Melany M. September 17, 2018
For the first time in history, the Asian Games included esports as demonstration sports. Arena of Valor, Clash Royale, Hearthstone, League of Legends, Pro Evolution Soccer, and StarCraft 2 were the games selected for the event.
The League of Legends tournament lasted two days with a group stage, semifinals, and finals. Korea ended the group stage undefeated and China had two losses to Korea. China made it to the finals after defeating Chinese Taipei, while Korea beat Saudi Arabia.
In game one, China constantly pressured Lee "Faker" Sang-hyeok. Jungler Liu "Mlxg" Shi-Yu rotated between the mid and bottom lanes. Kim “Kiin” Ki-in took advantage of the situation and got first blood and the first turret.
China got the most out of its resources in getting Jian “Uzi” Zi-Hao ahead. The chain crowd control from China’s champions was too much for Korea to counter. Uzi's Varus showed why he is considered one of the best players in the world, and China won the first game.
For game two, Korea changed the strategy and tried to get Faker ahead early. Su “xiye” Han-Wei was the target of Korea’s aggression and died in lane multiple times.
The new plan proved to be effective, it was only possible through the performance by Go “Score” Dong-bin. Korea secured a baron buff and the elder drake to seal a victory.
China learned from their game two mistakes quickly and instead of trying to protect xiye against Faker, they found advantages elsewhere on the map. It was Uzi's time again, as the AD carry pressured Park “Ruler” Jae-hyuk in lane with help from xiye and Mlxg.
The rest of the Korean squad couldn’t respond to the bottom lane aggression, getting Uzi ahead and enabling him to lead China to a game three win.
One game away from defeat, it was time for Faker to stand out. He dominated the laning phase in the fourth game, but it still wasn’t enough.
Every time Korea tried to secure baron, China found a way to push them off of the objective. Aggressive and assertive team fights from China eventually secured them a baron buff of their own, which proved enough to secure for China both game four and the gold medal.