Arena of Valor (AoV) - AWC Finals Recap

A recap of the final series in the Arena of Valor World Cup. We detail each map in the best of 7 set between Thailand and Korea and provide each team's drafting strategy and the final stats of each match.

Overview

Given the stakes, level of play, and competitiveness, the Arena of Valor World Cup (AWC) Grand Finals was without a doubt the best Arena of Valor series in history. We felt it necessary to review in full detail such an epic series, so we put Green on the case. The following is a recap of the remarkable series between Korea and Thailand, a fitting conclusion to the AWC. which boasted the largest prize pool in mobile esports history.

For more post-AWC coverage, here is our article immediately following the event, as well as our stats article, which includes VODs and all individual prizes.

Game 1

Thailand Korea
Picks
Cherie – Maloch JJak – Chaugnar
Moss – Alice Chaser – Skud
007x – Lindis HAK – TeeMee
ReMiX – Airi Rush – Violet
MeMarkz – Krixi Sun – Kil’groth
Bans
The Flash Superman
Xeniel Grakk
Omen Arum

The first match of the Grand Finals showed a mix up right from the drafting phase. Rather than include a dedicated mage in their line up, Korea decided to run two supports (albeit supports with high damaging potentials) as their magic damage source. Aside from this irregularity, the rest of their draft was fairly usual, a dive-ready Skud and Kil’groth, split-pushing champion running alongside a jungling Violet. Thailand took a more standard dive composition with Airi, Maloch, and Alice holding the potential for very strong initiations while Krixi and Lindis made up their damaging back line.

Both teams started the games aggressively, detachments making lines for each others’ Sage camp for quick invasions. On Korea’s side, Violet and TeeMee started to roam around the Korea-side jungle together to take advantage of TeeMee’s scavenge and amplify Violet’s gold gains. Thailand adopted a standard hero-per-lane strategy while Alice roamed around looking for blood. First blood would go to Korea at 1:58, Chaugnar and the jungling pair of Violet and TeeMee catching Lindis out and snagging a kill before Thailand could properly respond. Thailand was able to avoid too much snowball momentum from building, however, finding a safe dragon pick off at 3:16 to keep gold levels at competitive levels.

A team fight broke out soon after as Korea moved to respond to the dragon’s death. At first, things looked to be heavily in Thailand’s favor, they able to dish out a significant amount of damage to Chaugnar, however TeeMee dashed in and tagged the chaos elephant with Being a Bro to rescue him. While Thailand was then able to rip away large amounts of health from both Chaugnar and TeeMee afterward, both animal companions were able to slip away with a sliver of health each. Or, so it seemed. Unfortunately for the raccoon pair of TeeMee, Krixi was able to snipe them with Mischief as they moved back into the fray to assist their teammates, picking up Thailand’s first kill of the series. Meanwhile, Skud had managed to slip in during the struggle, sweeping into the middle of Thailand and scattering the heroes with Wild Beast Fury. He and Violet were then able to pick up a second Lindis kill. Skud comes close to shutting down Krixi soon after, but was unable to finish her off before being forced to retreat and leave the fight. Thailand’s focus on Skud allowed Violet and Kil’groth an uncontested shot at Thailand’s middle tower, sacking it as the first tower of the series at 4:03.

The pressure was on for Thailand, and its effects were clearly visible. The team stayed pointedly back away from the river as they farmed, Lindis now huddling close to her teammates to avoid giving up a third kill to the aggressive Korea. Her efforts would prevent her from being the next death, though this wasn’t enough to keep Korea from pushing their lead. The next contest for the Abyssal Dragon started at 5:17, this time Korea looking to easily take the beast. Thailand moved to contest, however Korea quickly sprang on them, the team converging on Maloch and quickly ripping him to shreds. Not having given up a kill in the struggle, Korea takes out the nearby tier one tower before moving to pick off the dragon as well. This leaves them with a 1-3 kill advantage and a gold lead of over 3000.

Scuffles continued as Korea maintained an aggressive, bullying play style by roaming around the map and contesting each one of Thailand’s jungle camps. This forced Thailand to constantly stick together to avoid getting caught out. Unfortunately, this left Kil’groth unattended and able to rip down the last of Thailand’s tier one towers at 6:55. The two teased fights for the next minute, neither committing enough to get a kill. Thailand was very much on the defensive for a majority of the struggle, however, forced to withdraw nearly to their base and allowing Korea to quickly pick off tier 2 towers as a result. By 8:30 Thailand had been reduced to nothing but their tier 3 towers and forced to turtle within their base for safety as a result.

Krixi managed to catch Chaugnar out alone with Nature’s Wrath and Moonfall at 9:40, but TeeMee once again swept in with Being a Bro to rescue his elephant friend from death. The teams hovered around each other for a few tense seconds, each waiting for the other to slip and start the engagement off, though the situation diffused without blood spilling. The next death wouldn’t come until 10:49, Airi unable to escape after trying to steal Thailand’s Might golem away from the invading Kil’groth. The kill started a chain reaction, Thailand unable to properly defend themselves from the invading Koreans. Maloch fell trying to defend the Slayer lane tier 3 at 11:03, though successful in his attempt to delay the structure’s destruction.

Korea now outnumbered Thailand 5 to 3 along with an over 11k gold lead, so they were going to take full advantage of it. The teams gathered around the last mid tower, the pressure of a coming fight palpable. TeeMee flickered over the base’s wall to initiate, catching both Lindis and Krixi in Pooty Poots. Skud and Violet were able to burst Lindis away almost immediately while Krixi was forced to retreat at critical health. She made it back to the fountain, but Korea had managed to take out both the high ground tower and Thailand’s core to end the game at 11:24.

