The annual League of Legends All-Star event kicked off on December 6th. Riot Games has hosted the event for many years following the Worlds Championship finals. Taking place in the eSports Arena in Las Vegas, NV, USA, the favorite League of Legends players from across the globe gather once more to meet in a less serious environment, this time tailored to the fanbase rather than the competition. This year marks a particular change as the game’s community will be competing alongside the professionals. Immortal names such as Korea’s Lee “Faker” Sang-Hyeok and China’s Jian “Uzi” Zihao will be competing alongside world personalities such as America’s Michael “imaqtpie” Santana and Brazil’s Felipe “YoDa” Noronha. In total, the All-Star event includes 64 fan-voted players from across the globe, made up from 2 professionals from each competitive region, 2-3 League Partners (prominent community members such as streamers and content creators) from each region, and four professional players “All-Star Invitees” chosen by Riot Games. The event will feature the classic All-Star 1v1 tournament, a charity 2v2 tournament, regional rivalry show matches, an east versus west All-Star showdown match, and mixed-team alternate game mode matches. All-Stars 2018 is shaping up to be the greatest one yet, and the hype surrounding it has been astonishing.
Rival Show Match
Kicking off the event was the first regional rivalry show match where North America would face off with longtime rival Europe, competing purely for bragging rights. Each team was compromised of professionals and partners alike, boasting huge names in the League of Legends scene. North America’s team – NA WIN – featured Cloud9’s top laner Eric “Licorice” Ritchie and AD carry Zachary “Sneaky” Scuderi, streamer and content creator Rabia “Nightblue3” Yazbek, Team Liquid’s AD carry Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng, and lastly, the 2016 winner of the prestigious Streamer of the Year award, Michael “imaqtpie” Santana. With a team of a top laner, a jungler, and three AD carry players, naturally, someone would have to off-role. “Licorice” and “Nightblue3” stuck to their roles along with “Doublelift” getting the AD carry position over “Sneaky” and “imaqtpie” off-role. “Sneaky” took it upon himself to be the mid laner for the team, leaving “imaqtpie” to shoulder the support role alongside “Doublelift” in the bottom lane. On the opposing side was former EU LCS pro player turned streamer Mike “Wickd” Petersen in his native role of top lane, Fnatic jungler Mads “Broxah” Brock-Pedersen, Team Vitality’s mid laner Daniele “Jiizuké” di Mauro, the newly acquired mid laner for G2, Rasmus “Caps” Winther, as well as Frederik “NoWay” Hinteregger, a European Challenger Series mid laner. Also boasting a team of three players of the same role, the Europeans decided to keep “Wickd” and Broxah in their roles and reserved the mid lane role for “Jiizuké,” leaving “Caps” and “NoWay” to off role bottom having the former play AD carry and the recent play support. The match was action packed from the very beginning with a rather interesting champ select coming from both sides. North America drafted a double marksman composition having “Licorice” take Lucian up in the top lane and safely drafting Ezreal for “Doublelift” in the AD carry position to deal with the heavy frontline threats that Europe drafted. They also picked up the newly-released champion Neeko for “Nightblue3” in the jungle, an easy power-pick in LeBlanc for “Sneaky,” topped off “imaqtpie’s” support pick of Braum to round off the team defensively. Europe drafted strong, comfortable picks all the way through for their team having “Wickd” on his preferred Jax pick, “Broxah” on Xin Zhao, “Jiizuké” on his Cassiopeia pocket-pick, and off-roles “Caps” and “NoWay” synergizing with each other in their Kalista and Blitzcrank picks.
Completing the draft, the showdown between the best in the west had begun. Giving a summary of each team’s composition and strategy, North America’s team composition featured next to no frontline in a team full of carries, opting to try and brute force each lane. Europe, on the other hand, drafted a rather standard composition, having more of a standard team fight oriented strategy without sacrificing any lane pressure. Early on, the game featured many kills coming out from both sides. “Licorice” asserted himself as the dominant top laner against the veteran “Wickd”, solo killing him early. With many roams coming out from the North American mid laner “Sneaky,” NA was able to start to mount a lead over their European rivals. Before it could take off, a poor engagement from “Sneaky” onto “Jiizuké” resulted in the deaths of himself and his jungler as the European made quick work of the 2v1 attempt. On the opposite side of the map, the power duo of NA’s top AD carry players was falling incredibly short against the “Balista” combo the Europeans drafted. Towards the midgame, NA secured back to back dragons, one being an ocean and the other being infernal. A poor team fight followed soon as “imaqtpie” was repeatedly caught out by “NoWay’s” hooks, forcing NA to fight with a man down.
