League of Legends Match of the Day: 2/16/17

by James Bates

(Photo: Tencent)

Tomorrow will see the LPL, LCK, and EU LCS all take to the rift for the fifth week running. Any normal day it will not be, however, as all three leagues will be featuring one of their most anticipated grudge matches of the split, making it a night that no true League of Legends fan will want to miss.

As usual, our day will start over in the LCK with a first match that will look suspiciously like the World Finals. Once again Samsung Galaxy will take on SKT T1 in a battle no LCK fan will want to miss. Both teams haven't been having the best of luck for the last couple weeks, meaning this match may well prove to be closer than it would have two weeks ago, especially now that Haru has come into his own as the permanent starter for Samsung. Afterward, the ROX Tigers will take on MVP, who are fresh off taking down the last undefeated team in the league, KT Rolster.

Meanwhile, over in the LPL a true grudge match will unfold when Doinb leads the newly formed and ascended Qiao Gu Reapers into battle against the team that cast him off over a year ago, Newbee. While Newbee struggled to pick up even a single win, Qiao Gu is looking like the best team in the league yet again, meaning that Doinb's old teammates have an uphill struggle if they want to justify their decision to drop him from the roster. Game Talents and World Elite will take to the stage in the aftermath of this epic struggle, in a match that will need to impress quite a bit to be half as memorable as the one before it.

Finally, Europe closes out the day with the most hotly anticipated match of the split for fans of the region. While it lacks the same rivalry aspects of the other matches today, the match between G2 Esports and Unicorns of Love is certainly no less hyped than the rest. Both teams will start the day undefeated but only will still hold that honor when the sun sets. Fnatic and Splyce will close out the day, in a battle that is quite relevant for the standings, yet still doesn't manage to live up to the same epic feeling as the other matches of the day.

Which matches are worth your precious time? Which ones are just a waste of said time? We got together WWG's foremost League of experts and asked them what games they'd be tuning into.

Matt Best, Lead On-Air Host - G2 Esports vs. Unicorns of Love

 - "In EU, we have to be grateful when we have a good match on our hands. This time, we have the best match possible. Let’s be honest. EU isn’t the most thrilling region to watch but G2 Esports and the Unicorns of Love create an exception. G2 are a team that can dominate regional play (don’t talk about their international play) and have looked strong this split. Expect has been good enough for the team and we’re seeing a much better Perkz in the mid lane. UOL used to surprise many with their sporadic play and their ability to steal games away but this year, it’s their opponents who are trying to steal games from them. Since IEM Oakland, UOL have been on a tear. They’re the best team in their region right now, seeing strong play across each lane and in the jungle. A game like this doesn’t happen that often in EU. Treat yourself for once if you’re a fan of EU LCS. Watch a good match. Watch G2/UOL."

James Bates, League of Legends Staff Writer - Qiao Gu Reapers vs. Newbee

 - "If you think that the Western regions have a monopoly on drama, you clearly have never been introduced to the LPL. The meltdown of relationships between Doinb and Swift back in spring of 2016 was the defining moment of the year for Chinese League of Legends. The Qiao Gu Reapers essentially ceased to exist seemingly overnight and had to actually forfeit their match in the quarterfinals due to not being able to field a complete roster, an unthinkable embarrassment for any org to endure. While we may never know whether it was Swift or Doinb who was in the right, what is clear is that Doinb clearly still has a chip on his shoulder, as he once again has led a team from the LSPL and into an undefeated start in the LPL. In an LPL that's still reeling from the Korean Unexodus, the Qiao Gu Reapers look all but unstoppable, and it may soon come to pass that Newbee wishes they had taken the side of Doinb, not Swift. As a huge Doinb fan, and a fan of the 2015 Qiao Gu Reapers, this match is the one I've been most looking forward to all split. For fans of Chinese League of Legends, this is bigger than the upcoming Telecom Wars, and certainly bigger than the admittedly exciting G2/Unicorn faceoff. The story here write itself, and I'm eager to see which of these friends-turned-enemies triumphs in the end.

By James Bates

A wanna-be novelist turned coach turned journalist, James is living proof that you never know where you'll end up. He's in love with narrative-heavy games, which he proves by spending his days writing about a game with less lore than Doom. His greatest regret in life is not having his name in the credits of Life is Strange, and it's galvanized him to truly pursue developing games that don't begin in packed taverns and use D20s.