Winner: Korea
Final Kill Score: 1 – 7
Towers – Slayers – Dragons: 0 – 0 – 1 to 7 – 0 – 2
Gold: 25.4k – 38.5k

Thailand Korea
0 1

Game 2

Thailand Korea
Picks
Cherie – Superman JJak – Alice
Moss – Chaugnar Chaser – Skud
007x – Slimz HAK – TeeMee
ReMiX – Kil’groth Rush – Violet
MeMarkz – Preyta Sun – Taara
Bans
The Flash Grakk
Xeniel Arum
Omen Lindis

Superman was let through the banning stage for the first time in the AWC final bracket and was immediately snatched up by Thailand. They fill up their team afterward with heroes well suited to long-range sieges, Chaugnar, Preyta, and Slimz all excellent at poking. Korea takes a similar approach to the previous game, relying on TeeMee and Alice for their magic damage needs rather than taking any dedicated mages. HAK went without many tank or support items in the previous match, though, building TeeMee as a mage rather than a support. His rather impressive ability power ratios make him a viable damage dealer and a nice change of pace from his general position as a pure support.

The game once more starts with both teams invading, they each this time rushing to the other’s Might golem. While a skirmish broke out a 1:30, Thailand initiating on a smaller force of Korean players, Korea was able to slip out without losing a kill to Thailand and continue what would turn out to be a very tense and quiet early game. Korea was able to take the first Abyssal Dragon of the game at 2:12 while Thailand busied themselves up near the Dark Slayer by picking off the Spirit Sentinel.

The tense back and forth continued, both teams trying to nab the occasional kill but always coming up short. By 4 minutes, neither side had yet managed to grab a kill. Despite this, Korea’s early dragon along with some careful farming had earned them over a 1.5k gold advantage. The first bit of destruction to occur this match would not be a hero at all, in fact, but instead Thailand’s Dark Slayer tier 1 tower. Violet, TeeMee, and Taara managed to sack the tower at 5:22 after chasing Kil’groth away.

Encouraged by their small lead, Korea finally broke the stagnant pace of the game by invading Thailand’s jungle on the Might Golem side. This ended up not to be the valiant charge they were hoping for, however, Thailand able to wait out TeeMee’s Being a Bro and pick the tanuki brothers off for first blood at 5:58. Momentum seemed to be shifting Thailand’s way as another kill came their way shortly after. After an overly aggressive chase by Skud to Thailand’s tier two Abyssal lane tower, a responding force of Chaugnar, Slimz and Preyta managed to pick the warrior off as he tried to run back to safety. While it was a big help to Thailand’s cause, it wasn’t yet enough to overcome Korea’s rather impressive gold lead, considering the team had yet to score a single kill. Thailand finished the engagement off by taking Korea’s Abyssal lane tower and the dragon itself, Korea unable to take anything in trade.

Things continue in Thailand’s favor for the time being, Korea being forced to retreat from fights early or burn through important ultimates like Being a Bro in order to flicker away from skirmishes. Their careful work prevented any more deaths from occurring and the team managed to maintain their gold lead as well. Despite not managing to pick up any kills, the Korean team managed to push together and poke at Thailand’s tier 1 towers, clearing them all from the map by 9:30. Not long after, Korea finally managed to find their first kill, catching Kil’groth out in the open and quickly bursting him down – Violet picking up the kill credit at 9:53.

Both teams struggle again, neither able to pick up any kills. Korea managed to maintain their gold lead despite only having a single tower over Thailand and began using the pressure this caused to pressure Thailand back away from the river for greater map control. Around 12 minutes into the game, Korea picked up their second Abyssal Dragon to further their gold lead to nearly 5k. Korea was finally able to use this to gain another kill at 12:30, a successful chase by Skud in the middle of a large skirmish resulting in Slimz’ death.

At 13:20, Skud initiated on Superman to force the Man of Steel to try and retreat into his waiting teammates. Quick thinking by Cherie allowed him to about-face from the danger and run away from the gank, Superman’s speed too much for the pursuers to match. That said, he was still forced to sacrifice himself to one of Korea’s towers to avoid giving up a kill to the team and removed himself from the map as a direct result. While not the kill bounty they had hoped for, this would prove to be a huge gift to Korea.

Without Superman to bother them for the time being, Korea took out the first of Thailand’s tier 2 towers up in the Dark Slayer lane before going after the Dark Slayer itself. Thailand obviously felt the pressure that the mighty buff sent out, retreating and taking a fully defensive approach even after Superman had returned to the field. Violet’s range didn’t allow them much safety in turtling, though, Korea managing to take out the Abyssal lane tier 2 tower without much difficulty at all. Thailand was able to prevent this push from reaching their high ground, but Korea gave up their siege in order to take out the last, middle tier 2 tower after Thailand’s first sign of high ground resistance.

Team Korea moved down to the high ground once again, paying the tower’s damage no mind as they dove underneath to assassinate Preyta. Thailand was forced to retreat as Korea split into three, each detachment moving to quickly take out one of Thailand’s high ground towers. All three of the vital structures fell at nearly the same time, leaving Thailand completely exposed by 16:00. There was no hope for Thailand after that, Korea sweeping onto the core to burst it down at 16:08 and winning the second game of the Grand Finals series.

Winner: Korea
Final Kill Score: 2 – 6
Towers – Slayers – Dragons: 2 – 0 – 1 to 9 – 1 – 3
Gold: 39.6k – 54.5k

Thailand Korea
0 2

Game 3

Korea Thailand
Picks
JJak – Alice Cherie – Taara
Chaser – Superman Moss – Chaugnar
HAK – TeeMee 007x – Violet
Rush – Slimz Skud – ReMiX
Sun – Kil’groth MeMarkz – Raz
Bans
The Flash Omen
Grakk Xeniel
Arum Lindis

Superman once against slipped past the ban stage and this time even had to wait until Korea’s second pick before getting drafted. Given their acquisition of both TeeMee and Superman, Korea had one of the strongest drafts that they could have hoped for. Sticking with what had been working before, Korea played with double support and a strong frontline and a Slimz to play damage dealer. They were forced to switch up their hero picks, as Thailand grabbed a number of heroes that had been working so well for Korea previously like Taara, Skud, and Chaugnar. Thailand finished their own draft off with Raz, taking a single mage and reflecting a much more traditional team composition as a result.

