League of Legends World Championship 2016: Winners, Losers and Prize Pools

SKT once again asserted their dominance and took home their 3rd championship title

Another year of Korean success

The League of Legends World Championship, Worlds for short, is the game’s most important yearly tournament. 16 teams competed for the glory of taking home the Summoner’s Cup, but only one would be crowned 2016 world champions. Although competition was fierce, and many surprises were had, something that seemed to surprise no one was that the LCK’s SK Telecom T1 (SKT) emerged once again as world champions, marking this as their 3rd World Championship victory and becoming the first team ever to not only win 3 titles but to become back to back champions.

Korea’s domination of the esports scene seems absolute. As the season began, this year seemed to favor other regions, and it almost looked like Korea would be dethroned as the best region in the world. During the Mid-Season Invitational, a North American team, Counter Logic Gaming (CLG) was able to defy all expectations and were able to reach the finals against SKT. Although they lost, this gave North America and other regions hope that this Worlds would be different and that maybe Korea and the SKT powerhouse would taste the defeat they served to so many opponents before. Alas, it would not be so. Although they experienced a very turbulent regular season, SKT once again returned to dominate the Worlds stage and Korea’s other 2 teams, Samsung Galaxy (SSG) and Rox Tigers (ROX) showed the world that the LCK still stands tall above all other regions.

Prize Money

For the first time ever in Worlds history, fans could contribute to the prize pool by purchasing the Championship Zed skin and/or the Championship Ward skin. As of their last update on October 28th, Riot games has the prize pool up to $5.07 Million. Players can still continue to raise the value of the pool up until November 6th. The winnings will be distributed as follows:

  • 1st Place: 40%
  • 2nd Place: 15%
  • 3rd/4th Place: 7.5% each
  • 5th-8th Place: 4% each
  • 9th-12th Place: 2.25% each
  • 13th-16th Place: 1.25% each

This marks a change from past World Championships in where teams would take home a fixed amount.

*Actual values will be updated November 6th

 Standings and Team breakdown

16th Place:    Flash Wolves (FW)

Region:           LMS

Members:        MMD (Top)

                        Karsa (Jungle)

                        Maple (Mid)

                        NL (AD Carry)

                        SwordArt (Support)

                        Steak (Top, sub)

                        FluidWind (Coach)

Coming fresh off a championship split in  Taiwan’s LMS, Flash Wolves was another team many people expected to go farther than they did. Maple is one of the premiere mid laners from the LMS, able to hold his own against some of the world’s best, as well as Karsa, his man in the jungle. However they weren’t able to carry their team out of groups, managing only 2 victories. FW was a team that always started out strong but failed to close games, despite huge leads. To their credit they were drafted into one of the toughest groups, with SKT being one of their opponents. With any luck next year they won’t have such a tough run, if they manage to qualify again.

15th Place:    Splyce (SPY)

Region:           EU LCS

Members:         Wunder (Top)

                        Trashy (Jungle)

                        Sencux (Mid)

                        Kobbe (AD Carry)

                        Mikyx (Support)

                        Gripex (Jungle, sub)

                        YamatoCannon (Coach)

Another western disappointment, Splyce braved their way through the gauntlet only to go 1-5 in worlds, not unlike their EU brethren G2. Splyce’s only victory was against the LPL’s RNG in a close game. They have talented players, so it’s unclear why their run at worlds was so bad. While not necessarily bad on an individual level, they got smashed by the coordinated macro of better teams, a theme that was repeated a lot at this year’s worlds. Sadly for Splyce fans, we’ll have to wait until the spring 2017 LCS to see if they were able to fix their problems.

