You do not question the god of League. That is the statement that Faker and SKT drove home last weekend with their blitz over CLG in the grand finals. The Koreans had been looking shaky in the group stages and many people were wondering if they could even beat the Chinese team RNG in the semifinals. SKT delivered and more.
Group Stages and Semifinals
Photo Credit: Reddit
SKT came into MSI as the favorites to win the tournament easily. There was no debate on this question from any of the analysts and all agreed that SKT should be winning. A shocking four game losing streak in the group stages shocked both the confidence of SKT and the world as the invincible team was made to look mortal. Going into the semifinals many people were even putting RNG as the favorites over SKT to win. RNG had gone 8-2 in the group stages and were by far looking like the best team. Although the first game of the series went to RNG, SKT pulled off a quick three games afterwards to take the series 3-1. Faker, in particular, looked especially strong in the series and was the key factor to his team’s success.
Photo Credit: Yahoo Esports
SKT’s opponent in the finals was CLG who took down the Flash Wolves with the same score that SKT beat RNG by. The North American team had been one of the surprises in the tournament, doing much better than most people expected. CLG’s rookies, especially their ADC, Stixxay, had been stepping up for their team and not really succumbing to nerve issues. However, SKT were still the favorites in this series due to their tenure and previous international records. The first game led off with SKT taking a huge early game advantage with three kills against CLG. The game rocked back-and-forth as both teams had leads in the mid-game, but neither was able to open up a significant advantage. At 25 minutes, CLG won two team fights to give themselves the Baron and a good chance to win the game. However, SKT answered back with a team fight win of their own to close out the game for good.
CLG managed to secure the first two kills of game two for themselves after a standard meta lane swap. The game continued for the next twenty minutes in a quiet manner as CLG held onto a decent gold lead all the way up until 26 minutes. That was when SKT’s objective control and team fighting turned the game around after they grabbed a clean 4 kills and the Baron. CLG did not last too long after that with their base soon crumbling afterwards.
In both the previous games, CLG had a chance at some point to win. Unfortunately for them, SKT controlled the next game from start to finish. The early game was quiet with neither team getting a big advantage. SKT began to stack dragons early on by grabbing the first two before 15 minutes. They also held a two turret advantage and had an additional three kills more than CLG. The first big team fight erupted at 25 minutes when SKT’s Baron play awarded them with four kills and the Baron itself. Things quickly escalated into SKT’s favor as another team fight soon afterwards allowed SKT to ace CLG, grab the fourth dragon, and also push down several more turrets. At this point, CLG were barely hanging on, and another lost team fight sealed the deal as SKT picked up the Baron once again and the fifth dragon. By then, it was only a formality to walk into CLG’s base and pick off their inhibitors one by one. To add icing to the cake, SKT picked up another four kills at the end of the game to end with a huge 19k gold lead and their first MSI title.
Implications for Worlds
Although CLG did not win a single game against SKT, they already surprised many people and actually put up a good fight. The score might be deceptive, but CLG actually held an advantage in two of the games. In regards to Worlds, MSI showed that no region can be underestimated and that every team deserves respect. Additionally, with the Flash Wolves making it into the semifinals and G2 not making it to the knockout stages, the LMS will have a first place seed at Worlds this year while the European LCS will be downgraded to a second seed.
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