Sep 30 2016 - 8:13 pm

Cloud9 opens Worlds with loss to defending champion SK Telecom

Don’t doubt the defending champs
Fran Berkman
Dot Esports

Don’t doubt the defending champs.

That’s the message SK Telecom T1 sent to their haters as they opened their League of Legends World Championship title defense by dismantling North America’s Cloud9 on Friday’s opening match.

The game was never particularly competitive as SKT T1 picked up the first eight kills. Jungler Seongung "Bengi" Bae and mid laner Sanghyeok "Faker" Lee combined to pick up first blood 6 minutes into the game. Cloud9’s mid laner Nicolaj “Jensen” Jensen opted not to defensively flash on the play, and he paid the ultimate price for not respecting the cc potential of Elise and Syndra.

Faker picked up a solo kill on Jensen minutes later, and SKT T1 never looked back.
Despite being the defending Worlds and Mid-Season Invitational champions, SKT T1 came into the tournament with something to prove.

Many consider SKT T1’s Korean rivals ROX Tigers to be the favorites this year after ROX won the Summer Split in their domestic league, the LCK. And despite Faker being considered by many to be the best League of Legends player of all time, analysts including those at Riot Games have ranked ROX top laner Kyungho "Smeb" Song as the top player in this year’s tournament.

The bias against SKT T1 was particularly pronounced when two out of three of Riot’s broadcast analysts predicted that Cloud9, the third seed from North America, would beat SKT T1 in the match despite acknowledging the long odds of that prediction.

Faker, for one, seems unphased by the doubt.

“I admit for now that ROX Tigers is the best team and they should be considered the favorite in the tournament,” Faker said in a post-game interview. “We are improving and we could beat them in the future.”

The loss was particularly significant for Cloud9 top laner Eonyoung “Impact” Jeong, who won Worlds as a member of SKT T1 in 2013.

The win gives SKT T1 an early lead in Group B, which also includes Flash Wolves and I May, but Cloud9 has five more games in group stage to recover.

Today - 10:16 pm

Your friendly neighborhood void monster, Rek’sai, is getting a rework

Riot confirmed that it’s bringing Rek’sai back to her original design goals.
Aaron Mickunas
League of Legends Writer
Image via Riot Games

Rek’sai was originally intended to be an AD-heavy diver in League of Legends, but she turned into a tank. Riot plans to bring her back to form.

Do you remember when Rek’sai came out? Well, if you don’t remember or you’re a new player, let us remind you. When she came out, she built a ton of attack damage (AD) and, using a couple of kills to get a proper snowball rolling, she could blow-up nearly any target she wanted to.

This was because she was released to be an AD-diver, or a champion that is very good at getting to the carries in the back of a fight and dealing a ton of damage. The drawback (usually) is that a diver isn’t great at getting back out of a fight. Well, Rek’sai was much too powerful upon release in late 2014, so Riot had to nerf her considerably.

After several nerfs, it turned out that Rek’sai didn’t actually do much damage anymore. Instead, she became most useful for her ability to get to the carries and knock up them so damage-dealers could get to them more easily. Because of this, players realized that building her as a tank was much more effective. She dealt at least some damage, and she was able to live long enough to trudge to the back and knock-up as many enemies as possible.

Realizing that the community has now dubbed Rek’sai more useful for a different goal than she was originally intended for, Riot now intends to fix the problem.

A small update is on the way for Rek’sai—one that emphasizes her ability to dive but takes away her ability to tank, Riot announced yesterday. On the League message boards, Andre ‘Meddler’ van Roon, the lead champion designer, mentioned that the design team is looking to make an AD-centered build more rewarding for her and turn her knock-up into a single-target ability.

Riot tried the same thing with Ekko. He was released as an assassin, but after several nerfs to damage, he ended up being used as a tank for his area-of-effect stun, utility, and percent-health damage. In the assassin update of 6.22 back in November, Riot attempted to change him back by taking away the slow on his passive and increasing the AP-scaling on his abilities.

This seemed to work. Ekko’s most popular build on Champion.gg, a League statistics website, is now a high-damage assassin build. We can only hope that Rek’sai’s rework accomplishes the same goal without making her OP.

Today - 8:57 am

Cloud9 and FlyQuest soar in NA LCS openers

After a weekend of exciting games, two teams remain undefeated.
Callum Leslie
Weekend Editor, Dot Esports.
Photo via Riot Games

Cloud9 and FlyQuest found themselves on top of the NA LCS heap after the first weekend of play of 2017.

Cloud9, who dispatched TSM on the opening day in convincing fashion, secured a second win over Team Dignitas on day three.

The match was a close affair, impressing many fans who were unsure what to make of the new Dignitas lineup. Cloud were able to record a 2-1 victory with Dignitas winning game two in just 33 minutes, showing that this may well be a match we see down the road in the post-season.

Dignitas did manage to pick up a win on their return to the LCS, knocking off Pheonix1 2-1.

Cloud9's former sister team, now known as FlyQuest, turned heads on their debut with a pair of strong wins. After beating EnVyUs on day two, they faced a team who have made four playoffs in a row—Team Liquid.

It looked like experience would count for Liquid after they took FlyQuest apart in game one, but the rookie side rallied hard. After levelling the series, FlyQuest took the third game in a lightning fast 25 minutes. In the final two games they kept Liquid to just six kills in each.

TSM rebounded from their loss to Cloud9 with a thrilling victory over Immortals. After two gruelling 50+ minute games, in which both teams topped 90,000 gold, the teams were locked at 1-1. Game three saw a much more assured TSM performance, cleaning up the objectives and taking a decisive win inside 40 minutes.

Counter Logic Gaming also opened their account for 2017, winning against EnVyUs 2-0. That loss and the loss to FlyQuest leaves EnVyUs struggling at the bottom of the table alongside Echo Fox, who were unsuccessful against both Pheonix1 and Immortals.