The League of Legends All-Stars Paris event begins on Thursday, and will feature some of the top teams and players from around the world. They’ll be competing for pride, glory, and $50,000 of prize money—winners take all. Here are the matchups and storylines we’re most looking forward to.
1) Bjergsen vs. Froggen
Photos via Riot Games
Søren “Bjergsen” Bjerg and Henrik “Froggen” Hansen were both mid laners in Europe last year, on rival teams. But last November, Bjerg joined up with North America’s Team SoloMid, where he quickly made a name for themselves and led them to a second place finish, earning himself the League MVP title. Both players are charismatic, and fans can’t wait to see them face off against each other again.
2) SKT T1 K
Photo via SKT 1/Facebook
SKT T1 K, if you remember, won the biggest esports event in history last October. Now, they’re back, though not without some signs of weakness. They barely scraped into the playoffs in the Hot6ix Champions Spring tournament, Korea’s top league. They’ve returned to the international stage to set the record straight. Also returning is Lee “PoohManDu” Jeong-hyeon, who has recovered from his near-career-ending injury, and should be more than happy to re-affirm his place on the best team in the world.
3) C9 Link
Photo via CLGaming
The unfortunate injury of Cloud 9’s star mid laner, Hai Du Lam, left many in doubt about the ability of C9 to compete with the world’s best. But a quick, temporary substitute quickly appeared in the form of rival Counter Logic Gaming’s mid laner, Austin “LiNk” Shin. The roster move was welcome news to fans of both teams. Now, Americans get to watch their home boys compete in top form against the world’s best.
4) Is Fnatic the real deal?
Photo via Fnatic/Facebook
They came from behind to close out the playoffs, but to be fair, Fnatic just barely came out on top of Europe. They won the previous two seasons handily, but this season was hardly a given. Have they gotten worse, or has the European skill threshold just gotten a lot better? Fnatic is a good team, that’s no question, but their performance against the other regions will show whether or not they’ve held on strong—or whether they’re just holding on for dear life.
5) He’s a mad mad MadLife
Photo via Riot Games
CJ Entus Frost’s support player, Hong “MadLife” Min-gi, missed out on his chance to show up at Worlds last year. In fact, he hasn’t competed much in any international event. Despite that, he’s widely considered one of the best players at his position in Korea, and possibly in the entire world. Just how revered is he in Korea? His nickname is simply “God.”
6) OMG and the Taipei Assassins
Photo via Taipei Assassins/Facebook
China’s team OMG and the Taiwanese Taipei Assassins (pictured) both come from leagues that western audiences don’t follow closely. Which is too bad, in my opinion. These are some solid teams from very deep regions, and I expect they’ll put up a bigger fight than most fans expect. Don’t believe me? Last year, OMG placed 7-1 in the World Championship group stage with SKT T1 K, who also placed 7-1 and went on to take the championship.
7) A matchup of ice and fire
Photo via Riot Games
Team Ice and Team Fire (pictured), the two All-Stars Challenge teams, combine some of the best players in the world to temporary super-teams. Now, they’ll give their all to compete in several themed games, including a 6v6 showmatch. Fans will also get to see these stars play in the chaotic “Ultra Rapid Fire Mode,” in which spells have no costs and significantly reduced cooldowns.
Lead photo via Fnatic/Facebook