Esports fans couldn’t have asked for a better start to the month of November this year with Blizzcon being in full swing, including both the Overwatch World Cup and Hearthstone Global Games. The League of Legends World Championships also came to its conclusion creating a remarkable few days of esports action.
The final 8 teams in the world were finally able to battle it out for international supremacy this past weekend and immediately the tournament was filled with unexpected results. The quarter finals featured an immediate upset with the United States falling to the United Kingdom 3-1. With many fans and experts expecting America to make it to the final rounds of the competition this loss was a major shock.
The surprises weren’t done there however as China easily beat out Finland 3-0 in the tournament’s opening round. With the Shanghai Dragons, the sole Overwatch League team composed of Chinese players, doing so poorly in the opening season many fans expected China to make an early exit but the team was determined to prove to the world they were to be taken seriously.
They continued their strong showing in the second round by also sweeping the Canadian team, who had gotten an impressive 3-0 victory of their own against France in the quarter finals. This set the stage for an Asian Grand Finals with South Korea and China going head to head.
Here China finally met their match, being swept by the South Korean team many correctly predicted to emerge as the champions entering the weekend. The 3-0 route was a symbolic finish to a tournament where only one series required the full five games.
That series was the third place match between Canada and the United Kingdom and it was easily one of the most exciting series of the entire weekend. The United Kingdom was able to win the first and third game forcing Canada to win games four and five with their backs against the wall to secure the bronze. If you love competitive Overwatch and missed this series it is definitely worth a watch – you can check it out along with the rest of the games from the Overwatch World Cup on the official videos page.
The Hearthstone Global games also game to their conclusion this weekend and it was ultimately China who emerged with this year’s international crown making it a very successful weekend for Chinese esports all around.
They didn’t get off to the best start in this year’s event going 4-2 in the opening round which netted them a sixth place finish. Their second round went much better going undefeated through their four team pool and putting them in the upper half of the bracket for the final weekend of competition.
The playoff stage was a dominant showing from the Chinese team as they again went undefeated through their group – although their final match with Hong Kong went the full 5 games and was incredibly close.
The final two elimination rounds were when the Chinese clearly established themselves as the best, emerging with perfect sweeps in both the semi finals against Norway and the finals against Brazil. Dispatching of both other nations that had made it to the final stages of this grueling event left no doubt that Chinese team are the current best in the world.
The 2018 League of Legends World Championship has finally come to its conclusion and it was a truly extraordinary year on a number of different counts. For the first time since the inaugural World Championship in 2011 no South Korean team made it to the semi finals. Instead one Chinese team, a North American squad and two European rosters were in this year’s final four.
As such Western fans were hopeful that they would be able to bring home their first championship since 2018 but unfortunately it wasn’t meant to be. Invictus Gaming, the sole Chinese representative was able to sweep both European representatives G2 Esports and Fnatic on route to the first ever Chinese World Championship. If you missed any of the action you can check out the official VoD page for full replays from the entire World Championship.