Switching it up compared to the previous two games, neither team tried for an early invade of the other’s jungle, staying safely in their own territory. The first kill of the game came early, Alice caught while between lanes and picked off at 1:38. This gave Thailand their first gold advantage of the series, albeit a minor one. Thailand managed to stretch this a bit further, snagging an easy Abyssal Dragon while Korea focused on the Spirit Sentinel.

Thailand ramped up their aggression after the previous, more passive game, setting up a gank in Korea’s jungle at 2:40. A team fight broke out when the trap was sprung, four members of the Korean team finding themselves up against four Thais out for blood. Thailand managed to pick off two confused members of the Korean team, TeeMee quickly burst down by three of the four invaders and not yet able to use Being a Bro to save himself and Superman caught at the end of the fight by all four of the Thai force after failing to disrupt their invasion. After the dust cleared, Thailand had found themselves with a 0-3 lead in kills and over an over 1k lead in gold.

Kil’groth and Taara meanwhile battled it out in the Dark Slayer lane, both heroes able to regain large amounts of lost health while skirmishing. Raz attempted to assist Taara in picking off the yet undefeated-in-lane Sun, but Kil’groth proved too slippery for their attack and managed to slide safely under his sentry.

Korea started to waver under the pressure from Thailand’s lead, losing the aggressive edge of the previous games and playing much more defensively instead. As such, Thailand managed to easily corral the team in their own jungle with the threat of a skirmish breaking out while Violet and Skud picked off a second Abyssal Dragon. Thailand showed just how coordinated they could be, Chaugnar and Raz meeting up with the dragon slayers after the beast had fallen before they all moved to the Abyssal Dragon lane to pick off a pushing Superman.

Thailand was out for blood. They immediately moved mid after their gank and started to pressure the middle tower. Slimz and TeeMee tried to push the invading group away, however the tower wasn’t enough to make up their numbers difference and both fell in Thailand’s warpath. The Abyssal Dragon tier one fell soon after, Korea needing too much time to regroup to effectively defend the structure. Thailand had taken complete control of the flow of the match, now boasting 4k more gold than Korea.

Thailand continued to push, not showing any signs of breaking from their offensive. Their attention moved back to the Abyssal Dragon lane, this time focusing on the tier 2 tower. Despite the matchup being 4 on 4, Korea couldn’t defend the tower from Violet’s damage any more than they could defend themselves from the gank that came immediately afterwards. Slimz, TeeMee, and Superman all fell without any chance of escape or retaliation, Thailand now free to continue their attack nearly unopposed. They continued their stampede, quickly tearing down Korea’s tier 3 Abyssal tower before moving on to destroy the core.

Winner: Thailand
Final Kill Score: 0 – 10
Towers – Slayers – Dragons: 0 – 0 – 0 to 4 – 0 – 2
Gold: 14.2k – 21.2k

Thailand Korea
1 2

Game 4

Korea Thailand
Picks
JJak – Alice Cherie – Arduin
Chaser – Skud Moss – Chaugnar
HAK – The Flash 007x – Violet
Rush – Nakroth ReMiX – Kil’groth
Sun – Taara MeMark – Raz
Bans
TeeMee Omen
Grakk Xeniel
Arum Lindis

The unthinkable happened this draft: Superman’s pick/ban rate fell from 100%. After an abysmal game each with the Man of Steel, both teams became disillusioned with his power and avoided him completely. Korea instead focused on picking the comfortable favorites that had been denied to them the previous game, Taara and Skud now back in their hands. Interestingly, Korea banned TeeMee themselves, the hero having given them tremendous amounts of mileage previously. Korea debuted their first melee jungler of the series this match as well, taking Nakroth rather than their previous marksman focuses. Thailand meanwhile took picks that reflected their previous games much more closely, each one of the heroes picked having been seen in a previous match of the series with the exception of Arduin.

Korea was on the defensive after the previous game, Thailand in a much more aggressive mindset in contrast. This ended up paying to Korea’s advantage, as they hung back and avoided an invasion while Thailand tried to go for Korea’s Might Golem. With more teammates on hand due to deciding against an invasion, Korea was able to counter Thailand’s invasion and grab an early kill on both Raz and Arduin to start off strong at 0:45.

The game continued with waves of pressure moving between the two teams but no one grabbing any kills. This kept up until the first Abyssal Dragon contest started at 2:06. Thailand maintained healthy control of the beast until Nakroth and Taara jumped onto the beast in attempts to steal it. Unfortunately for Korea, their attempts weren’t successful as Violet was able to get the last hit on the beast. Even less fortunately for Korea, neither Nakroth or Taara managed to escape the contest, giving up two kills and Korea’s previous gold advantage to Thailand.

Thailand showed the same relentless onslaught as the previous game, moving directly from the Abyssal Dragon to the Abyssal tier one tower in attempts to sack it. Alice, along with the newly resurrected Nakroth and Taara, were quick to respond, however, drawing attention away from the tower and into a scuffle. They succeeded in distracting the invading force away from the tower, thereby saving it, but once again traded kills with Thailand. Each team picked up two kills each in the trade, the kill score 4 – 4 at the 3-minute mark. While Korea’s efforts were valiant and preserved their tower for a time, it would not last. Thailand regrouped at the 4-minute mark and knocked down the Abyssal tier-1, making it the first tower down in the match.

