Friday, November 3, 2017

League Worlds Finals

Prediction: The team I don't pick in five.

How in the bloody hell fuck are you supposed to figure out who's going to win this match? Samsung is playing better than SKT, period. They're from Korea, so they have plenty of experience against SKT specifically and teams on that level in general. They lost twice to RNG in groups, but right now that looks like a completely different team from the one going to the finals. There is zero reason to think Samsung is at a disadvantage in terms of player quality, teamwork, or anything else that matters.

As great as Faker is, I hate the argument that SKT wins because they have Faker. They have a very solid team mindset that has been up against the wall in every conceivable fashion, and when it comes to Worlds Bo5 matches, they've found a way to win every time. They're, what, 9-0 in elimination games? 3-0 is impressive. 6-0 is crazy. 9-0 is obscene, on the verge of inhuman. For all the problems some of their players have had, they constantly pull it together when everything is on the line, including against Korean teams (2016 ROX and Samsung, for example). Even knowing that, however, it's hard to disregard the fact that Misfits, RNG, EDG, and ahq all had SKT beaten bloody and looked incapable of finishing the game. All of them had sufficient control to win the games where they had big leads, but they left openings that it's reasonable to think Samsung won't.

Yet... SKT has Faker. It's not even that they have Faker, but they have the Faker that's been playing in this tournament, who may ascend to a dimension above the ranks of normal humans if he carries this team to a championship. The LoL meme of playing 1v9 doesn't exactly apply, but it sure as hell feels like he's playing 1v5 sometimes, to the point that to pick SKT feels like you're picking one man and his team's history against the five ultra-badasses rolling up on him tonight.

And only an idiot would blame a person for doing exactly that. Objectively, taking a player and a team's history into account when predicting future results is... not silly, but very easy to let overwhelm one's thought process. But at some point a team does this so often that to pick against them feels like you're just asking to get burned when they do it again (says the guy who picked RNG to beat them). It's like, you know they shouldn't be a favorite, but they've done this for so long you can't actually imagine the world in which they lose.


SKT in 5.

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