Day 3 of the WNS Championship brought the finale of the event. Months of work all came to this, and we had our Top 3 teams fight in eight hours of incredible games. First up was Tribe Gaming vs Sentinels, the former being old kings looking for redemption while the latter fought for a rematch against Immortals. Waiting was Immortals, the titans of the WNS, they had claimed one of the Icons Global Championship tickets, but they were here for the crown.
History was made, and we’ve got the recap right here!
Tribe Gaming vs Sentinels
The teams had faced each other earlier in the Championship, having been one of our closest matchups as the series went 2-1 in Sentinels’ favor. Since then, Tribe had looked flawless with clean wins through the Losers Bracket. While Tribe had momentum, Sentinels had just come off a tough 0-3 loss to Immortals. Both teams had a reason to want to face Immortals, but the main thing on the line was the Icons Global Championship ticket. A win here meant representing North America at the Season 1 international championship.
Sentinels went into Game 1 with a lot of power picks, getting their hands on Riven, which had been banned across the weekend, alongside a Lux Thresh Dragon lane. Seeing this threat, DNZio took to the safety of Morgana, taking him away from the usual ADC’s he’s shown power on. Tribe looked strong in the opening minutes, as ttigers found First Blood on MTS before moving to the Dragon lane and helping to pick up two more kills. The first 5 minutes went Tribe’s way, as their Gold lead allowed them to control the map and take Rift Herald uncontested. But Dragon is where Sentinels made their stand and turned things around. With Beginnings creating space for Rest, and a Flash forward from Sheesh, Sentinels tore through Tribe for a four-for-one- trade to equalize the scoreline and take control of the game. While Tribe was able to fight back, finding picks to take the lead once more, Sentinels simply dominated fights around objectives. The end started as Sentinels danced around Baron, and Tribe thought they could find a pick onto Mali in the 14th minute. Sentinels were able to collapse, defending their Midlaner before taking a three-for-nothing trade and the objective. From there, it was just a formality, and Sentinels pushed through the Dragonlane for a 17-minute win, 16-7 on the scoreboard, and 14k Gold ahead.
Sentinels came to run it back for Game 2, as Mali showed us yet another new pick with a Twisted Fate while DNZio was put back onto an ADC with Ashe. The first fight was over Rift Herald and it didn’t look so bad, as it was only a two-for-one trade going to Sentinels and the Gold stayed even. We moved to the Dragon, where Sentinels found another pick but the teams still seemed even. And then Tribe fought back, finding picks to equalize the scoreline and obtain a small Gold lead. This lead exploded as Sentinels saw an opportunity to push through the Midlane with Rift Herald, only to be collapsed upon Chuck found a Doublekill, before finding a third, to take Tribe 6-3 up by 9 minutes. Tribe pushed further, and a 10-minute clash around Dragon gave them a clean Ace, and they looked to have the game in the bag. With control over the map, and a large Gold lead, Sentinels couldn’t challenge as Tribe found fight after fight, and they ended the game at 17 minutes with a 17k Gold lead and a 20-5 scoreline.
Sentinels continued with their draft runback in Game 3, with more Riven, Orianna, and Lux, Yet again, Tribe started the game strong, coming away from the 5-minute Rift Herald with a 3-2 scoreline and a small Gold lead. As the game went on, Sentinels slowly started finding their way back in on Mali’s back. With a clash over the 10-minute Rift Herald, Sentinels found themselves 6-4, with a 5/0/1 Orianna, and control over nearly all the objectives they could ask for. This meant that Sentinels just had to wait for the Elder Dragon, and Tribe had to challenge. Posed to contest, it was easy for Sentinels to find a pick. It was a fight on two fronts, as Sheeesh attacked Tribe’s backline while Starting tried to pick off Sentinels’. But as the dust settled, it was Sentinels who stood strong, eventually claiming a 19-minute Ace before closing the game 16-7, only barely having a 5k Gold lead.