Momentum had turned completely to Thailand’s favor, the team managing the next Abyssal Dragon practically without contest. The dragon-slaying force of four moved to attempt a siege of the Abyssal tier 2 tower, but Korea was quick to respond. The Flash joined the defending Nakroth, Taara, and Alice to pick off two of the invaders and help tighten the ever-growing gold gap between the two teams.

This Flash double kill was just one of many instances where the Fastest Man Alive demonstrated why he has such a high ban rate. The next of such instances would come at 6:17 where he jumped on a group of three members of team Thailand and caught them up in a Cyclone. While this only resulted in the death of Raz rather than all three present, it sent the other two running for their lives with critically low health. Unfortunately, the remaining two members of team Thailand were able to use the time that their teammates were fighting to pick off Taara in the Dark Slayer lane and knock down the nearby tier 1 tower.

Despite lagging behind, Korea wasn’t going down without a fight. Even if the best that they could do was trade, the team continued to push for victory with coordinated attacks. While team Thailand busied themselves with the Abyssal Dragon once more at 7:30, Korea converged on the split pushing Kil’groth to pick off a kill and keep their gold deficit in some sort of manageable range. They are forced to trade again soon after, Arduin of team Thailand pushing down the Abyssal Dragon lane and knocking down their tier 2 tower before Korea rushes him and picks up yet another isolated kill.

Things were looking rough for Korea. Their towers kept systematically falling, Thailand kept showing a complete dominance of the map, and now the boys from Bangkok were out for the Dark Slayer. Skud managed to catch a glimpse of four members of team Thailand just going to town on the Dark Slayer which signaled the Korean team to come in a hope to contest it. If Thailand got the buff, the game was as good as over. But, right before the beast was felled, Nakroth managed to sweep in and expertly stole the creature away from Thailand, gaining the Dark Slayer buff for himself and his team. With the slayer’s buff on their side and now facing a weakened enemy, Korea managed to grab an extra kill from the contest before the enraged Thailand could escape, narrowing the gold deficit and showing that they were in the finals to win.

This wasn’t enough to fully swing the fight back into Korea’s favor, however. Nakroth and Alice moved down mid to try and claim a few towers while strengthened by the Slayer buff but were thwarted by the careful pressure of Chaugnar and Kil’groth. Kil’groth capitalized on Korea’s boost of confidence, lunging on Alice and quickly picking her off while Nakroth was pressured away. This didn’t completely break Korea’s spirit, however, Skud and The Flash coming in to pick off Raz in the mid lane shortly after.

Both teams kept pressuring and baiting for fights with neither fully committing. Thailand had the obvious control advantage, pushed down to Korea’s tier 2 and 3 towers. They were perhaps a bit too confident in their control, however, extending too far towards Korea at the 13-minute mark, punished by losing Violet to The Flash. Encouraged by this and knowing that they had to do something, Korea started to set up a gank to try and win the game back from Thailand. The assault launched at 14:23, but Thailand was quick and decisive with their response. Thailand immediately gathered onto Nakroth, picking him off almost immediately. Three of the Korean team fell back at the failure, but Taara was determined to get something out of the engagement and stood to face Thailand 1 on 4. Unfortunately, Taara was unable to fell any one of the heroes before falling herself, leaving Korea at a numbers disadvantage for the time being.

Thailand took the moment and pushed forward, struggling against the defending remainder of team Korea. Their numbers advantage was eventually enough to sack the Slayer lane tier 2 tower and, in doing so, put them in position to catch Alice out of position and destroy her for her mistake. Korea was now pressured to the edge of their base, Kil’groth able to solo the Dark Slayer for Thailand without the Korean team even noticing that it was happening. Now with the Slayer buff on their side, Thailand began to push harder at the Korean base for the victory.

Thailand moved on the Dark Slayer high ground tower, destroying it with little difficulty, before moving to the mid high ground. In a last, desperate attempt at victory, Nakroth had moved down the Abyssal lane to attempt and backdoor Thailand’s base. The assassin managed to take out both the tier 2 and 3 towers but met an unsavory end when Raz recalled to base and annihilated him. Now 5 on 3, Thailand just had to wait for a minion wave to arrive in order to finish the game. Skud and Taara jumped in to try and delay the team or find a pick off to push them away, but it wasn’t enough. They fell to Thailand without picking up any kills to show for it and left the core open. Thailand quickly moved on the critical structure and ended the game at 17:09.

Winner: Thailand
Final Kill Score: 12 – 13
Towers – Slayers – Dragons: 5 – 1 – 0 to 8 – 1 – 6
Gold: 47.1k – 56.0k

Thailand Korea
2 2

Game 5

Thailand Korea
Picks
Cherie – Arum JJak – Grakk
Moss – Chaugnar Chaser – Maloch
007x – Murad HAK – Natalya
ReMiX – Skud Rush – Rourke
MeMarkz – Raz Sun – Kil’groth
Bans
TeeMee Lindis
Xeniel Slimz
Omen Violet

Korea pointedly tried to deny 007x by banning the most common jungle marksmen rather than their typical picks. This left Arum open as Thailand went for the first pick, they instantly snatching the channeler up. Denied from a jungle marksman, 007x went with Murad instead to try and show off the power that the assassin once boasted. The rest of team Thailand took picks they had demonstrated well in the series already with Skud, Raz, and Chaugnar. Korea finally got their hands on Grakk, setting up a team that would heavily punish anyone caught by his hook with Rourke and Natalya ready to offer heavy amounts of damage.