Similarly, both of the mid game team fights had some hope with “Nightblue3” getting fantastic 3-4-man ultimate hits from the Neeko, but with no early follow-up, EU rolled over their opponents. With “Wickd” being given free rein to scale for so long, a double team gank was initiated upon the European, falling once more to his lane opponent in “Licorice” who secured a rather large 800 gold bounty. Europe now desperate for some pressure called a baron play. While managing to secure it, the Europeans fell short in the subsequent team fight and were aced for the first time in the game, throwing a huge hold swing back towards NA as another 900 gold bounty was secured by killing “Jiizuké.” “Nightblue3” made his way towards the spawning drake and captured a mountain drake for his team. Now armed with three different dragon bonuses and roughly a three thousand gold lead, NA managed to claw their way back into the game. However, this lead was extremely short-lived as a staggered march from the North Americans down mid lane resulted in a 4v5 fight as “Licorice” was attempting to split push top lane. Teleporting in as soon as he could, “Licorice” found himself in the middle of 4 Europeans and fell soon after. Losing this fight forced the remaining NA players to lick their wounds and retreat as EU took their mid lane tier 2 and three towers as well as the inhibitor. An odd fight broke out around the 32-minute mark resulting in a draw. “Caps” felt he had the chance to pick up a mountain drake for his team and positioned himself accordingly. The North Americans realized that they were healthier after the fight and the European team had recalled to heal, calling towards a baron play. It was successfully smited by “Nightblue3” as a very staggered European team tried to brawl in the pit. Once again acing their counterparts, a siege was rushed down mid with all the death timers still ticking. The far westerners had achieved a well-earned victory over their European rivals, ending the game at the 34-minute mark soon with a scoreline of 30-28 in favor of NA, seven turrets to 3 and a six thousand gold lead also in favor of NA. It was an action-packed match from its beginning to its conclusion.
Charity 2v2 Tournament
Following the rivalry show match, the Charity 2v2 tournament made its way onto the stage. Each team would be guaranteed a minimum of ten thousand United States dollars to the charity of their choice; the grand prize being one hundred thousand USD. The tournament featured 16 teams made up of one professional player and one League Partner. The teams were pitted in a tournament bracket and made up as follows:
EU Alexelcapo & Caps | OCE Midbeast & Triple | KR Captain Jack & Faker | BR YoDa & brTT | SEA Riku & G4 | LMS NL & Maple | VN QTV & Zeros | TR Immortoru & Dumbledoge | JP sutanmi & Ceros | CIS FlashInTheNight & Diamondprox | CN Guan Zong & Uzi | NA Voyboy & Doublelift | LAN ReubenMaster & Seiya | CN Luo YunXi & Rookie | LAS Capri & Tierwulf | NA Shiphtur & Licorice
Each match was played in accordance to standard Riot Games tournament style rules on the Howling Abyss map. Each team would get three bans and would blind pick their duo. There were three victory types in the tournament; either by being the first team to secure 100 cs (creep score), be the first team to secure a tower, or be the first team to reach two kills. The initial brackets were revealed, allowing the public eye to see what the Round of 16 had to offer in the coming moments.
Round of 16:
Game 1: Alexelcapo (Zyra) & Caps (Neeko) win via the Two Kills Victory over Midbeast (Zoe) & Triple (Jhin)
Game 2: Captain Jack (Lucian) & Faker (Alistar) win via Two Kills Victory over YoDa (Swain) & brTT (Brand)
Game 3: Riku (Karma) & G4 (Taliyah) defeated via 100 Creep Score Victory under Maple (Kennen) & NL (Varus)
Game 4: QTV (Brand) & Zeros (Varus) win via Two Kills Victory over Immortoru (Xerath) & Dumbledoge (Lux)
Game 5: Sutanmi (Jhin) & Ceros (Xerath) defeated via Two Kills Victory under FlashInTheNight (Brand) & DiamondProx (Annie)
Game 6: Guan Zong (Fiddlesticks) & Uzi (Lucian) defeated via 100 Creep Score Victory under Voyboy (Cassiopeia) and Doublelift (Varus)
Game 7: Reubenmaster (Malphite) & Seiya (Kalista) defeated via Two Kills Victory under LYX (Caitlyn) & Rookie (Syndra)
Game 8: Tierwulf (Miss Fortune) & Capri (Zyra) defeated via First Tower Victory under Licorice (Vel’Koz) & Shiphtur (Heimerdinger)
Pro-Am Nexus Blitz Show Match
As the end of the first round knock out stage of the Charity 2v2 tournament came around, the tourney was able to take a shift and allowed for a different change of pace. Coming to the stage now was the first Nexus Blitz Show Match as per the alternate game mode competition featuring some of the world’s best. The teams were divided by side having Blue team made up of Sergen “Broken Blade” Çelik in the jungle role (Vayne), Eric “Licorice” Ritchie also jungling (Amumu), and laners Lee “Faker” Sang-Hyeok (Neeko), Huang “Maple” Yi-Tang (Wukong) and Édgar “Seiya” Ali Bracamontes Munguía (Poppy). They would be competing against the Red team whose members were Sebastián “Tierwulf” Andrés Mateluna Cibrario (Aatrox) and Rafael “Rakin” Knittel (Rakan) as the team’s junglers as well as Phạm “Zeros” Minh Lộc (Lee Sin), Jian “Uzi” Zi-Hao, Daniele (Vayne) and “Jiizuké” di Mauro (Katarina) as the laners. Nexus Blitz is the newest game mode introduced to this year’s All-Stars event. In essence, the mode is an arena-style five versus five where much like the other game modes, each team battles to destroy the opposing team’s nexus. What separates Nexus Blitz from the other game modes are the mini-games that occur during the match and the hyper-scaling rate of the game, usually ending within a 15-minute timeframe. Upon winning the mini-games, the team that completed the objective will receive a special teamwide buff to assist them in snowballing to victory.
