Photo Credit: game.thanhnien.vn
Two words that many people would not expect to hear in a long time would be SKT and underdog. Yet SKT were the underdogs during the first semifinals of MSI. The Korean team was supposed to be the best team in the tournament by far, but a mediocre performance in the group stages left them hanging dry with a fourth place finish to their name. Although the defending major champions should be feared, RNG had been playing better individually and as a team, ending the groups 8-2 as the first seed.
RNG looked like they would be continuing their winning ways in game one of the series. The Chinese team managed to edge out SKT in the first game when Looper managed to hammer away at the nexus despite being the last member alive on RNG against four members of SKT. By the end, SKT had actually managed to take the advantage in kills, but RNG held a huge gold lead due to the amount of turrets and objectives they killed.
Game two was the night and day from the first game as SKT put their stamp of authority on the rift despite losing the first kill to RNG. In particular, Faker dominated the mid-lane and was a strong presence in team fights with his Azir. The Koreans eliminated their opponent’s nexus at a little over 23 minutes into the game to hand RNG their fastest loss at MSI. Faker ended up with a fantastic score of 7/0/6, the best of anyone on the server although Bang was right behind him with 6/0/10.
SKT carried on their momentum from the previous game with Faker once again leading the charge. Although he received a lot of deaths, Faker managed to assassinate many of the high priority targets in team fights to give SKT the game. SKT’s top-laner, Duke also had a stand-out performance getting a scoreline of 6/0/8 to end the game deathless. It’s also worth noting that all of SKT’s laner’s had a farm lead over their opponents by the end.
Game four was much of the same story as RNG sought to hold back the SKT tide. RNG’s solution in the ban-and-pick stage was to ban out Fizz, Soraka, and Sivir, the three champions from the previous games that they had the most trouble with. However, this gave SKT some of the strongest meta champions with both Maokai and Ryze going over to the Koreans after RNG picked Azir away from Faker as their first pick. Needless to say, the result was not a pretty one. SKT completely dominated the match, ending it with a rare perfect game. That is to say, they prevented RNG from getting a single kill or objective the entire game.
Resurgence of the God
The MVP of the series has got to be Faker. The superstar mid-laner put up huge performances in all four of the games, including the first game loss. He was criticized for his poor showing during the group stages, but stepped up his game in a huge way to give his team the victory over the intimidating RNG squad.