14th Place:    INTZ Esports (INT)

Region:           CBLoL

Members:         Yang (Top)

                        Revolta (Jungle)

                        Tockers (Mid)

                        MicaO (AD Carry)

                        Jockster (Support)

                        Cake1 (AD Carry, sub)

                        Abaxial (Coach)

Unlike ANX who made it out of groups and surprised the world, CBLoL’s INTZ pretty much surprised no one with their 1-5 run at worlds. While they managed to not get stomped in their matches and even managed to out-macro EDG in their only victory, the boys from Brazil weren’t able to replicate their success in the rest of their matches. Hopefully they take a page out of ANX’s book and next year show everyone that what ANX accomplished this year was not a fluke and that all wildcard teams are to be taken seriously.

13th Place:    G2 Esports (G2)

Region:           EU LCS

Members:         Expect (Top)

                        Trick (Jungle)

                        Perkz (Mid)

                        Zven (AD Carry)

                        Mithy (Support)

                        Unlimited (Support, sub)

                        Youngbuck (Coach)

Even though they qualified for worlds as EU’s first seed after winning their second split championship, G2 somehow managed to display none of the cohesion and dominance they showed in EU, ending with a dismal 1-5 record. While not particularly powerful, even in their own region, they managed to beat out all other opposition and won the summer LCS championship and qualify for worlds. However once at worlds they tilted off the face of the earth, and lost all but 1 of their games. Strange thing is their problems don’t stem from lack of talent, as they have what is arguably the best bot lane duo in the west in Zven and Mithy. For whatever reason, G2 choked the same way they did at MSI, and it’s starting to become a worrying trend for such a good lineup. With any luck they’ll get their things in order and won’t continue to give EU a bad name at international tournaments. 

12th Place:    IMay (IMA)

Region:           Chinese LPL

Members:       AmazingJ (Top)

                        Avoidless (Jungle)

                        Athena (Mid)

                        Jinjiao (AD Carry)

                        Road (Support)

                        Baeme (Mid, sub)

                        Kezman (Coach)

            China’s 3rd seed is no stranger to failure or difficult situations. Famous for being a team living on the endge of madness, this squad always seems to win when it counts. Another team that just had trouble in the macro game, IMAY couldn’t adapt in time and as a result didn’t make it out of groups. While not particularly bad, they just never seemed to put all the pieces together in order to really bring their full strength to bear. However it must be mentioned that they do have a knack for winning key matches, despite their losing record internationally and at home. Having managed to classify for worlds proves that these players have the potential for great things and fans of the LPL should keep an eye on them in the upcoming season.

11th Place:    Team SoloMid (TSM)

Region:           NA LCS

Members:         Hauntzer (Top)

                        Svenskeren (Jungle)

                        Bjergsen (Mid)

                        Doublelift (AD Carry)

                        Biofrost (Support)

                        Reginald (Mid, sub)

                        Parthenaan (Coach)

Ah, TSM. To say this team had high expectations succeeding at worlds is an understatement. TSM carried the entire weight of a region after showing a level of gameplay not seen in the region since Season 3 Cloud 9.They absolutely dominated everyone during the summer LCS, dropping only 1 game during the regular season. Analysts from all regions regularly commented on the progress shown by TSM and the high degree of individual skill each member displayed in their role. Bjergsen, or NA Faker as he’s also known, showed no mercy in the mid lane during the summer split, however at worlds it seems the nerves took over and he failed to win his lane when it counted. Doublelift also failed at key moments in key games, something that we haven’t seen from him in very long time. This was in stark contrast to how they looked going into worlds. They were recognized as a powerful organizations, even by the Koreans who said they were the “real deal”. Sadly, they lost their way out of groups, although barely, with a 3-3 record. This came as a surprise to not only their legions of fans but to analysts and fans everywhere. They looked so good coming out of the summer LCS that their failure at worlds shocked everyone. With news of Doublelift taking the spring split off, things look shaky for TSM as a team in terms of having another legitimate shot at the summoner’s cup next year.