Neither team tried for an immediate invasion this game, both staying to their respective sides of the field as the match started. This didn’t last for too long, however, as Korea took advantage of Rourke’s amazing clear speed to set up a delayed invasion of Thailand’s Sage Golem. Moving with Grakk and Natalya, Rourke was able to snatch the Sage Golem early and come close to picking off Raz after a well-aimed Devil’s Chain from Grakk. Quick work by Thailand kept everyone alive, however, and Korea slipped away with an additional jungle buff for their efforts.

This wouldn’t be the last time that Grakk showed how scary his hooks could be, snatching Chaugnar and dragging the elephant to a waiting team Korea as they fought for the Abyssal Dragon. Without an ultimate yet, there was nothing that Chaugnar could do to survive and gave up first blood to Korea. Korea abandoned the dragon after this and shifted down to Thailand’s Might Golem camp, finding Murad and snatching him up with another monstrous Devil’s Chain. Murad tried to dash away, but the coordinated efforts of Natalya and Rourke were too much to escape from and Korea managed to pick up a second kill along with Thailand’s might buff. Arum moved to punish the aggressive push, slowing the weakened group with a well placed Uncaged. Maloch was in to assist his allies with Shock, allowing Korea to pick off both Arum and Raz who had moved come over to assist. Korea was then able to pick up the Abyssal Dragon to get a huge lead of nearly 3k gold at just over 3 minutes into the game.

Things slowed down as Thailand farmed in attempts to catch up, Korea moving more to contest Thailand’s advance rather than to press their own advantage. A clash finally broke out as the game neared 4 minutes, Skud jumping onto Natalya near the mid tier 1 tower. Thailand managed to follow through and grab the kill and get onto the scoreboard, expertly shifting to avoid follow up damage after their engagement and even pick up a second kill on Rourke who came to assist. This wasn’t a total loss for Korea, however, as Kil’groth was able to use the space to knock down the Dark Slayer tier 1 tower.

The flow of the game seemed to be shifting to Thailand’s favor, however, they picking up two more kills mid to tie things up in terms of kills at 6 minutes. This was furthered with a missed World Devourer from Grakk, Thailand using the botched ability to sweep in and grab another kill. Thailand would even tie up the tower score as well, Skud managing to knock out the Dark Slayer tier one. This trend continued until Thailand was finally able to overcome Korea’s gold lead, outpacing their gains at the 8-minute mark.

The game returned to a series of baits and near misses, neither team committing fully to a team fight. That is, until 9:05 where Korea swarmed to the Abyssal Dragon lane to take a shot at the advancing Arum. Arum’s durability kept her alive long enough for her team to respond, though, and while she did lose her life to the gank, Thailand was able to secure a kill as well. Rourke and Natalya were left in a perilous position after the gank, surrounded by much healthier members of team Thailand and low on life, but wanting to protect their last tier 1 tower. Murad rushed in to try and snipe down a critically low Rourke with Temporal Turbulence, but the Captain was able to skillfully dodge the burst move and keep a hold of his life. The two held on until their team made a return, though they would not find salvation. Murad swept in again once his abilities were refreshed and picked both Rourke and Natalya off with Another Dimension.

At 10:15, Thailand tried to push their advantage further by making a move for the Dark Slayer. Kil’groth moved in to try and contest, but the combined strength of Murad and Arum was too much for him to handle, quickly dispatched by the two. Grakk was next to the scene, but all of team Thailand had come to fight the epic creature at this point. He met the same fate as Natalya, unable to stand to the combined might of team Thailand. With two of their enemies down and waiting for respawn, Thailand moved on the tier 2 tower in the Dark Slayer lane and managed to effortlessly dispatch it. It wasn’t until after they so effectively picked up two kills and a tower that Thailand moved back to take down the Dark Slayer, Korea unable to do anything to stop them.

Korea was thoroughly scared at this point, keeping a wide gap in between themselves and Thailand. They were soon forced to engage, however, Thailand now aiming to breach the high ground by taking down the Slayer lane tier 3 tower. Korea struggled valiantly and were able to trade Natalya’s life for the tower. However, after the dust settled, Korea realized that their defense hadn’t been as successful as they thought. While his teammates pushed down the Slayer lane, Skud made a break for the Abyssal Dragon lane high ground, able to knock it down despite Rourke’s defense.

Desperate not to get restricted to their base, Korea started to branch out from their base and get a bit of gold to aid them in upcoming fights. They managed to catch Arum out in their jungle, though doing so put them in a less-than-advantageous position. What’s more, Arum’s immense durability allowed her to stay standing until her nearby teammates came in for the assist, pushing back Korea and grabbing two kills in the process.

Thailand began another march, gathering mid at 13:25 to start advancing on Korea’s base. They made short work of the last remaining tier 2 tower, giving up Korea’s last hope of venturing outside of their own base. They continued forward to the high ground and began to pressure Korea back. It wasn’t enough to siege the tower yet, though, as Korea managed to pick off Skud at the cost of both Maloch and Kil’groth. Grakk was next, falling to what had become an insane amount of burst damage coming from Murad after using World Devourer to quickly clear out a minion wave. Korea was able to keep the invaders back by constantly throwing themselves in, losing Kil’groth once again in an effort just to push them away, but each wave had Thailand advancing closer to the Korean core.

Thailand kept up their offensive, splitting up to push each lane simultaneously. Two heroes took each lane that still had a standing high ground tower-Abyssal lane and mid, while a single hero pushed the exposed Dark Slayer lane. The groups converged mid to try and force their way through a gathered Korea and come extremely close to sacking the tower. A well-placed hook and Shock pushed the Thai invaders back before it fell, leaving the tower with a sliver of life. Korea managed to take out two heroes in their defense and now found themselves with a numbers advantage. Quick to try and push this, they pursued the fleeing Thailand. However, Murad doubled back on the pursuers and quickly burst Rourke away with another devastating Temporal Turbulence. Murad would later flex more of his dominance on the defending Korea, able to quickly dash up to the critical tower with Thorn of Time and give it the final push it needed to finally fall.