Events of Nexus Blitz
- Bardle Royale: A battle royale style event where each team fights to be the last team standing as a flaming circle quickly closes in on a specific area of the map. Should you find yourself unlucky enough to be outside of the circle, your health will burn rapidly every second you spend outside of the play area.
- Paranoia Royale: Much like the Bardle Royale with the major difference being that the map is affected by Paranoia (Nocturne’s ultimate ability) where everything is covered in the fog of war except for a small range around each champion. The last team standing wins this event.
- Bardle Royale: Juggernaut: Also, like the bardle royale event, each team receives one “juggernaut” buff on one of their members where they receive a larger health pool, more damage given, and less damage taken overall. The same concepts occur in this event, the last team standing wins.
- Push the Cart: A payload spawns in the middle lane of either lane and each team battles to push the cart into the nearest structure. The more members within the cart’s influence range, the faster it moves.
- Loot Teemo / Veigar: A mini-boss that spawns and roams the map. Every member who attacks the boss receives bonus gold for damage dealt. Whichever team gets the final hit on the boss wins the challenge.
- Rift Scuttler Racing: Each team has a scuttle crab that they must race from the top side of the map to the bottom side. By killing the opposing team’s crab, it takes a short rest and heals back to full life after 3 seconds. The first crab to reach the finish line wins.
- King of the Hill: A control point spawns randomly on the map. The first team to fill its gauge by staying within the point’s borders wins.
- URF Deathmatch: This is an exciting mode as both teams fight within a small arena in the middle of the map. Each member has three lives and also receives the “URF” buff which allows for the ultra-rapid-fire shenanigans to occur as everyone has 80% cooldown reduction and unlimited ability resources.
- Prize Fight: A gladiatorial style contest in which each team is split into two matches of 2v2’s and one match of 1v1’s. Whichever team wins the most duels are crowned the victor of the event.
- Snowball Fight: Each team’s summoner spells are switched to a throwable snowball that follows a linear skill shot, identical to the summoner spell found on the All Random All Mid game mode. The first team to fill their bar with successful snowball hits wins.
- Sudden Death: Should the game timer reach 18 minutes; this final event is initiated. Each team’s nexus begins to move towards each other, running down the middle lane much like a giant super minion. The first team to destroy the opposing nexus wins the entire game.
The match began with a multitude of scraps before the first event came around. At the 5-minute mark, the first event was ready to start. The Bardle Royale! The enclosing ring of fire favored the side of the Red Team as they were losing thus far. Unfortunately for them, Zeros was at 25% and was unable to recall before the event had begun, leaving his team behind. After a rough engage from “Rakin,” Blue team turned the tables by throwing both “Licorice” and “Faker” into the middle of the enemy team, both getting huge value from the Neeko ultimate. This allowed for the boys in Blue to quickly sweep up the remaining Red team on the back of “Licorice” picking up a triple kill and taking the win on the first event. Their buff for winning was a chain-lightning strike on auto attacks, similar to that provided by the item Statikk Shiv. Immediately after respawning, the Red team opted for some guerrilla warfare, hiding in the mid lane bushes hoping to catch out unsuspecting Blue members. With a successful pick, the Red team bit off more than they could chew and found themselves in the middle of retaliation as “Broken Blade’s” Vayne rolled through the opposition, also netting himself a triple kill. The red team tried to bide their time as the next event came around, the Prize Fight.
