The All Star event isn’t like any other international tournament. While the likes of Worlds, MSI and IEM focus solely on the glory of winning and worldwide recognition; the ASE is centered on having fun. After all, that’s what video games are about. But who ever said you can’t have fun AND win?
The format is rather simple for the ASE. For the five premier regions (NA, EU, Korea, Taiwan, China), players are chosen via fan votes. Whoever the fans think is the best in their role, or whoever is the most popular player, will represent their region at All Stars. For the International WIld Card, a separate event is held. Participant are also chosen through popular vote yet only the winner of the IWC All Stars gets to participate in the main event.
Each team is made up of three regional squads. ICE consists of the European LCS, the Chinese LPL and the LMS from Taiwan. The North American LCS, the Korean LCK and the IWC winner (in this case the GPL from South East Asia) constitute team FIRE. The teams fight for points in specific game modes and normal 5v5s. The first team to accumulate 1000 points, wins the event.
The fun matches include modes like All Marksmen, All Assassins, All for One (the team uses the same champion), The Legend of the Poro King, and a personal favorite, Tandem mode. In this last mode two players take control of a single champion, one uses the keyboard and the other the mouse. The Duos are also assigned silly names, like Bebelove (Bebe–Clearlove) and Baker (Bjergsen–Faker), to add to the fun factor. Players have to try their best to win, even when there might be a language barrier.
The traditional 5v5 matches are an interesting way to settle old rivalries. This year, the NA LCS All Stars triumphed over the EU LCS All Stars, making it clear which region is better. The LCK All Stars went undefeated in these matches, further showing that they still win everything even when it’s for fun.
The most exciting competition has to be the 1v1 tournament. Since the beginning of gaming, 1v1s have been the true test of a player’s individual skill. The map is Howling Abyss and special rules apply. The first player to get a kill, get 100 creep score (kill 100 minions) or destroy a tower is victorious. The announcers and casters make it their number one priority to hype up matches before they go down. Team ICE’s players advanced very far in the 1v1 tournament, securing a lot of points for the team. In the end, Jian Uzi Zi-Hao from the LPL emerged as the 1v1 champion, further increasing his team’s lead.
With their overall domination in the 1v1 tournament, ICE was able to achieve 1000 points before FIRE. ICE took their revenge on FIRE, which had last year taken the event. However, there were still games to play. Three matches of All Star All Stars remained. This mode mixed up all the regions within the teams and, since there was nothing on the line, we got to see some very fun picks (like Shaco, Zed and Blitzcrank).
If anything, the ASE is a good change of pace from the grueling competition of Worlds, meant to remind us, and the players, that having fun from time to time isn’t that bad.