Rebuilding China: Language barrier, Uzi's buyout, and preseason exhibition

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Thumbnail image courtesy of LPL / LPL Screengrab

As far as I’m aware, the problems with Chinese teams persist. The National Electron Sports Open results may be more or less disregarded, as it happened quite soon after the World Championship, but that doesn’t make headaches less severe.

Weekly hurdle: The Korean influence

There’s a Chinese proverb I’ve seen fans use when discussing what they perceive as the problem of the Korean imports meaning “to quench one’s thirst with poisoned wine,” or to seek temporary relief at a high cost. Typically, the belief is that Chinese teams imported Koreans to improve their level of talent, but in-game communication suffered. As the meta game changed, they weren’t able to play lane swaps correctly because they lacked the necessary communication.

As with all popular theories, there is some validity to these claims and some pitfalls. Initially, when Koreans arrived in China and began to adjust to the environment, EDward Gaming’s coach Ji “Aaron” Xing said he noticed the biggest difference was in the way the Korean players approached the game. They practiced more and in a different way that focused on developing their flaws.

In top teams, this approach allegedly began to rub off on the Chinese players. Players like Wei “GODV” Zhen had always practiced a lot, but some within LGD have said he changed his approach as a result of the Korean influence. Ming “Clearlove” Kai, who had always been known as a rare Chinese player for his work ethic and dedication to the game, even saw initial improvements and more development in his approach, though it may be unrelated.

Over time, as we’ve seen players like Lee “Spirit” Dayoon express frustration with the practice ethic that has been reported to exist in many Chinese teams for years, it became clear that the environment was also beginning to impact the Koreans. As some team owners and managers are quite friendly with their players, Chinese players can often get away with toeing the line of instructions from coach and staff. As soon as top Korean player discovered they could also shirk orders, their own focus declined. LGD’s Korean players took scrims leading up to the World Championship about as seriously as their Chinese brethren.

I’ll discuss solutions to what I perceive as the infrastructural problem later, but in many ways the Koreans have adapted to their environment. They’re still strong players, but in a less structured realm. Song “RooKie” Euijin’s popularity is strong given his commitment to learning Mandarin Chinese, the fact that many enjoy his stream, and his friendships with Chinese players on other teams.

Ultimately, the Korean influence initially improved the Chinese practice ethic, but over time other problems became difficult to overcome. This is something that has been acknowledged, at least in part, in discussions of the topic. As a result, proponents of this argument have included that improvements do not counter-balance the ultimate cost of the language barrier.

While I do think language barrier plays an important factor in disrupting team cohesion, it seems to have a larger impact outside the game than inside the game. One can devise a communication system to deal with even something as complex as lane swaps as long as the team understands how to execute them. Overall, the Chinese teams at Worlds were strategically behind, and the language barrier exacerbating the issue has been exaggerated.

The language barrier may have still played a part in the strategic lag. As Dignitas coach Ram “Brokenshard” Djemal said in an interview I conducted with him about the North American team Dignitas with both Korean and English-speaking players, he said he felt the biggest problem was communicating when players had a problem or just cooperating outside the game.

It’s possible that this problem lead to the inability of Chinese teams to quickly adapt to the meta, as discussions would have been stunted. If having discussions about the meta is a strain, and the team sports a roster of supreme quality, teams may be more likely to rely on individual skill than to develop a tactical approach.

Problems between Korean and Chinese players may be difficult to express. I’ve heard a few surprisingly damaging stories that resulted from mistranslations of comments made between players or players and staff. Some Korean players have felt less confident competing in China since they aren’t sure whether Chinese fans are cheering them on or insulting them when they meet them.

The larger problem with language barrier sits outside the game rather than ingame, and I think it’s often used as a straw man argument for why the teams failed to perform. Ultimately, other arguments like teams not playing their more comfortable strategy, as KaKAO suggested, or not practicing adequately hold larger sway and aren’t necessarily the fault of importing Koreans.

Since, however, it is certainly a problem that can be fixed, more effort can be done to teach Korean players who choose to stay in China to speak Mandarin Chinese. KaKAO said that learning the language is one of his primary goals for next year. Implementing mandatory classes like this could also go along with overall infrastructural improvements, but the act of importing Koreans is not at fault for the poor performance by Chinese teams at the World Championship.