The first duel was between “Maple” and “Licorice” against “Uzi” and “Rakin.” The Blue side made short work of their opponents as “Licorice” was not only on fire (dealing more damage and harder to kill) but he was also three levels up on the two players who were unfortunate enough to meet him in the arena. With a quick engage, “Licorice” instantly killed “Uzi” and “Rakin” fell shortly after. Round two featured “Broken Blade” and “Seiya” versus “Zeros” and “Jiizuké” who were both two levels below “Broken Blade.” A rough attempt by “Jiizuké” to dispose of Vayne caused himself to be stunned by “Seiya’s” Poppy as “Broken Blade” dispatched his opponents. The third and final prize fight seemed to have bugged out as “Tierwulf” found himself in a one versus 2 with last round’s winners rather than the 1v1 he was expecting. With his back against the wall, he tried his best, killing “Broken Blade” but was defeated by “Seiya.” Blue team was now 10K gold up over their opponents and for winning their prize fights, were gifted a catapult in their fountain, enabling them to launch themselves anywhere they wanted over 75% of the map. Capitalizing on their lead, the Blue squad picked up the Rift Herald objective which acts as both the standard Rift Herald and Baron buff. They promptly stomped out their opponents, taking the enemy nexus within 12 minutes.
Mixed-Pros Tandem Match
Another different event was on the horizon as the first Mixed-Pros Tandem match followed the Nexus Blitz. The Tandem event featured two pros per champion, having one player on the keyboard and the other on the mouse. Once again, the teams were named after the respective sides of the map they were playing on in Summoner’s Rift. Blue team’s pairs were made up of Shunsuke “Evi” Murase with Kyohei “Ceros” Yoshida in the top lane (as Heimerdinger), Danil “Diamondprox” Reshetnikov with Liu “Mlxg” Shi-Yu in the jungle (as Hecarim), Mykhailo “Kira” Harmash with Song “Rookie” Eui-Jin in the mid lane (as Akali), Zachary “Sneaky” Scuderi with Bae “Bang” Jun-Sik in the bottom lane (as Xayah) and Sergen “Broken Blade” Çelik with Liu “Westdoor” Shu-Wei as the support (as Rakan). On the opposing Red team, Nuttapong “G4” Menkasikan and Atit “Rockky” Phaomuang helmed the top lane (as Darius), Gao “Ning” Zhen-Ning and Han “Peanut” Wang-ho were the junglers (as Lee Sin), Phạm “Zeros” Minh Lộc with Daniele “Jiizuké” di Mauro in the mid lane (as Karthus), Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng paired with Felipe “brTT” Gonçalves (as Draven), and lastly, Jackson “Pabu” Pavone and Nguyễn “Artifact” Văn Hậu were in the support slot (as Thresh).
The game began with a level 1 invade by the Red team as they hid in the bottom lane tri-bush, picking off a weary “BrokenDoor” tandem as they sought a vision. From there, the game was an absolute chaotic mess across the map as many tandem players fell from misplays to tower dives to ganks. “mlxDiamond” took the early game by storm on Hecarim, netting 100% kill participation in 8 kills within 7 minutes. Within the next 3 minutes, several fights broke out, allowing to term “fiesta” to be coined as each team averaged more than a kill per minute, the Blue team having 16 and Red having 11. The fiesta continued throughout the mid-game as well, the killing only taking a break for Red team securing two mountain drakes in a row, allowing the split pushing “G Rock” and “Jiz00ke” to take the first two tier towers in their respective lanes with the help of “Ping.” The kills continued to stack up on both sides until a baron call was made by the Red side at the 22-minute mark, ensuring that the lead they have been fighting for would continue during the power play. Two minutes later, poor positioning coming from the Red team resulted in them being aced, losing their baron buff and allowing the Blue side to mount a comeback. Minutes later, the Reds returned the favor and aced the Blues right back after a messy dive under the enemy tier 3 mid turret. As the 30-minute mark approached, there were 90 total kills drawn with 45 on both sides. The red team remained ahead in objectives having three drakes to 1, a 6 thousand gold lead, and a second baron buff to continue the siege down mid lane, taking the inhibitor and acing the Blue side, ending the game at 32 minutes.
