ANALYSIS: SK Telecom T1 rolls to esports Victory in Korean Finals


Photo courtesy of the official League of Legends Esports YouTube page

Nick Marotta, Asst. Sports Editor

SK Telecom T1 demonstrated their strength last week when they dominated kt Rolster 3-0 in the finals of the League of Legends Champions Korea (LCK) league on April 22.

SK Telecom T1 (SKT) vs. kt Rolster, affectionately referred to as the “telecom war” by fans, only takes place a few times a year.

Traditionally, kt has gotten the better of SKT in other esports titles, but in “League of Legends,” SKT are the kings.

Game One

Team drafts were fairly standard in game one. The exception to this draft’s normalcy was a Fizz pick in the mid lane by Lee “Faker” Sang-Hyeok.

Faker, widely considered the world’s best player, ended the game with 10 kills.

SKT’s other members were also a big part of the team’s game one win.

Han “Peanut” Wang-Ho secured a Lee Sin pick, a champion with which he is undefeated in the spring season (9-0).

SKT finally got the fight they needed to pull away for good in the 27th minute of the game. Nine minutes later, they would destroy kt’s nexus and take game one of the best-of-five series.
Game Two

Game two’s draft was more exciting with SKT drafting two supports in Karma and Lulu.

The double support draft usually means the bottom lane will be doing most of the damage later in the game. This held true when the champion Twitch was locked in for Bang in the bottom lane.

On kt’s side, top laner Song “Smeb” Kyung-ho faced off with Fiora, a carry champion who can deal massive damage in one-on-one fights.

Pawn was also given a carry champion in LeBlanc, which could counter Bang’s choice of Twitch. Peanut secured his Lee Sin pick again.

Often, it would seem like Peanut or Bang were dead to rights, but a shield or healing ability from Faker and Wolf bailed out the carry just in time. After a while, the shields and heals were too much for kt to manage, and SKT rolled on to a game-two victory in 31 minutes.

Game Three

Kt decided to keep their Ashe pick in game three, but picked away Faker’s Karma and gave it to Mata in the bottom lane. SKT responded by picking another healing support for Bang’s Twitch in Nami.

Action started just about three minutes into the third game. Peanut roamed down into the bottom lane, and a long skirmish started to break out.

Pawn’s aggressive play-style was used against him in game three. Faker was able to jump out to a quick lead with a solo kill, and after Pawn tried to answer back with a kill of his own, Peanut was waiting to assist Faker. Pawn had died twice before 15 minutes had passed in game three. Kt’s aggressive options were all answered by SKT.

Peanut’s Graves was a force to be reckoned with. The jungler was involved in 81 percent of SKT’s kills at 22 minutes into the game.

Meanwhile, Pawn disappointed with no kills and eight deaths.

Peanut was the MVP for SKT in the series with 11 kills in the final game. Bang also contributed seven kills on Twitch in game three, and Faker added 12 assists on Lulu.

With the victory, SKT will play at the Mid-Season Invitational. The team will demonstrate its skills in other regions like North America and Europe. Kt will have to watch from the sidelines and prepare for the Summer Split in 2017, where they will hope to make a run to the world championships.

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