If you are curious how the shiny new League of Legends looks and plays in the professional setting, OnGameNet gave us a first taste early this morning.
SK Telecom T1 kicked off the Champions Spring preseason with a victory against HUYA Tigers, showcasing both some of the new lineup built around Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok and the huge number of changes to League itself.
Every year Riot Games introduces a slew of changes aimed at keeping League fresh and improving the game, and this year’s Season 5 preseason patch is bigger than ever, including a complete overhaul of the visuals of the game’s primary battleground, the Summoner’s Rift.
The match showed how beautiful the new League can be with its visual update—especially when played by players as talented as Lee.
It also introduced some of the ways the metagame may change. While HUYA Tigers picked a team that wouldn’t be out of place four months ago in the League Championship Series, SK Telecom T1 tested some of the new powerful champions. Lee took Ezreal into mid and posted a 7/1/5 KDA while the combination of Morgana support, Warwick jungle, and Lissandra top set up ridiculous crowd control combo potential.
Jang “MaRin” Gyeong-hwan in particular stood out with a 6/0/10 game on Lissandra, making a strong case to take over starting top lane duties for the SK Telecom team.
Game two was a little bit closer than the first, with SK Telecom again on top. This time Lee took Lissandra into the rift, putting up a 4/1/10 score, while marksman Bae “Bang” Jun-sik showed off a flashy 5/1/2 KDA Vayne.
Three weeks of preseason precede the start of Champions Spring. While the stakes are low, the matches are still important: this is the one chance teams have to test the new patch and settle lineups in flux all over Korea after the implementation of a one-team system caused most organization to re-evaluate their rosters.
In this morning’s other preseason game, CJ Entus swept Incredible Miracle, showing that they don’t need the departing superstar top laner Lee “Flame” Ho-Jong to win. Tonight KT Rolster and Samsung battle, followed by Jin Air Green Wings against NaJin e-mFire.
You can catch the matches on the OnGameNet Twitch channel, but you’ll need a subscription to watch.
Image via OnGameNet/Twitch