How many successful Insec kicks do you think we saw in the final rounds of the Legend of the God Fist 1v1 Lee Sin competition? Answer: One.

As a champion who thrives in the jungle, how many jungle mains do you think made it to the playoffs? Answer: None.

Riot Games Singapore and Malaysia’s first ever local tournament in celebration of the legendary tier God Fist Lee Sin skin started with online qualifiers on 29 March leading up to the offline playoffs on 8 April held live in Singapore at St. James Power Station, a venue better known for its nighttime fights than punching pixels. Maybe you were one of the 1300 registered participants who signed up, maybe you lost in the first round or was lucky enough to get a walkover, or maybe you actually have no idea how to play Lee Sin but stood by your friends anyway as they messed up on Howling Abyss.

When we think 1v1, we think of flashy outplays, Faker vs. Ryu, and All-Stars. Yet as the competition played out, it became apparent that runes, masteries, item purchases, managing extended trades and wave control separated the strong from the weak. Through a live stream showcasing the final 2 days of online qualifying matches, Riot Junch and local shoutcaster Grandon ‘gamernissem’ Oh gave the community a spontaneous breakdown of ins and outs of Lee Sin mechanics, and even tested viewers on Lee Sin trivia for them to stand a chance to win tickets to the finals.

If starting at a boosted level 3 with more gold in a straight lane was not hard enough, the playoffs on Saturday headed into Summoner’s Rift where each match consisted of a best of 3 in mid, top and bottom lane with 3 ways to win:
1) First Blood
1) Reach 100 CS first
2) Take the opponent’s tower

Even though all the contestants in the finals were in the flyweight category, they proved to be heavy contenders in the God Fist. If you were battling it out would you go Ignite-Flash, Barrier-Flash, Exhaust-Ignite or Ignite-Barrier? Fervor of Battle or Grasp of the Undying? Should you Flash then Dragon’s Rage or Dragon’s Rage first and then Flash? As the games progressed it was apparent that knowing exactly when to trade with the minion wave and maintaining pressure on the enemy by zoning him off to prevent lifestealing off creeps with Iron Will was a key factor to winning.

 

The classic Malaysia-Singapore rivalry played out in the finals when FDG Vita faced Rambutan123 aka Vendetta of Sovereign. Things escalated quickly as Rambutan123 put his best fist forward, trading effectively with disciplined wave control before rounding off with execution of a precise Sonic Wave for First Blood in 2 rounds. When it came down to the punch, any battle on Summoner’s Rift is always going to be a game of attrition, especially in a 1v1 scenario. Challenger-tier finalists demonstrated that a true victor knows when to engage: Instead of playing self-defense or waiting for the opponent to outplay himself, becoming a God Fist required striking where the enemy was weak at level 1 and breaking him down into submission.

Legend of the God Fist

(from left) FDG Vita in 2nd place, Innovation in 3rd place, and Rambutan123 ‘sight is useless without vision’ in 1st place with prizes sponsored by Razer

Interestingly, the total number of views for this contest exceeded that of other local competitions. Perhaps this speaks volumes about the community and nature of the Singapore-Malaysia server where individual mechanical outplays is more glorified than coordinated team play; Yasuo, Zed, Vayne and Lee Sin himself after all were 2016’s most played champions on Garena. We are hoping more of such competitions can be organized by Riot Games Singapore and Malaysia in the future to involve the larger community where players compete within their skill level.

To celebrate the rise of local competitions, we’re giving away some event exclusive Legend of the God Fist t-shirts! Check out our Facebook Page for more details.