G2 eSports Return To Europe As “Unofficial World Champions”

It may not soften the blow for their disgruntled fans, but G2 eSports are now the (proud?) holders of the unofficial League of Legends World Championship belt! If only eSports success was measured the same way it is in fighting sports, Europe would be the World’s greatest right now…

The Unofficial World Championship Belt – allow me to explain: Outside eSports, a number of traditional fighting sports title their World Champions by succession; beating the previous holder of the title crowned the victor as the new World Champion.

Now imagine the same premise being applied to League of Legends. Over the course of six competitive seasons and almost 100 competitive matches, G2 eSports are the new holders of the figurative championship belt.

Source: Riot Games Flickr
Source: Riot Games Flickr

There are a number of generally agreeable rules that have lead to the belts journey into the hands of the EU LCS champions: disbanded teams have resulted in the belt passing to its previous owner and since 2014, premier events and their qualifiers have been counted; a change in the rules due to the overall increase in stability of the eSports scene.

The concept of the unofficial World Championship belt was conceived with the first world champion, Fnatic. Since that fabled European victory back in 2011, the belt has travelled all over the world… paying little attention to actual team strength when crowning the new reigning world champs.

Typically, once a team takes the belt home from an international event, it will almost-inevitably bounce around inside the regular split games until its next chance to escape… even the innocuous NA LCS squad Team 8 held the belt for a while.

Source: Riot Games Flickr
Source: Riot Games Flickr

Having shifted to the Korean region with SK Telecom T1’s victory over Counter Logic Gaming at the Mid-Season Invitational, the belt changed hands frequently during the summer split of the LCK. The ROX Tigers donned the belt heading into Group A of the 2016 League of Legends World Championship, having dominated the later stages of Korea’s prime time competition.

Group A has been entirely unpredictable – wildcard entree Albus NoX Luna have defied every analytical prediction to emerge as the group’s second seed. At the end of week 1, Counter Logic Gaming defeated the ROX Tigers to claim the belt as their own, before ANX later upset the American outfit and stole it for the CIS region. In their last game of the competition and with their fate already sealed, G2 stole a game away from Albus Nox, passing the belt along to G2 without an opportunity for it to be taken away from them.

Source: Riot Games Flickr
Source: Riot Games Flickr

Much like the One Ring, the belt seems to lend power to its master in order to hit the international stage, where it then betrays them and passes to a new cursed victim. The unofficial belt is set to corrupt Europe for the foreseeable future… unless of course G2 eSports fancy another vacation to the upcoming Intel Extreme Masters for which they have already received an invite.