It was the outcome many people predicted, but anyone who tuned into the League of Legends World Championship semifinals in New York over the weekend - or who was lucky enough to see the teams face off at Madison Square Garden in person - can have no complaints about the level of quality and entertainment on display as SKT Telecom T1 and Samsung Galaxy advanced to next week's final in Los Angeles.
SKT vs. ROX Tigers on Friday night was a rerun of last year's final, of course, and fittingly it was the most thrilling series we've seen at this year's World Championship, SKT eventually overcoming their rival 3-2 in a gripping set of matches that should keep YouTube highlight channels busy for a good few days.
The pick of the plays was easily PraY's crossmap Ashe arrow to delay Duke's back and win the second game for ROX.
Another interesting subplot to the SKT vs ROX series was the unfamiliar sight of Miss Fortune played at support by GorillA in both the games ROX won.
Before you start instalocking it in solo queue, though, it's worth noting that the pick was very situational. It was a nice counter to Wolf's Zyra, because Miss Fortune's Double Up bounced off her plants to hit her, while Make It Rain became an excellent slow and zoning tool to enable Ashe to land skillshots. Miss Fortune's ultimate also synergizes nicely with Ashe's arrow, allowing ROX to apply a lot of pressure. It still might have been for nothing, however, but jungler Peanut also paid a lot of attention to bot lane, giving ROX an even greater advantage.
SKT obviously had enough of this after two straight losses, so they banned it for the remaining games and won both to secure their place in the final. Faker was typically strong on Orianna and Viktor, but ADC Bang also emerged with plenty of credit and Bengi was the broadcast team's pick for player of the series. In other words, SKT is looking scary on all fronts going into next weekend's match at the Staples Center in LA, their second final in a row.
The second game of this series, featuring that Ashe arrow and the first Miss Fortune support pick, is probably the one to watch if you missed the series.
24 hours later, Samsung Galaxy followed SKT into next week's showpiece. The third Korean seed didn't have it all their own way against European team H2K Gaming, but the 3-0 scoreline was ultimately fairly representative.
This match started with a real bang as Samsung jungler Ambition got caught out facechecking a bush in bot lane by H2K ADC FORG1VEN and support Vander. The veteran jungler died so quickly that the EU duo still had time to recall and make it back to lane before the first minion wave hit. Ambition got his own back shortly after, however, flashing his team flair as he found H2K mid-laner Ryu twice in quick succession.
On paper, it looked like H2K had plenty of this game - at one point they were up six kills and they even finished with two more kills than their opponents - but Samsung played the macro game perfectly, gradually building up a huge gold lead and securing objective after objective.
That ended up being the story of the series: H2K often found picks and were competitive in teamfights, thanks in large part to jungler Jankos, but it felt like every time the crowd was cheering an H2K kill, the camera would then cut to another part of the map where CuVee or Ambition was busy taking a tower or dragon. Samsung even managed a 21-minute Baron in game two and the first thing H2K knew about it was when the message popped up saying it had been secured. The European team, famed for its macro play in the EU LCS, simply had no answer to Samsung's suffocating playstyle.
The first game of this series is well worth watching, not least because it also features Samsung support CoreJJ on Miss Fortune.
All of which means that ROX Tigers are heading back to Korea amidst rumors they plan to disband and H2K are heading home to Europe as western teams fall short at Worlds again. H2K can take pride in the week-two display that propelled them into the knockout stages, although they will be disappointed they couldn't put up more of a fight in New York. Overall, though, western teams just can't touch Korean teams. Over 16 games at Worlds 2016 (including two best-of-fives), Korean teams won 14 games and EU/NA together managed two. Perhaps it's time for another round of imports.
Meanwhile, everyone else's attention shifts to another all-Korean League of Legends World Championship final, starting 7pm EDT / 4pm PDT on Saturday October 29, as reigning world champions SK Telecom T1 face up to a Samsung Galaxy team who must be oozing with confidence, having only dropped one game all the way to the final.
If next week's series has as many fireworks as the all-Korean semi, everyone in the audience will be happy, but either way it will be hard to argue with the outcome: our fourth consecutive South Korean League of Legends world champion.