One aspect I think is worth more investigation is the contribution of the Korean element to the stunting of Chinese talent scouting. Many young Chinese players like Yu “300” Zuxing, Zhou “Soda” Pengxian, and Chen “Cherish” Zhe have been unable to advance to LPL, and we’re seeing older Chinese talent retire with a generational gap.

Again, however, I think there is a larger systemic failure of organizations to scout or transfer proper talent either because of buyouts or a lack of effort even before the arrival of Koreans. Feng “TnT” Qingyu, for example, spent a year in LSPL after proving himself in LPL even before Koreans arrived.

Roster Rumblings

Confirmations

NESO showed us some of the first confirmations of transfer season. Wang “wushuang” Li, already announced on WE’s weibo prior to the World Championship, played for WE. Bo “Mo” Cai from Acfun appeared on Invictus Gaming’s roster as support. Bong “Republic” Guntae, a Korean player previously of Taiwan’s Machi eSports played for Energy Pacemaker All. The organization had participated in one other tournament with him before, but with EPA’s third place, it was a good chance to assess his form. King’s Dong “SinkDream” Shichun joined Oh My Dream.

More obscure regional qualifiers for Tencent Games Arena, which allows teams to compete for entry into LSPL, showed ex-Vici Gaming support Ying “Yh” Hai and the resurfacing of Gan “ChouD1” Junjie who played for Wings of Aurora in 2013 transferring to Wk.Panda.

Fans of LGD Gaming in Spring of 2014 may also remember the Riven player Fu "Star" Yang who has resurfaced alongside Energy Pacemaker All's Le "2eggs" Xiaotian to compete on Energy Pacemaker.E for a spot in LSPL.

None of these transfers are particularly inspiring, but wushuang and Republic are the most interesting. wushuang has performed well in solo queue and is largely regarded as a positive acquisition. He didn’t display much prowess in NESO. Republic looked much stronger than the team’s previous mid laner, but likely won’t contest some of the LPL giants.

Chinese Rumor Mill

As for ongoing rumors, the prevailing ones at the moment circle around Jian “Uzi” Zihao, the top laners associated with the WE organization, Lee “Easyhoon” Jihoon, and the constant influx of Lee “Duke” Hoseong rumors that never seem to die.

The Uzi rumors are the top story. Some even found their way to Reddit, though the sphere of mythos has already shifted. It’s sometimes hard to take rumors coming out of China completely seriously, so I would advise caution in interpreting some of them. At the moment, the speculation revolves around Uzi’s buyout, which OMG had previously stated is quite sizable.

At the moment, rumors suggest Uzi’s buyout bidding has exceeded the minimum required and has now gone to numbers around 50,000,000RMB ($7,857,929 USD). If you recall from last week, the entirety of Qiao Gu, including LPL spot, players, and staff, is likely to go for 12 million RMB, meaning that Uzi himself would go for four times the price of the team that finished second in LPL this summer.

I can’t remotely validate the rumors of this price—it may even be a joke! The original poster was doubted by others as part of the discussion. It's worth noting OMG had previously seemed very confident that few could afford their buyout, meaning that the number is steep. While this number may not come near $7 million USD, if Uzi is sold, I imagine it breaking the transfer price record for a single player.

The poor performance of LPL teams at the World Championship has significantly raised Uzi’s stock, as he’s made the final for China twice. The rumored bidders are Royal Club, as reddit has seen, and Invictus Gaming. Royal might be the better option since they’re liable to rebuild a team around him, which suits Uzi’s play. Invictus Gaming would be—interesting. RooKie is a very good Lulu player after all, but I’d rather iG build their team around him with a more stable AD carry than break the bank on Uzi. As fans like to say, however, if iG really are involved, Wang Sicong, iG's owner, gets what he wants.

The WE top transfer rumors speculate that Jang “looper” Hyeongseok at least will remain in China and will transfer to the main team, WE, replacing Peng “Aluka” Zhenming, who will go to WEF with Ke “957” Changyu moving to Master3. I’d prefer 957, who may be the best prospect of the three, to remain on WEF rather than go to either WE or Master3. If Yang “OldB” Seungbin remains with WEF, that team could surpass both M3 and WE. If Chen “CjLear” Chen Jianliu, who has been playing jungle for WEF recently, is the starter, then perhaps 957 is better off trying to prove himself on a failing LPL team.

If this rumor is true, it suggests WE acknowledge that Aluka is a problem, which is a small positive sign for fans of the team in 2016.