Regrouping, Thailand once again went for the Dark Slayer, Korea under far too much pressure to be able to do anything about it. Now with a heavy damage boost on their side and Korea with just a single tower to their name, Thailand once again moved toward the Korean core. The group gathered in the Dark Slayer lane, Murad jumping behind enemy lines and using Temporal Turbulence to quickly destroy any minions who might delay their own minions’ advance. Maloch tried to slow their advance with Shock but lost his life in the process. Korea jumped on the invaders in a rabid attempt to push them away, taking out Murad and Chaugnar and-

The game was over. During the melee, Skud had slipped into the Korean base with a minion wave and successfully sacked the core, winning the game for Thailand and bringing them within one game of winning the series.

Winner: Thailand
Final Kill Score: 22 – 11
Towers – Slayers – Dragons: 8 – 2 – 3 to 1 – 0 – 1
Gold: 56.9k – 52.2k

Thailand Korea
3 2

Game 6

Korea Thailand
Picks
JJak – Alice Cherie – Chaugnar
Chaser – Skud Moss – TeeMee
HAK – Liliana 007x – Slimz
Rush – Violet ReMiX – Kil’groth
Sun – Taara MeMarkz – Krixie
Bans
Arum Omen
The Flash Xeniel
Raz Lindis

Korea returned to a number of comfortable picks rather than picking around Thailand, the only new face in their line up being Liliana. Rush finally found himself back on Violet as well, undoubtedly thrilled to be using such a familiar character again. Thailand, meanwhile, finally got their hands on TeeMee, pairing him up with Chaugnar for oodles of babysitting potential. 007x picked up Slimz this time around, able to return to his comfort picks of jungling marksmen.

Both teams started the game aggressively, heading straight for the other’s might golem camp. Each was able to nab the buff along with a few of the smaller camps without incident, the teams transitioning to an early game of pushing their pressure onto the other team. The first spark of life came at 1:45, TeeMee flickering onto Alice to blast the poor girl with their Pooty Poots. Krixi and Slimz followed up on the engagement while Violet and Liliana responded for Korea. While Alice wasn’t able to crawl away after the lethal burst of noxious fumes, Violet’s excellent poke damage combined with an excellently aimed Blinding Light from Liliana ensured that the death didn’t go unpunished, the two able to slay TeeMee in revenge.

TeeMee, eager at their previous success, looked to gank again at 2:35. Poor Alice once again found herself victim to a chemical attack, TeeMee initiating upon her. Korea was quicker to respond this time, however, everyone outside of Taara rushing in to back up the adorable mystic. The Korean revenge squad managed to knock Krixi out along with the offending TeeMee, securing themselves a bit of momentum at the start of the match. To add to the injury, Korea was then able to easily take out the Abyssal Dragon, Thailand lacking the manpower to contest them.

The match continued to favor Korea, the team moving to answer Slimz, TeeMee, and Kil’groth, who had been giving Taara a hard time in the Dark Slayer lane. The group from Thailand were forced to immediately retreat, Slimz falling to the assault and Kil’groth escaping with just a sliver of life. Korea then followed up by taking Thailand’s Dark Slayer tier 1 tower, continuing to show the same strong early game play that they had demonstrated throughout the series.

After three games of constant trailing, it was Korea’s turn to show off some pressure. The team moved mid to push against Thailand’s tier 1 tower there, Violet and Alice able to comfortably invade Thailand’s jungle and steal their buffs as well. They wouldn’t get the tower quite yet, lacking the confidence to go too far in yet and instead content to keep up their map control for the time being.

The next skirmish would break out at 5:17, Thailand coming to contest the Abyssal Dragon away from Korea. Violet proved herself too potent, however, causing TeeMee to quickly burn through his ultimate with her fierce burst damage. Skud was then able to flank Thailand as they regrouped, knocking the heroes away from one another to finish off TeeMee and send Chaugnar towards the waiting team Korea who quickly murdered him as well. Despite knocking Skud down to critical amounts of health, Thailand was unable to pick any kills up from the exchange and were forced to retreat, leaving the Abyssal Dragon and their nearby tier 1 tower open to Korea. Korea made sure to capitalize on this opening, making short work of both objectives.

Korea was pulling the map under more and more of their control. The foursome of Alice, Liliana, Skud, and Violet moved to pressure the mid tier 1 while Taara continued to harass the side lanes and keep up the split push. The high poke damage from Violet’s Tactical Fire and burst from Skud’s Power Glove allowed the team to knock out the tier 1 tower without allowing Thailand any resistance. TeeMee tried to follow up Thailand’s loss by initiating a fight, however, they didn’t even have enough time to prep Being a Bro before Violet and Liliana burst them down.

Meanwhile, Taara had gotten behind the Abyssal lane tier 2 tower and was holding Thailand’s minion wave to allow her own minion’s free reign on the tower. Kil’groth and Chaugnar moved to try and punish her bold move, but the warrior proved too tanky and managed to escape with her life. If that wasn’t enough, Korea’s main force had rotated down at the sign of a scuffle and managed to quickly burst Chaugnar down.

Thailand was now on the ropes and was acting extremely defensively as a result. All but the split Kil’groth had grouped tightly together for safety and were keeping on the far side of their towers. This allowed Korea to rotate up to the Slayer lane and pick off the tier 2 tower there, Thailand unable to respond. Korea caught on that Thailand was staying well in their safe zone and decided to use the space to try and take an early Dark Slayer. It looked as if they were going to get it without contest, but Chaugnar caught on to their attack and expertly ran into the beast, sniping away the kill with an well-timed Punish, and then ran away with both the Slayer buff and his life.

