Samsung Galaxy and Immortals have survived the initial batch of Group A matches to qualify for the semifinals of the IEM Gyeonggi League of Legends event.
The South Korean esports organization is playing with the same roster it used for the 2016 League of Legends World Championship, where it was one game away from clinching the crown. Hence, it was hardly a surprise to see Samsung Galaxy qualify for the next round of IEM Gyeonggi without dropping a single game.
Samsung Galaxy mostly kept to the meta by picking familiar champions such as Karma, Jhin, Poppy, Viktor, etc. That being said, one game in particular against Immortals featured some surprising picks. Lee “Crown” Min-ho took up Taliyah while Jo “Core JJ” Yong-in went with Miss Fortune support.
Taliyah has fallen from grace with recent patches. She’s no longer as strong as she was upon release. However, Crown used Taliya’s roaming capabilities to pressure the bottom lane into submission. Core JJ’s Miss Fortune pick meant devastation for Zyra and her beloved plants. Together with Kang “Ambition” Chan-yong ganking, and Lee “CuVee” Seong-jin often teleporting down as well, we saw a well-oiled Korean machine going to work on dismantling Immortals.
Despite losing, Immortals looked surprisingly confident in its matches. Do note that except for Eugene “Pobelter” Park in the mid-lane, the entire roster was overhauled during the pre-season. Immortals only locked in Kim “Olleh” Joo-sung for support earlier this week.
Sure there were situations where the team displayed a lack of communication and synergy, but they were very few. Joshua “Dardoch” Hartnett seemed not at all concerned, often flashing in for kills and trying to create something out of an otherwise tense fray. For a new bottom lane, Olleh seemed to work well with young Cody “Massacre” Sun. Lee “Flame” Ho-jong too was advantageous for the team in lane and team fights.
For its first match of the tournament, Immortals completely destroyed J Team. In the deciding match against the same opponents, Immortals dropped a single game to qualify for the semifinals.
The new Immortals still has ways to go but taking into consideration its recent birth, the team shows promise. Against Samsung Galaxy, it gained early advantage only to squander that later on. With enough practice and time, we could be seeing a formidable Immortals side in the next season.