Curtains Close on League of Legends Season Two
The sun was rising as the first enthusiastic fans lined up for the World Finals at USC’s Galen Center in Los Angeles. By the time doors opened later in the afternoon, the line circled the entire perimeter of the venue. The gathering crowd included League of Legends fans from around the world and they passed the time by sharing carefully-crafted cosplay and creating signs for the upcoming battle between the Taipei Assassins and Korea’s Azubu Frost.
Nearly 8,000 anxious spectators watched the championship finals. Before the match for the $1 million USD grand prize began, Phreak and Rivington hosted an hour-long pregame show featuring an all-star game, trophy presentation, and orchestra performance. The atmosphere was electric as djWheat introduced the teams and the finals got underway.
Triumph of the Underdogs
The final match between Azubu Frost and Taipei Assassins (TPA) was a best-of-five series, with the winner taking home the title of Season Two World Champion and the $1 million prize.
TPA began the first game strong, locking in first blood, but Azubu Frost turned the tables mid-game with several impressive team fight victories. The game's MVP, Azubu Frost's Rapidstar, snowballed to dominance after a series of kills, including an epic quadrakill as Karthus. Watching from the front row, Reginald from America's Team SoloMid remarked that, while “TPA played phenomenal[ly]… I felt that they got complacent during the match."
After dropping the first game of the match, TPA had to dig themselves out of an early hole against a team that was heavily favored going into the championship. They didn’t disappoint the massive fanbase they'd acquired over the course of their impressive run, and soon the crowd was boisterously cheering for the underdogs.
Between games, TPA’s manager, Erica Tseng, jokingly said, “They play better when they are hungry. That’s why I starve them before matches.” Whatever her secret, it paid off. TPA was hungry to win, and rallied to close out a commanding victory in their second game. With the momentum swinging back in their favor, TPA managed to take the next two games handily, winning the series 3-to-1.
Against the odds, the dark horse Taipei Assassins claimed the Season Two World Championship over Azubu Frost.
The Summoner’s Cup, Motorcycles and All the Foods
After a hard-earned victory, djWheat introduced TPA as the Season Two World Champions. Riot Games co-founders Marc Merrill and Brandon Beck congratulated the victors and awarded them the Summoner’s Cup on stage, against a backdrop of fireworks and pyrotechnics. TPA is the second team to have their name immortalized on the Cup, following Season One Champion Fnatic MSI.
With a huge prize purse in hand, TPA was bombarded with the question: “What would you do with $1,000,000?” Stanley and Lilballz each expressed their excitement at thoughts of purchasing a new motorcycle. For others on the team, the only certainty was some Taiwanese fine dining. Stanley stated, “I want to be like Bebe and eat all the Taiwanese food.” Most importantly, the team will return to Taiwan as heroes and ambassadors for eSports.
Congrats to our Season Two World Champions, Taipei Assassins!
Watch full recaps
To watch the recap VoD’s of the event, visit the Riot Games channel on Twitch.
Some official numbers on the World Championship
- Over 8,000 players traveled from all corners of the globe to cheer on Azubu Frost and the Taipei Assassins in person
- More than 8,282,000 unique viewers tuned in for the World Finals via TV and stream worldwide (including 2,402,225 TV viewers in Korea and China)
- At peak, over 1,154,000 people were watching online alone (not counting any TV numbers) during the World Finals
- Over the course of both the World Playoffs and Finals, people watched 24,230,688 hours of League of Legends
Our favorite pics from the Finals
Check out more from the full album.