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Worlds finals preview: The Samsung dark horse vs. the SKT standard for excellence

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Riot LoL shoutcaster Jatt shares unique behind-the-scenes insight (2:43)

Josh "Jatt" Leesman, an esports game shoutcaster, details what it's like calling a League of Legends match and explains why he believes South Korea's LoL dominance is comparable to USA Basketball's. (2:43)

There's only one matchup left to determine the champion of the League of Legends World Championship (Worlds). It started with 16 teams, but only two remain, last year's champion SK Telecom T1 and Worlds 2014 champion Samsung Galaxy.

SK Telecom T1: the defending champions

The League of Legends standard for excellence starts and ends with SK Telecom T1 (SKT). The team makes its third appearance in the grand finals of Worlds out of four years and continues to do so with dominating lineups. SKT is a team that harkens to the past. It's a team that boasts two major damage-dealers in traditional positions (middle lane and AD carry) with supplementary pieces from the top and jungle and rotates in a past world champion, Bae "benji" Seong-ung, if the team wants to speed the game up. To beat SKT is to play better fundamental League of Legends, but it possesses some of the best in the business.

For this year's iteration, SKT's best weapon is in the shape of AD carry, Bae "Bang" Jun-sik. He's a monster on Jhin and Ashe and boasts the best kill/death/assist ratio in the entire tournament at 8.0 (65 kills, 19 deaths, and 87 assists). He's been the head of every team fight with the second-highest rank in the tournament for damage per minute at 658 and his positioning in major skirmishes is a thing of beauty. SKT's support, Lee "Wolf" Jae-wan, is the engine behind the team. He's second on the team in kill participation (behind Bang's 70%), but his Karma and Zyra are the real table-setters behind every major engagement.

Samsung Galaxy: the reemergence

This Samsung Galaxy team is a remodel. It's a team that follows its jungler, the veteran Kang "Ambition" Chan-yong, and plays a style of "bend, but do not break" until the late game. Unlike SKT, Samsung Galaxy's strengths are in the jungle and the top lane with Ambition and Lee "CuVee" Seong-jin and it uses the middle lane and AD carries as luxuries or finishers to the overall attack. The team's record, 11-1, represents dominance, but this was a team that comes into the grand finals without a true test to its skill.

Samsung Galaxy's unheralded star is Jo "CoreJJ" Yong-in. His main picks in the tournament, Zyra, Tahm Kench, and especially Karma, are borderline ban-worthy and his ability to disrupt and prolong team fights is something to account for. After that, CuVee is arguably the star of the entire show. CuVee may not dominate a lane in creep score, but his pressure and ability to get a first blood can snowball the team to an easy victory. Ambition is the early game and midgame transition for Samsung Galaxy. Without the jungler's rotations, the team would never live to see 20 minutes. His Olaf and Rek'Sai are masterclass examples of how to be a disruptive and powerful force without the necessary farm or items to do so.

On paper, this is a mismatch. SKT is the easy favorite. The lineup with the most experience, individual skill, and notoriety with the hopes for a repeat stacks the deck too high. But, Samsung Galaxy is the team that lives up to the term "dark horse." The third seed from South Korea continues to surprise and crush competition and its entry into the final matchup of Worlds is hardly a fluke. The prediction is still SKT, but it will not be a blowout by any means.