If China’s forums are to be believed, Lee “Duke” Hoseong is to play top lane for every single team in LPL, just as he was supposed to last split. (Thank you, Sun “XiaoXiao” Yalong, for getting everyone excited for no reason.) Changes may, however, be coming to Najin that might make Duke’s appearance in China more likely.

The most recent rumor has more credibility than the others, as it was a hint left by Young Glory’s manager on weibo. The comment said “Welcome Easyhoon to China?” Since Snake’s manager suggested Easyhoon may be interested in leaving SK Telecom T1 before the World Championship, Easyhoon has been one of the players with the most buzz on the forums. Armanini’s follow-up post mentioned he was “bored” when he left the hint, so it’s not clear if he was merely looking to stir the pot or Easyhoon is coming to China.

A bit of old news still worth writing about

One development that has been confirmed is something I missed while traveling at the end of July. Royal Club’s new coach, Kim “vicaL” Sunmook, has worked with the organization before. In 2014 Summer, vicaL joined Star Horn Royal Club as their Korean coach, and Yoon “Zero” Kyungsup has attributed most of the team’s strategy and teamwork to him. While Siu “Chris” Keung got most of the glory, vicaL floated under the radar.

I’ve promised never to get excited about Royal Never Give Up (ex-King) again, but I’m happy to see a Korean coach acclimated to the scene return and continue to work in it.

Upcoming Events: Preseason Exhibition

The ongoing Tencent Games Carnival will hold an exhibition match between players from Snake, MG owner Liu "PDD" Mou, and LPL casters. At 6 a.m. EST on November 16th, the event will begin with a discussion by professional players and other celebrities of preseason changes. At 6:30 a.m. EST, the match will start.

Team Top Jungle Mid ADC Support
Blue PDD ZZR LoveJY kRYST4L Ella
Red Flandre JoKer U Martin  苦笑

It’s unclear if the matches will be played on the preseason patch 5.22 unless the players are using some version of the PBE, but at the very least 5.21 will show off Kindred while the commentators discuss how preseason changes will affect the game.

Originally, this was supposed to be a showmatch between Vici Gaming and Qiao Gu, but other events, such as Vici Gaming's visits to universities, conflicted.

Kelsey Moser is a staff writer for theScore eSports. You can follow her on Twitter.

Echo Fox sign Looper

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Thumbnail image courtesy of MSI / lolesports flickr

Echo Fox have signed Jang “Looper” Hyeong-seok as their starting top laner, according to Yahoo Esports' Taylor Cocke.

Best known for winning the 2014 League of Legends World Championship with Samsung Galaxy White, Looper most recently played with Royal Never Give Up in China's LPL. He will replace Park “kfo” Jeong-hun, who served as the team's top laner for the 2016 seasons.

"Looper has won a championship as a player with Samsung," team owner Rick Fox told Yahoo Esports. "We always want to compete at the highest level and against the best, and in order to do that you have to put yourself in the position to pitch individuals like Looper.

“You don’t bring a championship experience player like Looper on, you don’t bring one of the top laners in the world, you don’t bring someone who is notorious for Teleporting like he does when you definitely needed that and missed that, and not call on his leadership. And not call for his guidance in what has been successful in the places he’s been in and the teams he’s been on.”

While with RNG, Looper posted a 3.58 KDA in the 2016 LPL Summer Split. At the 2016 League of Legends World Championships, he posted a 3.13 KDA, averaging 1.8 kills, 2.5 deaths and 6.0 assists.

On the flip side, kfo posted a 1.28 KDA in the 2016 NA LCS Summer Split as a member of the 1-17 Foxes.

You can watch Cocke's full interview with Fox in the video below.

Sean Tepper is the Senior Supervising Editor at theScore esports. You can follow him on Twitter.

inSec leaves Royal Club, now a free agent

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Thumbnail image courtesy of LPL / LPL Screengrab

The Korean free agency hype train continues with the announcement of Choi "inSec" In-seok leaving Royal Club, via Inven.

inSec is most known for his time at KT Bullets in 2013 and Star Horn Royal Club in 2014, his rivalry with fellow jungle master Diamondprox, the insane blind pick Game 5 vs. SKT in 2013 Summer, and especially as a pioneer of early Lee Sin maneuvers, including one named after him called "The inSec".