With Sentinels on matchpoint, Tribe had to punch back to survive in Game 4. Punch back they did, locking in Zed for Starting. While Sentinels claimed First Blood in a Dragon lane 2v2, the early game was relatively quiet. Chuck barely missed out on two Kills as Sentinel dropped the Rift Herald, and Tribe’s Baronlaner nearly took a victorious 1v2 fight as he tried to defend the Tower. Sentinels seemed to feel confident, but Tribe was there to punish. The Gold difference was unnoticeable, but Tribe was growing their lead. MaxGreen was putting on a show with the Sett, and DNZio stole a 15-minute Dragon to help cement the lead. Being 15-5 with all three Dragons of the game, and Baron Buff under their belts, it was only a matter of time until Tribe pushed in to end the game, 17-7 at 18 minutes with a 13k Gold lead.
Both teams had their backs against the wall with Game 5 being the difference between going home and advancing, and Tribe went in with confidence. Constantly looking for plays and picks, it took 3 minutes for ttigers’ Rengar to find a Doublekill in the Dragon lane to kick things off. Although it looked close, Tribe was happily prioritizing the Rift Herald to quickly destroy Towers since it could be paired with DNZio’s Ziggs. This allowed them to grow a Gold lead, and translate that into advantageous fights and picks. However, no amount of lead could beat an Orianna Shockwave and Ashe Enchanted Crystal Arrow when in the tight corridors of the Jungle. Tribe failed to find the picks they were looking for as Sentinels stopped them in their tracks at 14 minutes, before chasing them down to take control of the game. Before this Tribe was in control with a 2k Gold lead and 8-4 on Kills. After, Sentinels were suddenly 2k Gold ahead, all three Dragons under their belt, and had nearly equalized the scoreline. Just like that, Sentinels had stolen the game away from Tribe and put the final nail in the coffin with an Ace around the Elder Dragon. With Baron, Sentinels closed the 20-minute game with an 11k Gold lead, 19-11, and took their place in the Grand Finals.
While it was sad to see Tribe leave, we could not have asked for more from them. They’d made strides after struggling earlier in the season, and taking this to the full five games showed how close they were to making the Top 2. Tribe is clearly set to come back in Season 2 and ready to make a splash, but first we need to finish Season 1 as Sentinels faced Immortals in the WNS Championship Grand Finals.
Immortals vs Sentinels
Coming off of their win, Sentinels had the momentum to ride going into Game 1, especially as they got their hands on Riven once more. But Immortals weren’t here to play, and a perfect Tower dive picked up the first two kills of the game, as Immortals attacked the Dragon lane in the opening minutes. Sentinels kept things tight, sitting only 2k Gold behind and even stealing a Dragon as Immortals looked to grow their lead with picks. By 15 minutes, we only saw 5-2 on Kills in Immortals’ favor, as they sat nearly 5k Gold ahead. Even after finding an advantage, Immortals weren’t willing to risk attempting the Baron and instead reset for the Elder Dragon, but this is where Sentinels found their footing. Walking away with a five-for-three trade and securing the Elder Ocean Dragon, the game was Sentinels’ for the taking. Immortals tried to trade an Inhibitor for the Baron, but it wasn’t enough and Sentinels used Baron Buff to finally close the 24-minute game. Even as their Nexus fell, Immortals held the Gold and Kill lead.
Immortals decided to match Sentinels’ late-game focus for Game 2, locking in teamfight tools and a Jinx for Gume. After a relatively quiet early game, First Blood came as Sentinels forced a dive onto Hoon. Charm responded with an incredible play, Flashing into the enemy before Wild Growth-ing himself for the knock-up as Gume arrived to clean it up. With such a lead, the Jinx became a scary prospect to face, and Immortals were able to start controlling the map as Sentinels dared not challenge and take fights against Gume. By 15 minutes, Immortals were 2-1 on Dragons, 3-3 on Kills, 3-1 on Towers, and 6k Gold ahead. It was a slow and calm game, filled with macro plays, as Sentinels held Immortals at arms reach. All it took was a pick onto Beginnings, giving Jinx the resets, and Gume tore through Sentinels. Within seconds, the Ace had been claimed and Immortals pushed straight for the win with an 11k Gold lead at 17 minutes.