10th Place:    ahq Esports Club (AHQ)

Region:           Taiwan GPL

Members:         Ziv (Top)

                        Mountain (Jungle)

                        Westdoor (Mid)

                        AN (AD Carry)

                        Albis (Support)

                        Chawy (Mid, sub)

                        Greentea (Coach)

Taiwan’s AHQ had big shoes to fill coming in to worlds. They aspired to win the title like Taipei Assassins did back in season 2, an enemy they have battled over the years. Sadly even though their players Westdoor and Mountain put up commendable performances, ahq sadly didn’t make it out of groups, something that sadly didn’t seem to surprise a lot of people, including regional fans. This season had a lot of ups and downs for ahq but hopefully next year they’ll return and after a lot of practice, show everyone that they have what it takes to bring the Summoner’s Cup back to Taiwan.

9th Place:      Counter Logic Gaming (CLG)

Region:           NA LCS

Members:         Darshan (Top)

                        Xmithie (Jungle)

                        Huhi (Mid)

                        Stixxay (AD Carry)

                        Aphromoo (Support)

                        YoonA (AD Carry, sub)

                        Zikzlol (Coach)

After their impressive run at MSI, fans and analysts all expected success from the CLG camp in summer. However, something broke between MSI finals nad the beginning of summer, and CLG literally lost it all. A team that had shown dominance for most of the year for some reason just ran out of steam in summer, where it really counted. Although CLG had already qualified for worlds based on their championship points, no one expected them to want to take the easy way out. They tried to fix theiir issues and although they barely made it into quarters during summer, The TSM train rolled right over them and knocked them out. Fans hoped that they would take this extra time off to practice and improve their team play and for a while at worlds it seemed they had done just that. Due to their early success a lot of people really expected CLG to go far. Or at least farther than they did. Although they held their own during the laning phase, with Darshan being one of the most dominant top laners at worlds, and aphromoo showing his prowess on his signature Bard, they weren't able to deal with the eastern teams and their macro skill. Two time NA LCS champions, CLG will want to address their issues for next season and show the world that their worthy of more titles.

8th Place:      Albus Nox Luna (ANX)

Region:           Russia CIS

Members:        Smurf (Top)

                        PvPStejos (Jungle)

                        Kira (Mid)

                        aMiracle (AD Carry)

                        Likkrit (Support)

                        Unho1y (AD Carry, sub)

                        Ansva (Coach)

 CIS’s Albus Nox Luna surprised everyone and defied all expectations by not only taking games off some of the best teams at the tournament, but also by becoming the first ever wildcard team to make it out of groups. They even managed to take a game off ROX, something “better” teams weren’t able to do and definitely something that no one expected. Their high risk, high reward style of playing brought rush of excitement to the rift, with unorthodox picks like support Brand coming out and melting people. It was this degree of surprise, the threat of the unknown that allowed Albus Nox to make it to quarters. While their championship run came to an end when they went up against H2K in quarters in a stunning 3-0 series, they proved to the world that wildcard teams are nothing to be laughed at.

7th Place:      Edward Gaming (EDG)

Region:           Chinese LPL

Members:         Mouse (Top)

                        Clearlove (Jungle)

                        Scout (Mid)

                        Deft (AD Carry)

                        Meiko (Support)

                        Pawn (Mid, sub)

                        Rapidstar (Coach)

Right behind their region partners RNG, EDG qualified to worlds as china’s 1st seed. After what many called a season of dominance, EDG stated that they were coming in to worlds on a mission. To prove that China's LPL was a region to be taken seriously and that they would not repeat the failure shown by said region last year at worlds and this year at MSI. Although they were drafted into one of the “weaker” groups in terms of teams, EDG came second behind H2K. Unlucky for them, they met up with the Rox Tigers in quarters and lost the series 3-1. Most analysts predicted them to at least make semis due to their commanding run during the regular season in the LPL. However, once drafted against ROX it was an uphill battle against the Korean giants. They fought valiantly and showed improvement against their Korean adversaries but it just wasn't enough and the LPL’s hopes went out with them.