The wonderful steal was the windfall that Thailand needed, the gold deficit they had been suffering now mostly closed and with the Slayer buff on their side. The group moved to finally act more aggressively, posturing to take their first Abyssal lane tower. Korea proved too quick in their response, though, and managed to show up at the tower in time to clear the minion wave and send Thailand packing.

The aggression from Thailand wasn’t enough to knock Korea off their game, they keeping up an aggressive offensive of their own. The team moved up the Abyssal lane to challenge Thailand’s tier 2 tower there while Skud split down the Slayer lane. Remix tried to counter engage the group by spring from a bush and going to town on Violet, but the marksman proved too quick and was able to slip out with health surely down to the single digits. Korea managed to take out the target tower in the meantime, however, they were forced to back away to safety before they were able to go for any kills.

The game slowed down a moment, Korea moving to pressure each one of the lanes while Thailand tried to keep up and defend their towers. At 10:30, Korea brought the fight to Thailand’s last tier 2 down mid, Violet’s poke damage too much for it to survive. Thailand had tried to move up to the tower to protect it but found themselves now extended well past safety after it fell. Skud and Taara jumped into the Thailand team immediately after the tower fell, quickly knocking away a chunk of Krixi’s health and forcing TeeMee to use their ultimate early. Knowing that Thailand plays their best in team fights, Korea backed off to keep pushing towers rather than risk a team fight, not willing to risk giving Thailand any sort of path to victory.

The next fight erupted at 11:35, TeeMee catching Alice in Thailand’s jungle. Unfortunately for the tanuki pair, Korea was able to quickly respond to their engagement and managed to burst the brothers away before they had a chance to use Being a Bro. While they didn’t lose any other heroes in the engagement, Thailand took a heavy loss by way of a high ground tower, Korea rotating to take the Abyssal lane tier 3 now that they had a numbers advantage. This wasn’t enough for Korea, they next rotating to the Slayer lane before heading mid to contest those high ground towers as well. While pushed away from the Slayer lane tier 3, they find success mid and move their way into Thailand’s now wide-open base.

Thailand tried to find ground to push Korea away but found themselves held back by the threat of Liliana and Violet’s damage. Unfortunately for them, this allowed Korea enough breathing room to take out the last of Thailand’s high ground towers before they made their move on the core. Thailand continued to fight valiantly but was unable to hold Korea off, Korea winning the game at 12:59.

Winner: Korea
Final Kill Score: 14 – 1
Towers – Slayers – Dragons: 9 – 0 – 3 to 0 – 1 – 1
Gold: 41.3k – 31.5k

Thailand Korea
3 3

Game 7

Thailand Korea
Picks
Cherie – Taara JJak – Alice
Moss – Chaugnar Chaser – Skud
007x – Violet HAK – Liliana
ReMiX – Airi Rush – Lindis
MeMarkz – Preyta Sun – Kil’groth
Bans
TeeMee Arum
Xeniel Raz
Omen The Flash

The ban phase was one of each team daring the other to ban the two favorite ranged junglers: Violet and Lindis. Both eventually made it through, leaving Thailand with the choice of which to keep and which to give to Korea. After debating each, Thailand went with Violet, leaving Lindis to Korea. Thailand then picked up a bit of an odd mix of diving heroes in Airi and Taara along with the more range-focused Preyta. Preyta and Violet would need a lot of set up if they were to deal out their immense amounts of damage. Korea meanwhile tried to repeat their previous success by picking heroes they had shown success with in previous matches.

The game started with Thailand trying to an early lead, rushing Korea’s Sage Golem camp while Korea tried to defend. The early aggression was too much though, Thailand managing a quick steal of the jungle buff. Kil’groth made sure to repay the slight, moving into Thailand’s jungle to steal their Sage Golem. Thailand tried to respond, but the slippery fishman was able to get away with both the buff and his life. Both teams moved with a very careful determination, desperate to not give up the lead in this final game.

This cautious yet aggressive pace could be seen in everything the teams did. Careful sieges were made in attempts to steal even minor jungle camps and thereby deny the enemy even a slight amount of gold. Thailand made a play for the Abyssal Dragon at 2:07, but Korea was immediate in their movement to push the team away. Rather than stand and try to take the creature themselves, Korea left the beast to avoid drawing a contest themselves.

Things would grow close to first blood at times. At 3:30, Lindis joined with Kil’groth in attempts to slaughter Airi. The two managed to deal quite a bit of damage exceptionally quickly, but the kunoichi’s Ryuu allowed her both the extra durability and speed she needed to slip out of danger. While their gank hadn’t led to a direct kill, the space that Airi’s retreat offered was enough for Kil’groth to push forward and take the first tower of the game.

Meanwhile, Thailand had made another push for the Abyssal Dragon, determined to slay the beast and get an early lead over Korea. While Skud tried to exert some pressure to scare them off, there wasn’t much that he could do without Kil’groth or Lindis as back up, so Thailand managed to nab the first dragon kill and a small gold lead.

Thailand started to step away from caution and towards a more aggressive style. Chaugnar tried to snatch away Korea’s Sage Golem in a daring invade, though found himself failing and forced to run in order to escape with his life. At the same time, Taara pushed out behind Korea’s tier 1 tower to prevent their minion wave from advancing but found herself in an equally perilous retreat when Skud came to punish her for the move.

Thailand continued an offensive on Korea’s jungle, moving near the 6-minute mark to invade Korea’s jungle. While they were successful this time in swiping the blue buff, their focused efforts took too much attention away from the Slayer lane where Lindis and Kil’groth were pushing, taking the tier 2 tower.

