This 2017 Worlds story is brought to you by Predator.
The 2017 League of Legends World Championship is in the books, and what a magnificent tournament it was.
History was rewritten as SK Telecom T1 lost for the first time at Worlds. In their place are the ascendant champions, Samsung Galaxy, who completed a years-long quest for redemption by defeating their biggest foes on the grandest stage.
And Riot photographers were there to capture each step of the journey. Here are the best photos from the Worlds final.
10) Don’t take that trophy away
Don’t you dare try to take that away form Park “Ruler” Jae-hyuk.
9) Getting ready for history
Regardless of the outcome, fans lining up to get into the Bird’s Nest were in for a treat. The opportunity to see the Worlds final in a truly remarkable stadium is the experience of a lifetime.
8) Faker prepares
Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok warms up in the SKT booth. Faker had another amazing series and was rightfully proclaimed a possible candidate for tournament MVP. But his play just wasn’t enough against Samsung.
7) The stage
The Worlds stage keeps getting grander and grander each year. This year’s highlight was a massive CGI dragon that flew in from the rafters.
6) The Cup
This is what everyone’s playing for: The Summoner’s Cup. As night fell on the Bird’s Nest stadium, so did SKT’s chances of capturing the trophy for the third straight time.
5) kkOma with SKT
SKT’s coach Kim “kkOma” Jung-gyun is known as the best in the business. But going against Choi “Edgar” Woo-beom and Samsung, he had no answers. What is it like to face defeat from backstage, unable to do anything about the loss unfolding on the screen?
4) The elation of victory
Nothing beats the fresh emotions of victory, or that moment when you know you’ve accomplished the impossible.
3) SKT, faces of defeat
These photos show the differing emotions of defeat. Faker is just crushed. Despite a completely secure legacy, he wants to win again so badly.
For ADC Bae “Bang” Jun-sik, fresh off one of the worst performances of his career, the feeling is just loneliness. League is a team game, especially in the duo lane where, by definition, you nearly always have a teammate to rely on. But defeat is a lonely feeling.
2) Lifting the cup
Samsung jungler Kang “Ambition” Chan-yong has gone through a lot over his League career. But after getting married this year, things started to click for him and his team. Now he’s found another true love in the Summoner’s Cup.
1) Victory and relief
For the players, this was the ultimate victory. Samsung played a magnificent series and deserve a bow. But we love the expression on Edgar’s face. Is it relief? A feeling of being overwhelmed?
We may never know—unless Samsung make it back next year.