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Esports World Cup: ‘Faker’ leads T1 to the title after a bumpy start

League of Legends was also played at the Esports World Cup in Saudi Arabia. Eight teams were invited, the world champion triumphed, Europe did not cover itself in glory

‘Faker’ has done it again: the Korean superstar led his team T1 to another title in Saudi Arabia on Sunday. The four-time and reigning world champion needed four games in the final, which got off to a bumpy start:

The world champions conceded the first round of the best-of-five to TOP Esports from China, but then the team led by ‘Faker’ caught themselves. Strong gameplay resulted in three victories and thus also the tournament victory and 400,000 US dollars in prize money

The Gen.G curse continues – Europe mixed

For Gen.G, the second team from Korea, things went badly. They were eliminated in the first round of the tournament against TOP Esports, with the perennial favorites unable to build on their success at MSI 2024. There, the Koreans had secured first place in a direct duel just a few months ago.

Meanwhile, G2, as the European representative, was assigned FlyQuest from North America in the first round. The score here was 2:1 after matches, which gave the European fans a little hope. But it wasn’t much, as two of the three rounds against the Americans were extremely even: G2 took advantage of a FlyQuest slip-up at key moments in each and won. In the first game, they were still inferior to the Americans’ clever match plan. The European favorites were therefore unable to convince, and the 0:2 semi-final exit against TOP Esports was a logical consequence

The second team from Europe, Fnatic, went down without a trace in the quarter-finals against the North American team Liquid. The tournament organizer had drawn lots well and only pitted Western and Eastern teams against each other in the first round. For the rivalry between the EU and NA, this meant one win and one defeat each. Liquid even wrestled a game from T1 in the semi-finals, but were unable to prevent the eventual champions from reaching the final.

The Far Eastern dominance at major international tournaments thus continued early on. You have to go way back in history for a European victory at MSI and Worlds. G2 won the MSI in 2019. In 2011, Fnatic triumphed in the very first edition of the Worlds. Since then, it has been almost impossible to keep up with the strong teams from Korea and China.

League of Legends also on the big stage outside the official leagues

The Esports World Cup is the only tournament that is held on an international stage alongside Riot’s two official tournaments, the MSI and the Worlds. All other leagues and tournaments take place at regional level.

A single elimination bracket was played with only eight teams. The rule was: if you lost, you were out. The special feature for an international tournament: it was a pure invitational format. Two teams were invited from each of the major regions of Europe, Korea, China and North America. There was no qualifier like at the Worlds or the MSI.

No German-language broadcast

A German-language broadcast was also missing. According to caster Maurice ‘Mori’ Lange, many commentators had previously refused to cooperate with the organizers from Saudi Arabia – sometimes for moral reasons. Saudi Arabia has often been criticized in the past

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