All-Star is underway
All-Star is underway
Day 3 Update
The All-Star Weekend is over! If you missed the games, don't worry -- all VODs will be live before the end of Saturday. Use any of the following links for more info:
- All-Star 2013 Event Page
- Matches Details - stats and VODs (when live)
- Youtube All-Star Playlist - all VODs (finals are processing)
- Final Day - Full Stream - entire May 26 broadcast
Day 2 Update
Day 1 Update
The opening day of All-Star Week saw fierce competition in the Skills Competition and thrilling 5v5 matches as North America went up against China, and the European all-stars took on Korea's best. For in-depth stats and recaps of the day's events, head over to the Matches page and the Skills Competition update.
Tune in tomorrow at 10:00pm PDT/7:00 CEST as the Semifinal of the Skills Competition continues and the NA roster goes up against EU on Summoner's Rift in a battle for all-star survival.
All-Star Week in Shanghai is finally here after fans from around the globe voted in their favorite players from the five competitive leagues to represent national and regional pride. Due to the restrictions limiting each all-star roster to only three players from any one team, former rivals will now fight side-by-side, setting aside professional grudges to prove their region's superiority against a stacked deck of international talents.
The winner of the All-Star Tournament will bring home an additional slot at the Season 3 World Championships, allowing their region to field another team upon the final stage and increase their odds for the season title. Each roster will duke it out in a double elimination bracket, fighting through best of three matches with more than just regional pride at stake. South-East Asia comes into the all-star match with a one-round advantage, earning a bye due to the Taipei Assassins' world championship title in Season 2.
League of Legends fans from around the world have elected the following players to represent their regions:
- Top Lane: Marcus "Dyrus" Hill
- Jungler: Brandon "Saintvicious" DiMarco
- Mid Lane: William "Scarra" Li
- Support: Alex "Xpecial" Chu
- AD Carry: Peter "Doublelift" Peng
Despite being a major source of League of Legends esports culture, from multi-thousand audience streams to the celebrity aspects of competitive play, the region's all-stars have received the short end of the stick when evaluated against their international peers. Certainly, there are some justifications for it: poor performance at the tail end of Season 2 and increasing pan-Asian dominance on the international stage has forged a somber atmosphere for some of LoL's most famous players.
But how much of it is simply aggrieved pessimism from the community? TSM Snapdragon's rise in recent weeks is credited to the entire team, but a significant part their success is due to Dyrus's growth as a Top Lane player. The sleepy Hawaiian is a brick wall in top - extraordinarily difficult to smash through, and painful to do so regardless of success or failure.
The jungle influence proffered by Saintvicious should also not be discounted, as the pressure he exerts is pressure alleviated from North America's mid and bot lanes. This playstyle will directly aid the NA roster, as Scarra and Doublelift's failures often stem from the same fault: insufficient farm. Neither of them make a particular habit of getting to that point, however, and with NA's top Jungler onboard, there will always be the risk of Doublelift doing what he does best: pick Vayne and blow through the entire opposition.
Granted, as the first game is between North America versus China, he'll have to leverage every ounce of his much-vaunted ability to go toe to toe against WeiXiao, and that's not a happy situation for any team. A showdown between the top gunmen of East and West in Shanghai will be a tremendous draw, but while all eyes on them, their Supports may prove to be the real decider. Xpecial's a quiet menace, oft-overlooked by flashy AD Carries, but his understanding of the game runs deeper than many realize.
- Top Lane: Paul "sOAZ" Boyer
- Jungler: Danil "Diamondprox" Reshetnikov
- Mid Lane: Alexsei "Alex Ich" Ichetovkin
- Support: Edward "EDward" Abgaryan
- AD Carry: Peter "Yellowpete" Wuppen
The Thresh King is on the march, set out on a campaign of conquest to establish himself as the Emperor of Chains! Death sentences for all that dare opposes his imperial majesty, enacted by his four Supports, but mostly by his own red-stained hands. While the European team, comprised primarily from the Russian juggernaut Gambit BenQ, is top-heavy with world-class contenders, and it's difficult to avoid comparison and speculation as to how their famously aggressive Support player will do against Korea's famous "Godlife." Thus far, Gambit and Frost are 1-1 on tournament confrontations, with Madlife's team Threshed at Katowice, but EDward's team flayed in turn at Hannover.
But while attention is naturally drawn to EU's dynamic bot lane, teams will outright lose if they don't divert attention to the jungle. Diamondprox led the way with Nasus and Volibear's Season 3 ascendance, further advancing a reputation established since the dawn of Season 2 as the world's leading jungle innovator. Nothing has changed in the interim - if anything, he's improved much since that first fateful day at IEM Kiev, evolving with astounding swiftness to the Season 3 paradigm.
Adaptation came harder for Gambit BenQ team captain Alex Ich, but when it did, it was with much fanfare. Though he struggled quite a bit at the start of the LCS season, his rebound puts Kha'zix's leap to shame. Fittingly, failure to ban out Kha'zix against him will be a terrible mistake for any team of any region to make, as you can count the number of times he's lost on the bug on a single hand. You'll swiftly run out of digits if, instead, you attempted to track how many times he's devastated teams in turn.
Of the two western hemisphere teams, Europe's all-stars expected to deliver the best performance in Shanghai. Though the region and players have the greatest disparity in backgrounds, representing Russia, Germany and France versus NA's comparative monocultural tendencies, communication is less of an issue than commonly believed: they all speak English, they've all played together before, and with Gambit holding the majority share, they'll all be turning to Alex for marching orders.
