Lock the doors and hide the kids: Zoe’s here, and she’s coming to a mid lane near you.
The Aspect of Twilight made her international debut at Day 1 of All-Star 2017, winning all three games in which she was picked. Her buoyant presence helped inject a sense of joy into a tournament whose new format has had everyone taking things much too seriously.
Reconstituted as a competitive event with regional pride on the line, All-Star 2017 has brought eight super teams together to determine what side of the world will take home bragging rights to end the year. On Thursday, top players from NA, EU, Korea, China, Taiwan, Brazil, Turkey and Southeast Asia converged in Los Angeles to begin two days of group play before the Saturday’s BO3 semifinals and Sunday’s B05 Finals.
Group A (LCK, LMS, TCL, EU) saw an unlikely squad take pole position. The LMS All-Stars—girded by such international veterans like Jungler Hung “Karsa” Hau-Hsuan and Support Hu “SwordArT” Shuo-Chieh—went 2-0 to begin the event, ending the day with an impressive victory over Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok and his Korean colleagues. Karsa was fantastic in the early game, securing kills all over the map to keep the LCK superstars off their stride. The unseen threat provided by Karsa’s fed Kha’Zix took the pressure off Mid Laner Chu “FoFo” Chun-Lan’s Zoe, who ended the game deathless at 5-0-10. Even Faker had no answer to the little girl’s big damage and mobility, suffering a game-high seven deaths.
In Group B (NA, LPL, CBLOL, GPL), North America had a chance to start their hometown event off right, but faltered when it counted. After easily dispensing with the Brazilian All-Stars to begin the day—aided in no small part by Mid Laner Soren “Bjergsen” Bjerg’s 7-1-8 Zoe—NA failed to translate their effective early game into a victory over the LPL delegation. AD Carry Zachary “Sneaky” Scuderi kept his team in the hunt with an outstanding Quadra Kill as Jhin around the Baron Pit, but North America couldn’t translate that major objective secure into victory. Given the opportunity to farm as the game wore on, Su “xiye” Han-Wei demonstrated exactly why a late game Kassadin is a scary thing. His own Quadra Kill to win a mid lane 5v5 left NA unable to defend their base, and China closed out the game seconds later to improve to 2-0.
The day was closed out with a series of palette-cleansing 1v1s. Faker surprised no one by dunking on Álvaro “VVvert” Martins at Nasus, but that expected result was an outlier among several close duels. Park “Jisu” Jin-cheol, an emergency top lane sub for the GPL squad once Phạm “Hope” Trung Hieu (among others) was denied a Visa, surprised Tristan “PowerOfEvil” Schrage under turret, using Pantheon’s passive to dodge a lethal turret shot, killing the former Misfits star on his signature Orianna. Tian “Meiko” Ye a formidable duelist despite his position as support, watched his own minions finish off Kim “Frozen” Tae-il’s Lux after a perfectly-timed Emperor’s Divide. In the final match, a single CS propelled Felipe “brTT” Gonçalves past Sneaky in a battle of decorated ADCs. Dad should have known: Draven always wins.