His time in China, conversely, has not been met with quite the same fame or success. Though a 2014 World Championship finalist under Star Horn Royal Club, inSec soon found himself a part of a Royal Club line up that got relegated to the LSPL and competed there for the duration of Season 5.

inSec said via Inven that he would like to continue to be a pro player, and that he currently does not have a team but said that he would consider any team. He joins a slew of Korean players pursuing free agency across many different regions.

Gabriel Zoltan-Johan is a News Editor at theScore esports and the head analyst for the University of Toronto League of Legends team. His (public) musings can be found on his Twitter.

Patch 6.24 released; Ranked Reset accompanies it

Gabriel Zoltan-Johan 2d ago
Thumbnail image courtesy of Riot Games

Riot has released their latest patch, 6.24, which harbors a whole host of changes as League carries over to the new season. The last patch of Season 6, 6.24 has fairly substantial changes to items, champions, and the map that shift the meta away from what was predominantly picked across 2016.

On champions, over 10 have been altered in some way, including notable buffs onto the following champions:

  • Akali (Passive works on towers)
  • Azir (Soldiers come up more often; enemies get less gold from your passive, and the tower does more damage)
  • Fiddlesticks (W damage increased, E cooldown reduced)
  • Garen (You shred armor as you spin to win with E)
  • Varus (Passive now gives you bonus attack speed on unit kill)
  • Katarina (Dagger passive damage slightly increased)

The notable nerf bat recipients this time around were:

  • Twitch (Venom Cask mana increased, passive now does less true damage per stack)
  • Vayne (Tumble AD Ratio reduced)
  • Ivern (Triggerseed costs more mana, and slows way less at early levels)
  • Rengar (Bonetooth Necklace bonus damage reduced, and a bugfix to change it from total AD to bonus AD)
  • LeBlanc (Waveclear and health regeneration reduced substantially, but given a small q buff to compensate)
  • Kog'Maw (AP ratio and damage on E reduced by a large amount, however a small W damage buff to compensate and shift Kog'Maw towards AD)

Outside of champions, Rylai's has been changed to be less likely to be taken by bursty mages and more likely to be taken by true control mages, with its ability power and health reduced to make it less appealing as a damage and survivability option.

Jungle camps have changed substantially as well. Red and Blue buffs don't provide their on-hit burn/slow and percentage AP respectively, but have slightly increased duration to compensate. Krugs has also lost a major amount of experience on the first clear, making the Red-Krugs-Early gank route much less appealing because junglers are unable to hit level three before three minutes when doing that now. Whereas 6.23 shifted experience from Raptors to Krugs, now the experience lost on Krugs is not moved anywhere, making the jungle have less experience on first clear overall.

As well as all this, Riot has made a fair few changes outside of the game, adding functionality to their client through a better spectator mode, a low-spec mode for struggling computers, and in-client keybinding changes. Finally, as with every season, Riot is doing a soft ranked reset so that we can all climb to Challenger, where we deserve to be.

Click here for the full Patch Notes

Gabriel Zoltan-Johan is a News Editor at theScore esports and the head analyst for the University of Toronto League of Legends team. His (public) musings can be found on his Twitter.

The Precision Protocol: A Camille guide

by 2d ago
Thumbnail image courtesy of Riot Games

Riot's latest champion, Camille, is set to be released along with patch 6.24. As she stylishly struts onto Summoner's Rift, allies and enemies alike won't just be asking what she does, but what she's actually good at. By now, maybe you've seen a few popular YouTube VODs of this champion on the Public Beta Environment. You've also seen 90 percent of them have no actual clue what is optimal with her in many aspects, including runes, masteries, itemization and most egregiously, her skill order.

Fear not, for here's your go-to starting guide for all the incoming solo queue Day 1 Camille mains.

Playstyle

Camille was designed as a top lane champion first and foremost. Her role there is as a scaling splitpusher, able to put a lot of pressure on the side lanes of the map, and then either roam to other parts of Summoner’s Rift and carve out advantages with her team or in open spaces. In teamfights, she thrives in being able to enter the fray after big game-changing abilities have already been used, allowing her to be uninhibited in cleaning up and chasing down targets with deadly accuracy.

Runes Explanation

  • Attack Damage Reds
  • Armor Yellows
  • Magic Resistance Blues
  • Attack Speed Quintessences

Your fairly standard fighter/splitpusher page should suffice for Camille. The armor and magic resistance runes are even more necessary given the shield at your disposal are further amplified by more defensive stats.