- Top Lane: Park "Shy" Sang-myeon
- Jungler: Choi "inSec" In-seok
- Mid Lane: Kang "Ambition" Chan-yong
- Support: Hong "MadLife" Min-gi
- AD Carry: Kim "PraY" Jong-in
Though China is favored to win the all-star tournament, the margin of bias should be extremely small. Korea's all-stars lineup is packed with aggressive talent, the likes of which have been dazzling OnGameNet viewers for over a year now. Coached by the Starcraft scene's Mantoss himself, Park "Reach" Jung Suk, if there's one thing to expect from such an alliance it's a continuation of what's been seen in the OGN Champions tournament - namely constant, map-rocking explosions all over Summoner's Rift.
Support player Madlife was voted into the all-stars roster with a confidence margin of over 80%. An overwhelming four out of every five Korean LoL fans consider him their first, best and only choice for the role - an almost cult-like level of fame that has many considering him to be a deity of the game, and one thoroughly backed up by concrete evidence of astounding gameplay and vision maintenance across the map.
The Korean player base's choice to pair him with PraY is either serendipitous or just outright hilarious, as there will certainly be plenty of praying from the opposition for him to slip up for once. As one of Korea's most aggressive AD Carries, the pressure exerted by him and Madlife will be the pace-setter for the entire game.
Meanwhile, KT Rolster B's inSec is going to gank you, period. Zed may be an increasingly common mid lane pick in Europe, often credited with outright winning the LCS Spring Split showdown between Fnatic and Gambit BenQ, but it's inSec's jungle play on him and Lee Sin that should elicit fear from the opposing team. The western hemisphere's already gotten a taste of it once - a 2-0 set against Curse and 2-1 against Gambit BenQ back at the MLG Winter Championship in Dallas drove home just how powerful the relatively young Korean scene has become.
If the opposing teams allow top laner Shy to have Jayce, his combo attack with inSec is going to devastate the side lanes.
- Top Lane: Liu "PDD" Mou
- Jungler: Ming "Troll" Kai
- Mid Lane: Yu "Misaya" Jing-Xi
- Support: Sun "XiaoXiao" Ya-Long
- AD Carry: Gao "WeiXiao" Xue-Cheng
With a roster almost equally divided between the imperial might of World Elite and Invictus Gaming's wildfire aggression, the Chinese roster is considered by many to be the odds-on favorite of the entire international assembly. It may also be the only time that fans of both teams will join together to cheer them on - though the teams themselves have a cordial relationship, their epoch-defining fights for China's top spot has made for two highly contentious fan bases. To make matters more interesting, iG's recent triumphs over World Elite in the Tencent LoL Pro League has reversed their traditional roles, with WE now the perceived underdogs.
If there is one thing guaranteed about the China matchup, it is that Twisted Fate will always be banned or first-picked against Misaya. His prowess on the Card Master is the stuff of legends, making even the world's best teams look like uncoordinated solo queue players as he smashes through their best-laid plans with Gold Cards, Destiny, Gate, and the best timed Zhonya's Hourglass activations known to mortal man.
His teammates are equally formidable. AD Carry WeiXiao is, bar none, the most respected player of his role in the world, and sets the standards for mechanics and positioning excellence. iG Support player XiaoXiao's aggressive mechanics and mastery of Lulu will be more than enough to keep the heat off of WeiXiao.
- Top Lane: Wang "Stanley" June Tsan
- Jungler: Jason "HaRleLuYaR" Koh Wei Hao
- Mid Lane: Kurtis "Toyz" Lau
- Support: Chen "MiSTakE" Hui Chung
- AD Carry: Wong "Chawy" Xing Lei
The All-Stars match is something of a reunion for the Taipei Assassins' players. The Azubu Taipei Snipers' captain MiSTakE was TPA's captain prior to the founding of their sister team, and he confidently led them to the Season 2 world title. He will likely be the primary shotcaller for the team, directing their overall strategy against a formidable host of international opponents. That is, he'll be directing [i] almost [/i] everything, because South-East Asia's Top Lane is a mystery to absolutely everybody.
The only sure thing is that you can't ban it out. Azubu Taipei Assassins' Top Lane isn't just one of the world's premier talents of the role, he's also the least predictable, having fielded close to two dozen different champions over the course of both seasons of the Garena Premier League. As the original Top Lane pioneer, Stanley was directly responsible for Hextech Revolver's early nerf by stacking four at a time on Vladimir back when the item's spell vamp was not unique. He's since dabbled with Corki, was among the first with Trinity Force Nidalee, and even attempted top lane Cassiopeia - though the last one, at least, was fairly disastrous when field tested.
Toyz is internationally known at this point, thanks significantly due to the jaw-dropping, team-crushing antics of his Orianna's murderball last October. TPA's current team captain may often be overlooked when discussing international Mid Lane talents, thanks to the relative obscurity of the GPL scene, but both Alex Ich and Misaya know better than to underestimate his impact.
His compatriots from the Singapore Sentinels are less well-known, if undeservedly so: though their rare international appearances have been disappointing, it is only TPA's continued existence that keeps them from being the undisputed kings of the SEA scene. AD Carry Chawy, in particular, is a major playmaker despite his role's inclination towards passive reactivity, and is third overall in the GPL's KDA ranks right behind TPA's Bebe and Toyz. And where he can't make plays, Jungler HaRleLuYar is more than willing to pick up the slack, favoring the likes of aggressive champions like Lee Sin and Vi.
Of course, even as they come in with an advantageous bye, their most likely opposition will be China, the overall favorites. Furthermore, with two TPA captains and TPA's recent slump, it remains to be seen if team synergy will hold out against the combined adversarial pressure of World Elite and Invictus Gaming. SEA might have gotten an easy lift to the world stage ticket, but only up to the hardest part of the climb.