the games were pretty short and straightforward.
Not today. Today the games were utterly insane. There were strange picks, odd bans, and epic, sprawling teamfights that ran from one end of the map to the other. There were Baron kills and counter Barons. It was a really exciting day, and we owed most of the excitement to the European teams, Fnatic (FN) and Against All Authority (aAa). Neither of the top two European teams looked very good yesterday – apparently Fnatic was missing a player and using a sub – but today they looked incredible. Fnatic showed up with amazing lane presence and some very smart bans against CLG, locking HotShotGG and company out of the tournament. Against All Authority dropped the first game in its series against TSM, but went on to steamroll to victory.
It was interesting that the tournament turned into a Europe vs. North America event, and it looks like it’s going to continue down that path. Tomorrow brings us to the semi-finals and the finals. As you can see from the bracket above, Team SoloMid and Epik Gaming will be fighting for the chance to face the loser of the FN vs. aAa game. That winner will then go on to face the winner of Fn vs. aAa. We could be looking at Europe vs. North America for the finals, but if TSM and Epik are off their game, North America will be out of the race altogether.
I hope you’ve had some time to check out the Season One Finals. I was really impressed with Riot’s streaming, as were roughly a million other unique visitors to the Season One microsite. I didn’t think I would get so excited, but it was really cool to be able to see the best teams in the world really showing their strength today. Seriously, if Fnatic’s Shushei doesn’t make you want to play Alistar, nothing will.