First blood wouldn’t spill until 6:43. Thailand had split, one group focusing on taking another Abyssal Dragon while Preyta maintained a presence and pressured mid. Split themselves and focused on amassing gold in the jungle, Korea wasn’t able to properly answer either of these. Thailand successfully picked off the dragon without much resistance at all while Preyta poked away at Alice and Liliana who were trying to defend the tower. Rotating mid after slaying the dragon, Thailand was able to unleash a significant amount of burst damage on Alice and pick her off underneath the tower. The tower was soon to follow, worn down after the offensive.

Thailand was quick to keep up the pressure, rotating to the Abyssal lane to have a go at Skud’s life next. The durable brawler was too much for their assault, despite their best efforts, and managed to scrape away with a sliver of health. With four members of their team present, though, Thailand had nothing preventing them from quickly taking out Korea’s Abyssal tier one next.

Both teams began aggressively posturing themselves for another fight, baiting and feinting to try and draw the other into a waiting trap. Neither was ready to fully commit, however, the weight of the World Championship keeping them all wary and cautious. Thailand managed to pick up their third Abyssal Dragon in this low period, giving them a rather dangerous 2k gold lead at 9 minutes.

Almost in direct response to this gold lead, Korea converged on Thailand as they moved from the dragon to try and get their first taste of blood this match. Liliana’s significant burst damage and mobility allow her to execute Preyta, finally allowing Korea a place on the scoreboard. Korea tried to press their assault onward for additional kills, but Thailand was now in full retreat. Lindis managed to snag Thailand’s might buff before the group was forced into a retreat themselves. Kil’groth showed his opportunistic nature once again as all this was going down, though, assaulting Thailand’s mid tower and managing to crush it with his mighty spear.

Taking a note out of Kil’groth’s book, Taara had begun assaulting Korea’s Slayer tier 1 tower. Unfortunately for the warrior, however, Korea would prove themselves much quicker to respond than Thailand and managed to reach Taara with enough time to both save the tower and slay the durable brawler.

Motivated by his previous success, Kil’groth went for another sneaky pick off. This time, though, rather than a tower, the warrior had begun an attack on the Dark Slayer. Thailand wasn’t completely without pressure after the series of minor losses, however, and managed to pressure the Terror away before considerable damage could be done to the creature.

Despite still having some weight to throw around, Thailand found themselves fighting against Korea’s momentum. Sped along by Friendship, Lindis managed to sweep behind Airi in the Abyssal lane and pick the poor girl off before she had time to know what was happening.

On the other side of the map, Korea’s assault on Airi gave Violet the idea that the Dark Slayer was now safely out of their attention. She began an assault, hoping to rally her team and pick off the beast before Korea realized what was going on. This might have worked, if not for a Kil’groth in the nearby bushes. Aware of their path, Korea managed to cut off Thailand as they headed to the Dark Slayer and kick off a full skirmish. The combined damage of Lindis and Liliana was too much for Thailand, forcing them to retreat after Korea found a quick kill on Preyta. Korea followed the fight off by taking Thailand’s might golem and Abyssal lane tier one tower as trophies before claiming their first Abyssal Dragon kill for good measure.

The two teams returned to cautious baiting and pushing, Thailand forced to play more defensively while Korea tried to catch a member of Thailand out of position. Korea would find just what they were hoping for at 13:22, Skud, Lindis, and Alice able to burst down a solo Airi before she had a chance to escape. If the pickoff wasn’t bad enough for Thailand, Korea was then able to move on the Dark Slayer and take it unopposed. Thailand was far too focused on protecting their last few towers to be able to contest the powerful creature, no matter how disastrous the result would be.

Now with a gold advantage and slayer buff on their side, Korea amped up their aggression even further. The team moved as five to take out Thailand’s mid tier 2 tower, Thailand unable to do anything to respond without risking the entire match. Now with only high ground towers separating them from the core, Korea began shifting between the three lanes to keep pressure high and hopefully rip one of the structures down.

Both teams moved from lane to lane, Korea applying pressure on a tower as Thailand forced them to back off. Skud was forced back from the fight after falling critically low on health as a result of Thailand’s significant poke damage. Taara moved out of safety to try and punish Kil’groth but was perhaps too confident in her own durability. The rest of team Korea came to assist their fishy friend, bursting away Taara’s health faster than her regeneration could manage.

Now with a numbers advantage of their own, Korea began following waves up to towers to chip away at their health. They only managed to bring the middle high ground down to about half health before they were forced away but found much more luck in the Abyssal dragon lane. Their heavy damage destroyed the tower before Thailand could properly defend. While Thailand managed to chase the team away from the core, the damage was done. Thailand’s base was exposed and they now had to focus fully on preventing defeat.

Kil’groth remained in the Abyssal Dragon lane, keeping pressure high and preventing Thailand from pushing out while his teammates focused on the last two remaining towers. Thailand showed themselves brilliant at defending though, not giving the Terror a chance to push into their base while keeping the rest of Korea in check as well. The team cautiously moved out of their base, level and gold advantages mattering very little now that the heroes were maxing out. They moved to find a member of Korea in the Thailand jungle to pick them off and maybe find a fight with a numbers advantage. They succeed in finding Alice, but the rest of Korea was swift in joining her to fight. Skud and Kil’groth together managed to burst away both Violet and Preyta nearly simultaneously and force Thailand into an immediate withdrawal. The retreating team Thailand wasn’t quite fast enough, though, Liliana managing to pick Chaugnar off in their retreat.

The minion wave walked up to mid tower just as Korea began their final push. The tower fell nearly instantaneously, exposing the core fully to oncoming Korea. Desperate to save the core, the last remaining members of Thailand threw themselves at the oncoming team in a vain hope to clear out the minion wave. They were no match for Korea, falling immediately to the invaders before the core was taken at exactly 20:00.

Winner: Korea
Final Kill Score: 1 – 11
Towers – Slayers – Dragons: 2 – 0 – 3 to 8 – 1 – 3
Gold: 51.2k – 62.0k

World Champions
Korea

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