Proceeding with the second last event of the night, the Pro-Am All Random Ultra Rapid-Fire mode was ready to succeed the hype after the last game. In another show match, professionals and League Partners alike were linked together to take on the chaos that would ensue knowing full well what was in store during the URF game mode. Being the All Random variant of the mode, each player could not physically select what champion they would play as they were assigned random characters. The Blue team was made up of European content creator Julian “GoB GG” Treguer (as Quinn), professional jungler for team Fnatic Mads “Broxah” Brock-Pedersen (as Lux), Vietnamese pro Nguyễn “Artifact” Văn Hậu of team FFQTV Gaming (as Udyr), Bae “Bang” Jun-Sik the new AD carry for the North American team 100 Thieves (as Soraka), and former-pro player turned influencer, Park “Shy” Sang-Myeon (as Kayle). They would clash against the Red team whose lineup was made up of LPL influencer Zhou Shuyi (as Sejuani), Chinese legend Jian “Uzi” Zi-Hao of team Royal Never Give Up (as Urgot), Joaquín José “Plugo” Pérez of team All Knights from Latin America South (as Twisted Fate), and former teammates Zachary “Sneaky” Scuderi of Cloud9 (as Nautilus) and the retired Hai “Hai” Du Lam (as Gragas).
Within 30 seconds of staring the game, a fight immediately broke out in the top side river near mid, costing the lives of 3 Red side members. This snowball continued to roll as Blue team completely took over the early game with top side dominance from “GoB GG” and “Artifact” and a completely devastating bot lane combo between “Broxah’s” Lux and “Shy’s” Kayle, shutting down “Sneaky” and “Hai.” The grasp that Blue team had over the Red squad never let up as they secured an infernal drake to further increase their damage at 8 minutes. At this point, Blue was up 14 kills and 8 thousand gold. The next 4 minutes was a stomp from there on as the Blue team were so confident, they were diving the Reds in their base, increasing the kill score to 44-13 before securing the middle lane inhibitor at the 12-minute mark. Continuing to toy with the enemy, the Blue team secured another infernal drake and plowed through the desperate Red squad as they attempted to contest the buff. Mercy was shown to the Reds who fought bravely as the Blues finally ended the game just under 20 minutes, having a 16K gold, eight turrets and 37 kill leads.
All-Stars 1v1 Tournament
The final event came around, the jewel in the crown of the All-Stars events since they began – the 1v1 tournament. This event is the ultimate bragging right as pro’s compete head to head against each other to prove who exactly was the single best player in the world in a very loose yet competitive environment. To some professionals, it’s a chance to play with friends and rivals and to have a good time. To others, it’s a chance to prove just how mechanically skilled they are against the world’s best players. With so much pride and a lot of fun in store for the players and the audience alike, the initial brackets were revealed, and the first match was ready to begin. All 64 professional players would be competing in this event in a single elimination style. The rules remain the same as any “Howling Abyss” tournament style mode. The first player to either reaches a creep score of 100, draw first blood, or destroy the first turret would be the victor of the 1v1.
Round of 64:
Game 1: EU Broxah (Ezreal) vs. CIS Diamondprox (Annie)
Winner: Diamondprox via First Blood Victory
Game 2: LAN Arce (Neeko) vs. LMS Maple (Neeko)
Winner: Arce via First Blood Victory
Game 3: KR Faker (Orianna) vs. VN Artifact (Lucian)
Winner: Faker via First Blood Victory
Game 4: LAN Seiya (Varus) vs. CIS Kira (Caitlyn)
Winner: Seiya via 100 Creep Score Victory
Game 5: LPL Uzi (Miss Fortune) vs. SEA G4 (Orianna)
Winner: Uzi via First Blood Victory
Game 6: VN Zeros (Orianna) vs. TR Broken Blade (Lucian)
Winner: Zeros via First Blood Victory
Game 7: EU Jiizuké (Cassiopeia) vs. SEA Rockky (Viktor)
Winner: Jiizuké via First Blood Victory
Game 8: NA Sneaky (Xayah) vs. KR Bang (Xayah)
Winner: Bang via First Blood Victory
This concludes the recap of the first day of the 2018 League of Legends All-Stars event. Should you wish to watch a rebroadcast of the Day One events of the League of Legends All-Stars 2018 event for yourself, you can find a link to the official LoL Esports VOD here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PH9u7c_6vkk&t=15680s
For specific timestamps, you can find them below:
- North America vs. Europe Show Match: 30:00 – 1:12:17
- Charity 2v2 Pro-Am Tournament: 1:30:35 – 3:17:15
- Nexus Blitz: 3:39:13 – 3:52:36
- Tandem Mode: 4:21:00 – 4:59:28
- All Random Ultra Rapid Fire (ARURF) NA vs. EU: 5:17:18 – 5:37:58
- Pro 1v1 Tournament: 5:53:35 – 7:16:52
Images Via: Riot Games' official live stream