Masteries Explanation

The newly buffed Fervor allows Camille to build up stacks extremely quickly. Her great bonus AD scalings are impacted by the addition of bonus AD from Fervor of Battle, and her high attack speed through her E, items, runes and masteries allows her to constantly be keeping stacks up as she stays in a fight or wades in and out of a fight. This keystone is of the highest priority after the 6.24 buffs. An argument can be made for Grasp of the Undying for tougher lane matchups or even Courage of the Colossus, which works on the knockback of your ultimate as well as your E. The issue is that you lose out on the percentage armor penetration from the ferocity tree with which Camille thrives.

The resolve tree gives Camille the most added benefit to her early phases of the game, and helps her survive and be able to stay healthy enough to threaten support during a gank. The health regeneration helps her against poke and harass, Siegemaster helps her while she is pushed in (a likely scenario because of her lack of waveclear and focus on true damage Qs on opponents) and is the most gold efficient mastery with that in mind. Runic armor affects her passive shield, giving her a shield worth 1.6 percent more of her maximum health versus the 10 extra value on her shield that Veteran Scars would give and Runic armor’s contribution to the shield outscales Veteran Scars after Level 6. As well, Runic armor gives extra regeneration from the healing portion of W, and helps with the shield from Sterak’s Gage (more on that in the itemization section).

Fearless/Insight and Bounty Hunter/Double-Edged Sword are interchangeable masteries based on your playstyle. If you’re willing to sacrifice your summoner spell cooldowns a small amount, the stats that Fearless gives you are absolutely crucial on initial engages and fights that you participate in, because the additional resistances apply onto your shields, making you a sturdier threat in the first parts of a fight and giving you the upper hand as you continue to press for individual advantages. The downside is the potential small window of opportunity to exploit a lack of flash or teleport compared to the opponent, which could have deeper macro effects. Both Bounty Hunter and Double Edged Sword affect your damage to all targets, not just champions, and so are worth taking accordingly; if you feel the need to snowball your lane moreso, Double-Edged Sword is more worth it.

Skill Order Explanation

First 6 levels: QEWEER.

Gabriel, E max? Are you insane? That’s not the Q at all! I know, but hear me out. Think about what you actually get with the level up of Q. You increase your movement speed from it nominally, there is no base damage increase (only a percentage of total AD), and the cooldown is already naturally very low because of the wait time between the first and second Q. It’s also single target, making your ability to deal with large waves very difficult. But here’s the kicker (pun very intended): The true damage conversion on Q isn’t based on the level of Camille’s Q at all, but rather the level that Camille is! In that sense, there’s almost no point to leveling it up first.

Instead, maxing your E provides Camille with everything she needs immediately. It’s a fairly reliable way to immediately trigger your shield passive, gives you insane attack speed when hitting a champion, and gives you an AoE wave clear option if used on minions. The high reduced cooldown also allows her to zip around like the map is your oyster, making her roams more potent in the early stages as well.

Afterwards, you should put points into W when you can, because of the additional waveclear option, the increasing percent health damage, and the reduced cooldown also being incredibly good for early skirmishes and the ability to chase or escape. Her ultimate should be leveled at 6, 11 and 16 and should be used early and often as a way to influence other lanes or create a perfect gank either on your lane or on a lane you roam or teleport into.

Itemization Explanation

Triforce is absolutely core on Camille, for a couple of reasons. Firstly, the spellblade passive applies to both parts of her Q, and the cooldown before the second Q is able to do true damage at the exact same time as the cooldown for the spellblade passive on Trinity Force. It’s literally... tons of (true) damage.

In addition to Trinity Force, Sterak’s Gage is another necessary item for Camille, as it gives her everything she needs in order to threaten enemy champions in a 1v1. Not only does the shield help her survive bursty all-ins (In the late game, Camille will get a 1000 health shield at least), the base damage increase from both the item and the additional increase from its passive allows for even more powerful Qs and true damage Qs through the base damage increase affecting the spellblade passive’s damage (which only applies based on the base damage of a champion).

Items like an early Tiamat may seem a useful investment for waveclear, but are just as easily a trap item that delays your Trinity Force. Recall that your E and W are potent AoE tools that can clear caster minions in the early stages, and her attack speed should help her do the same in later stages. Her second Q does not add the on-hit effect as true damage (aside from spellblade), so be aware of that when purchasing an item like Titanic or Ravenous Hydra.

