After five days of play, IEM Gyeonggi concluded their League of Legends tournament with a grand final between Samsung Galaxy and Kongdoo Monster. While both being from Korea, these two teams have had totally different 2016 seasons. While Samsung reached the finals and were one game away from being crowned World Champions, Kongdoo only recently made their return to the LCK after winning their regional promotion tournament. These two teams both came into the finals with the desire to win the last tournament of 2016.
Samsung Galaxy 3-1 Kongdoo Monster
Kongdoo started this series with an early game edge over Samsung. Lee “Edge” Ho-seong was bullying Lee “Crown” Min-ho in lane, and an early gank from both sides gave Kongdoo a two kill lead. But through better lanes, Samsung was able to stabilize and gain a slight lead over Kongdoo. Despite an early Baron by KDM, Samsung was able to out-teamfight, taking out almost every member of Kongdoo, leaving only Kim “Roach” Kang-hui with the buff. This teamfight skyrocketed Samsung’s lead, both in tempo and gold. Samsung took the next Baron, which they used to cleanly secure a 30-minute win in game one.
A risky Kha’Zix pick for Kang “Ambition” Chan-yong in game two paid dividends for Samsung. After he aquired first blood in the first few minutes, Ambition took total control of this game. Ambition’s pressure and ganks in game two enabled every single one his teammates to gain a lead. By 15 minutes, every member of Samsung was stronger than their counterparts. Samsung methodically closed out game two in minutes, just like the game one.
Seeing how powerful Kha’Zix was the previous game, Kongdoo took the voidreaver for themselves. Despite losing Kha’Zix, Samsung still started game three strong. But, a few messy teamfights allowed Son “Punch” Min-hyuk to snowball on Kha’Zix, similar to Ambition in game three. Samsung made a valiant attempt to survive, but Kongdoo were too ahead and had a better scaling composition. After obtaining the Elder Drake, Kongdoo stormed the mid lane, ending the 41-minute game and securing game three.
After losing game three, Samsung came into game four with full force. Samsung, through better macro play and roaming, amassed a sizeable gold lead at 10 minutes. Samsung continued to press their lead, gaining more towers while picking off the members of Kongdoo. There was very little Kongdoo could do to stop the World finalists, even with the Kha’Zix that won them the previous game. Samsung closed out the game and series at 26 minutes, thus crowning them the winners of IEM Gyeonggi. With this tournament win, Samsung Galaxy is guaranteed a spot at the IEM World Championship, set to occur at the end of February 2017.
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Article by Malcolm Abbas. Follow him on Twitter @SmashhLoL.
Photos via LoL Esports