6th Place:      Royal Never Give Up (RNG)

Region:           Chinese LPL

Members:       Looper (Top)

                        Mlxg (Jungle)

                        Xiaohu (Mid)

                        Uzi (AD Carry)

                        Mata (Support)

                        Wuxx (AD Carry, sub)

                        Fly (Coach)

China’s 2nd seed, RNG also went to worlds hungry for redemption after their region’s laughable performance last year. After being drafted into Group D alongside NA’s 1st seed Team SoloMid and SSG, RNG were able surprise many and make it out of groups (with some difficulty). Sadly for them they were drafted against defending champions SKT in the quarters. Although they managed to take a game off from champions SKT in an exciting game, they lost the series 3-1 and were eliminated. It’s important to note though that Uzi and Mata were one of the most dominating bot lanes at worlds this year, Uzi receiving particular praise on champions like Caitlyn and Ezreal.

5th Place:      Cloud 9 (C9)

Region:           NA LCS

Members:       Impact (Top)

                        Meteos (Jungle)

                        Jensen (Mid)

                        Sneaky (AD Carry)

                        Smoothie (Support)

                        Thinkcard (Jungle, sub)

                        Reapered (Coach)

North America’s last hope, Cloud 9 has a long history of being the last NA team left standing against the eastern heavy hitters. Their worlds run this year was pretty decent, they managed to hold their own against some of the best in the world. Sadly they just weren’t consistent in their performance after Jensen was solo killed in many of their matches, same as Impact in the top lane. Something that after both of their performances in summer playoffs, came as a disappointment to their fans. Sadly in the quarters they were handed a stunning defeat by SSG in a clean 3-0 series. Even though the matches weren’t exactly stomps, there wasn’t much C9 could do against the Korean onslaught. Cloud 9 showed that western teams are improving and maybe next season will be theirs to win and finally bring the Summoner’s Cup to NA.

4th Place:      H2K Gaming

Region:           EU LCS

Members:       Odoamne (Top)

                        Jankos (Jungle)

                        Ryu (Mid)

                        Forg1ven (AD Carry)

                        VandeR (Support)

                        Freeze (AD Carry, sub)

                        Pr0lly (Coach)

A team many people were quick to write off was the EU LCS’ 3rd seed, H2K. Their season run was nothing amazing, finding varying degrees of success here and there. H2k was anything but a dominant team and their first week at worlds was pretty dismal. However these boys took their time off to study the weaknesses of the teams in their group and stunned everyone when in the second week they went 4-0, beating all opposition, including Chinese favorites EDG. In quarters they were drafted against Albus Nox Luna and handed them a convincing defeat, having all lanes winning and closing out the games in dominating fashion. However the true test was yet to come as they had to play Samsung Galaxy fresh of their 3-0 victory over Cloud 9. Despite a brave effort, they met their end at the hands of SSG in a clean 3-0 sweep. Although one can’t downplay their accomplishment as they were the western team that made it farthest in Worlds. H2K is definitely a team to keep an eye on coming in to season 7.

3rd Place:      Rox Tigers

Region:           LCK

Members:         Smeb (Top)

                        Peanut (Jungle)

                        KurO (Mid)

                        PraY (AD Carry)

                        GorillA (Support)

                        Cry (Mid, sub)

                        NoFe (Coach)

More so than SKT, ROX were heavy tournament favorites coming into Worlds 2016. After having beaten out region favorites SKT in the LCK summer split semi-finals, they went on to win their first regional championship against KT Rolster in a 5 game series that is still considered to be one of the most closely matched series by top tier teams ever (2 HP smite anyone?). Smeb was, for a while, considered to be the best player in the world and Peanut surprised everyone with his complete domination of the jungle at Worlds. Analysts and fans alike thought that ROX and SKT would meet in the finals, giving the summer split champions a chance at redemption for last year. Although we did end up getting that matchup, it was a lot sooner that expected as they were drafted to the same side of the bracket during quarters and ended up meeting in the semis. After playing a 5 game series, considered by many to be the best and most exciting in Worlds history, they were defeated by SKT who once again proved to the world they were serious about a 3rt chamionship win. Despite not making it to the finals Rox once again proved to the world that they too are a team to be feared they won't stop til the cup is theirs.