Guardian Angel is a bundle of resists with an incredibly useful revive passive that helps when split pushing and jumping into small skirmishes. Further, It’s a set of resistances that gives you greater effective health on your shields (Camille passive and Sterak’s passive) and health gained from your core items of Trinity Force and Sterak’s Gage.

Core Build: Mercury Treads - Trinity Force - Sterak's Gage - Guardian Angel

Level 1 6 11 16 18
Base AD 62 79.5 97 114.5 121.5
AD with Core Build - - - 143.135 Base + 60 Bonus 151.875 Base + 60 Bonus
Armor/MR 26/32.1 45/38.35 64/44.6 83/50.85 90.6/53.35
Armor/MR with Core Build - 45/63.35 64/69.6 143/95.85 150.6/98.35
HP 575.6 1050.6 1525.6 2005.6 2190.6
HP - - - 3155.6 3340.6
Passive shield  115.12  210.12  305.12  401.12  438.12
Passive shield with Core Build - - -  631.12  668.12

Final Build: Mercury Treads - Trinity Force - Sterak’s Gage - Guardian Angel - Death’s Dance - Flexible Slot (based on whether enemy composition is heavy AD, heavy AP or you need more damage and cooldown reduction)

Laning

A good rule of thumb when laning with Camille is to use your first Q on minions, and your true damage Q on your lane opponent if they go in for harass or their own CS. Just sustain versus ranged matchups, trying to cull down the wave with your AoE spells and use the added resistances from Fearless and Siegemaster to come out on top when your minions harass them in response. Consider Corrupting Potion for those matchups, though a Long Sword with three health potions is pretty reasonable as well if you feel you won’t be spending too much mana. Going for Doran’s Blade in a ranged matchup is not ideal because you’re unlikely to get auto attacks off to lifesteal back the harass.

Camille... in the jungle?

It’s not out of the question by any means: Camille can jungle, and she definitely has the mobility and ultimate to be a deadly gank threat to all lanes. The same runes and masteries are worth taking in the jungle, with Siegemaster replaced by Explorer.

With the removal of the ability to get Level 3 after Red and Krugs, it’s worth starting on the blue side of the map as Camille in almost all instances now because of her high single-target damage being more appropriate for the Blue buff side. My previous article on jungle routes can get you started on the best paths given the inability to cheese your opponents with the aforementioned Red-Krugs-early gank path.

On ganks, you operate similarly to Vi: get to your target to lock them down with your ultimate. Landing the Hookshot (E) helps, but if it’s even just used to close the gap for your ultimate, it’s still worth it if your teammates can follow up. It will almost always guarantee a kill on enemies just due to the ability to keep them within a zone and away from safety, generally.

Her item build remains fairly similar to her top lane build, with only the addition of a Skirmisher's Sabre with the Warrior Enchantment, which is worth picking up before your Trinity Force. The smite active on champions is incredibly powerful in tandem with your dueling potential, the damage reduction working on your shield, and the damage over time synergizing with your ultimate damage and providing extra true damage along with your second Q.

Gabriel Zoltan-Johan is a News Editor at theScore esports and the head analyst for the University of Toronto League of Legends team. His (public) musings can be found on his Twitter.

LoL Worlds Finals got 43 million unique viewers, 14.7 million peak concurrent

by 2d ago
Thumbnail image courtesy of Riot Games / Riot Games Flickr

Viewership for the League of Legends World Championship has gone up once again, with 43 million unique viewers for the Grand Finals series between SK Telecom T1 and Samsung Galaxy.

In an infographic published by Riot on Tuesday, Riot claimed that this year's event say fans watch 370 million hours of the tournament, up from 360 last year, and hit 43 million unique viewers during the Grand Finals, up from 36 million in 2015. Additionally, peak concurrent viewership for the tournament was 14.7 million, up from 14 million last year.

However, this jump is not nearly as large as the gap between 2014 and 2015's numbers. In 2014, the grand finals reached 27 million unique viewers, with 194 million total hours watched.

Another interesting stat from Riot's infographic is that the final prize pool reached 6.7 million dollars, up from 2.1 million thanks to fan contribution and team icon purchases.

Also, don't feel bad if you got your pick'em wrong. Literally only one person had a perfect pick'em. One out of 1,969,087. Hope he enjoys his skins.

Daniel Rosen is a news editor for theScore esports. You can follow him on Twitter.

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