Game 3 saw Graves make an appearance for Lebmont, as Hoon and Mali duked it out with Akali and Riven. The early game was filled with clashes, but it still took 7 minutes for First Blood to come through. Even as Immortals claimed the Gold lead, Sentinels kept the scoreline even and secured the first Dragon for themselves. With yet another slow early game, the teams were 4-2 at 10 minutes, and Immortals led by less than 1k in Gold. After such a close game, Immortals looked to put an end to it as they claimed a free Baron at 16 minutes. Sentinels came late to the party, looking to find a fight as Immortals left the Baron pit, and even though Mali nearly found a highlight play, he couldn’t do enough. Immortals cleaned up and walked the Baron minions down for a 17:26 win, 7-7 on Kills, and yet 10k Gold ahead.
Sentinels seemed to have found a comeback in Game 4, and a more explosive early game set them up for an early lead. First Blood went to Sheesh as the Olaf visited the Baronlane, before rotating down for the Dragon, where Mali found a Triplekill to put Sentinels 5-1 up before we hit 5 minutes. After such quiet early games throughout the series, this felt like a whole new team as they sat 9-7 at 10 minutes, with Immortals taking a slow lead as they secured objectives. All it took was a single fight at 12 minutes and the game was thrown wide open, Lebmont’s Kha’Zix found the resets to jump all over Sentinels as Gume dished out the damage. Seemingly out of nowhere, Immortals were 10k Gold ahead and in prime position to end the game. It took three attempts, but an 18-minute fight over Elder Dragon gave Immortals the Ace they needed, and they closed the game 24-13 and nearly 20k Gold up.
The comeback finally came back in Game 5, the 10th game of the day for Sentinels. They had been building up for it, and matchpoint was where they found it. Sentinels started things off with a pick in the river near the Baronlane, handing Mali a Doublekill within the first few minutes. While the scoreboard evolved to be even, Sentinels started growing a Gold lead and claimed both first Rift Herald and Dragon to start the game off strong. The game then lulled, skirmishes never amounting to much, until Immortals thought they’d found an advantage in the Dragon lane, forcing a dive. Sentinels played around it perfectly, before hitting back to claim a three-for-one trade that allowed them to take Baron at 16 minutes. Immortals were able to defend against the push but were forced into an open fight as the Elder Mountain Dragon spawned. As the teams danced and poked, it was Sentinels that found the picks and turned it into a five-for-one trade as they took the objective. This allowed for a 20-minute win for Sentinels, who ended 13-8 and 8k Gold ahead.
Immortals had had enough and turned Game 6 into a statement to take the win, as Hoon had his hands on his Ahri once more, and Lebmont took to the Lee Sin. With the power of Lee Sin, Immortals found First Blood to take them to 2-0 within the first couple of minutes. This was repeated just minutes later to take the third kill before the teams looked for Dragon where Immortals found a fourth. The momentum just carried on, and Immortals forced fights to take them to 7-2 by 6 minutes. Although Sentinels continued to find the Dragons, they just couldn’t match the aggression that Immortals were pumping out. In what was one of the more explosive games of the series, Immortals were 12-4 and over 7k Gold ahead by 10 minutes. The game came to an end with a pick onto Sheesh. With a Wild Rift version of the Fnatic Death Brush, Sheesh was taken out of the picture and Baron was opened up for Immortals. Sentinels knew they had to challenge, but they couldn’t quite hit the mark as Immortals found a clean Ace with blinking health bars. Just like that, Immortals closed the game. 16k Gold ahead, 19-4, and crowned the WNS Champions.
“History is written, Immortals claim their rightful crown, and they’re your first ever WNS Champions”
With that, Immortals confirm their claim as the best team in North America, taking the crown after dominating the WNS. Their history is filled with first places, and they’d only dropped a single series all season. They’ve been incredible, they’ve lived up to their names, and now they go on to represent NA at the Icons Global Championship.
While Immortals go straight into the Group Stage, Sentinels' ticket puts them into the Play-Ins. Sentinels have likewise put on an amazing performance this season, only getting better and better as time went on, being able to challenge and take down the best. We’re sure Immortals and Sentinels will do us proud at the international event to close out Season 1.
A big thank you to all the teams who have taken part throughout WNS Season 1, we’ve seen so much talent and are proud of how everyone has performed. Love goes out to the broadcast talent who have told the stories of these teams and players, and to the production and everyone at Wisdom for bringing the stories to life and the games to our screens.
Season 1 may be over, but North American Wild Rift is only just beginning.