2nd Place:      Samsung Galaxy (SSG)

Region:           LCK

Members:         CuVee (Top)

                        Ambition (Jungle)

                        Crown (Mid)

                        Ruler (AD Carry)

                        CoreJJ (Support)

                        Wraith (Support, sub)

                        Edgar (Coach)

LCK’s 3rd seed began their worlds run back in the LCK summer regional qualifiers by surprising everyone and  beating out favorites KT Rolster. For a team that was basically a rag tag group of misfits, this came a second wind for a team with such a disappointing regular season. However they defied all expectations in their run through the gauntlet beating out the Afreeca Freecs and taking down KT Rolster in a nail-biting 5 game series that will be remembered forever. Despite their success in the regional qualifiers fans and analysts alike were quick to dismiss them, saying that if the finals would be between 2 Korean teams it would surely be SKT vs. Rox Tigers. SSG  had something to say about that and continued their string of surprises with an almost flawless run through the entire tournament, having only dropped 1 game, which was to NA’s Team SoloMid. It was not until the finals against SKT that Samsung tasted defeat again. In an amazing 5 game series, Samsung was able to come back from edge and defeated SKT twice in a row after losing the first 2 matches. However fatigue got the best of them and they crumbled in their 5th match against Faker and the rest of the SKT lineup. While they weren't able to recapture the glory the organization achieved 2 years ago, they definately stated that SKT will have to work extra hard if they want yet another championship next year. For an organization with such a troubled history (they lost their entire roster after 2014’s championship win), SSG has to be congratulated for what they achieved and no one can say that they didn’t deserve to go as far as they did in worlds. It just goes to show that when it comes to League of Legends, you can never underrate a Korean team.

1st Place:       SK Telecom T1 (SKT)

Region:                    LCK

Members:                 Duke (Top)

                                Blank (Jungle)

                                Faker (Mid)

                                Bang (AD Carry)

                                Wolf (Support)

                                Bengi (Jungle, sub)

                                Kkoma (Coach)

SKT are the masters of the universe when it comes to League of Legends. To say that this team is good and they dominate their opponents doesn’t come close to describing just how good they really are. In the last 4 world championships, they have taken home 3 titles. 2015 and 2016 being back to back champions, something no other team has even come close to achieving. Faker, SKT’s mid laner is widely considered to be the best player in the world currently and ever. His skills have become something of a legend in the esports scene and even losing to him is an honor. Wether on the worlds stage or in solo queue, Faker shows a level of skill unmatched by anyone else. However, he is just one of SKT’s shining stars. The entire roster sports players with exceptional individual skill. Bang showed this season why he is one of the world’s best in his role with champions like Ezreal and Jhin. Bengi, after facing criticism and being called SKT’s “weak link”, came back from the bench in semi-finals to carry his team to victory on a champion he had never played competitively before and this allowed them to reach the finals and another world title. Although 2016 was rocky towards the end of the summer split for SKT, this season showed that no matter what happens, you can never count SKT out and if you face them you better come prepared.

Worlds 2016 was many things, especially surprising. In groups it seemed that everyone had the ability to beat everyone else and it was chaotic for the first weeks. Teams that everyone expected to shine were absent and new unexpected names took their place.  Although it seemed for a while that any region, any team had the potential to take the cup home, it was once again SKT and the LCK that rose above everyone else and claimed glory. Once thing can be said with certainty though, this world championship brought us some of the best games ever in League of Legends competitive history and fans everywhere are excited to see what next season brings.

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