All too soon Finals day is upon us. This is my 4th and last diary of the series – hopefully I’ve given you a taste of what it was like to actually attend such an event. It’s been a fantastic experience and I would do it all again in a heartbeat (though perhaps minus the missing luggage part). I’d like to thank Riot for being my clothing provider for the weekend, perhaps next time consider including Riot Socks and Riot Pants as part of your freebie bundle?
Final approach to the Zenith
Approaching the arena, we find ourselves stuck in an entrance queue for the first time so far – we even wind up missing the first 1v1 game because of it. I actually manage to get my camera in through the doors today, so I can take some much better pictures of the event. I go a little nuts – grabbing over 200 across the whole day!
I really enjoyed the 1v1s and 2v2s for Teams Ice and Fire – my favourite was the Lee Sin match up – it was ridiculously close and everyone thought it was over with multiple times before the match was actually won. Even the person in charge of the victory lights sequence thought so as they accidentally ran the sequence before the kill was pulled off at one point!
Everyone is disappointed when Blitzcrank and Thresh are banned against Madlife and Doublelift, but I don’t think we can blame their opponents all things considered. I’m pretty happy when Froggen wins it for Team Ice – the team I’ve been rooting for thus far!
The crowd is amazing today. Everyone’s on a high, everyone is chanting and stamping. Despite the home team getting knocked out, they’re still there cheering on the two remaining teams. There are many cosplayers walking around – I take a picture of a few. They all get seats down at the front row – for the 1v1s and 2v2s these seats were occupied by members of Team Ice and Fire spectating the matches from the audience.
It’s also hot again, and I’m really starting to wish I’d been able to change my trousers for the entirety of the event! “One more day” I tell myself. Today I do mostly stick to my seat to watch the games – it’s been a long but awesome 4 days and I want to watch it close out.
On one of my few walk arounds I do stumble across Wickd taking photos with fans. I don’t push for a photo as I’m on my own and no-one in the crowd looks like they’d know how to operate a DSLR (I tend to leave it on manual mode). Also during the final game I found myself stuck in a massive crowd outside in the bar area; I’d approached to find out what was going on but had gotten sucked into it. It turned out that Team Ice were out there; they were filming them receiving their trophies. It was fun to watch as they all looked really self-conscious about doing the short reel!
Luckily for them there was a big American guy bustling about doing all he could to encourage them which included getting the crowd I was crushed in to cheer for them. I managed to grab a quick picture of Doublelift whilst they were waiting for the filming to start.
I eventually escaped from the crowd and made it back to my seat for the final 5-10 minutes of the last game. It was a stomp as I’d suspected (OMG seemed quite disheartened from their previous 2 losses) so I didn’t feel like I’d missed anything.
As SKT1 drew the game to a close everyone in the stadium (even me!) leapt to their feet and cheered – I couldn’t believe how loud it was. I thought it was loud when FNC were on stage, but the noise the crowd created when SKT1 won the event blew that out of the water. Everyone remained standing and cheering for the whole ending ceremony. Some fans ran down to the front to crowd around the stage; something I’d only seen for FNC so far. Everyone was happy – even those whose team didn’t win. We all just liked to have something to cheer for.
Again, no announcement was made to it being the end of the event – people just started picking up their things and leaving. This time however all of the casters came to the Bar area and did signatures and photos for those of us that were hanging around. I wound up getting a picture with Jatt as Shakarez wanted to thank him for doing a shoutout on stream a while back which got him a fair amount of subscribers to his youtube channel. People were also clustering around to get the big posters that were hung up everywhere. I walked past a few of the lucky ones holding their rolled up prize under their arm.
I also found a Rioter that if you fist bumped him, he’d hand you a code for a Riot Ward Skin out of his pocket.
Eventually the doors were shut, and our group of friends had finally located each other. We went and grabbed a takeaway near the arena; no time for a meal today as parts of our party were leaving soon. As we were leaving none other than SKT1 walked past us – off to sightsee no doubt! As for us, we were off back to the apartment to rest, and to go tour around Paris on the Monday before I headed back to London in the evening.