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Esports League of Legends

League of Legends: MSI G2 vs SKT Full Recap

skt g2 MSI

This was a hyped-up match if there ever was one. An SKT team that seems to have returned to form after a 2018 full of struggle, versus G2 Esports, who continued a massive spring split by beating the Korean squad twice in the MSI group stage. The series was full of big plays, explosive team fights, and exciting picks, but in the end, only one team could move on to the finals.

 

Game 1

The recently popular Sona/Taric combo coming out for G2’s bottom lane duo was far from the most surprising thing during champion select for Game 1, as SKT chose a Karma support, and Rasmus “Caps” Winther decided that there is no time like a Semifinal match to break out his first ever professional Morgana game.

Park “Teddy” Jin-seong flashed forward in the enemy jungle at 33 seconds to secure first blood on Luka “Perkz” Perković. The excitement continued, and SKT was up 3-0 in kills by the 5 minute mark. SKT kept the pressure high, punishing the weak early game of the enemy bottom lane. Things looked grim for G2 as their first kill on Teddy was immediately answered by Martin “Wunder” Hansen’s second death in the top lane.

By the time G2 found a second kill, SKT was taking Shelly to the Top Lane, and got three turrets in a row to expose the enemy inhibitor before 15 minutes. In a surprising strategic play, Wunder stood by as his Inhibitor fell, allowing the enemy minions to hard-push his lane and leaving him to farm them safely near his base.

The strategy failed to pay off however, as SKT pressured their opponent too hard for G2 to handle, winning team fight after team fight as the objectives continued to fall. Any success was answered immediately by an even larger failure, and the early strength of Teddy’s Ezreal snowballed to an unstoppable force. SKT took a decisive team fight in G2’s jungle just before 24 minutes, and were celebrating their victory a minute later.

 

Game 2

It only took one loss for G2 to retire the Sona/Taric bot, opting instead for the strong early game of Draven and Morgana. After both teams farmed for the first 5 minutes, a fight broke out in the bottom lane. Though SKT had the upper hand to start, Kim “Clid” Tae-min committed the cardinal sin of lower ELOs – chasing the kill and leaving his Carry to die. This allowed Marcin “Jankos” Jankowski to secure First Blood and G2 came out ahead, securing two kills while giving up one.

G2 pushed this advantage, taking a solid gold lead into the Mid Game, and executing an impressive tower dive in the Bot Lane. Unfortunately for G2, a long pause to fix server issues seemed to reset the momentum of the match, and SKT returned from the break by securing two quick kills. This proved to be only a brief setback however, and G2 pushed the Mid Lane aggressively, recording several kills and taking a turret for the life of Caps, creating a 5k gold lead at 24 minutes.

Perkz finally secured a kill in the Mid Game, cashing in on his stacks of Adoration. This influx of gold resulted in a huge power spike, and SKT struggled to respond to the power of such a strong Draven protected by Mihael “Mikyx” Mehle’s Black Shield. They finally were able to take out the ADC, but the over-extension cost them dearly, and Caps picked up a Pentakill on Akali to finish out the game.

Game 3

Tied at 1-1, the stakes were high for Game 3. An early tower dive in the Top Lane left each team with a kill, but Clid used the advantage he gained to snowball to 3/0 by 5 minutes. If there was ever any doubt about the strength of a fed Rek’Sai, he put it to rest by deleting a full-health Galio before he could react.

SKT continued to stretch their lead, led by a dominant Clid. Controlling the lanes as well as the Jungle, they were able to continuously pick off the less cautious members of G2, and eventually built an insurmountable lead. Despite some scrappy team fights, SKT never relinquished their hold on the game. Punishing every G2 mistake and making few of their own, they looked powerful as they marched in and took down the Nexus.

 

Game 4

In the most even early game of the day, each team looked both eager to get that important early lead, and cautious about giving an advantage to the other team. Despite an incredible cross-map play from Teddy, Clid and Cho “Mata” Se-hyeong, the gold stayed even for the better part of the early game.

Despite this slow start, G2 wasn’t done with this series yet, and began to show it as they transitioned into the Mid Game. Up three Dragons, five kills and two towers, they had gained that early lead that had meant everything so far in this series. SKT needed a massive play if they were to make it a close match, and they found it through none other than Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok. His stolen Gnar ultimate landed on all five enemies, and won them the first of several skirmishes that went the way of SKT.

 

Despite these team fights, the lead G2 had already built proved too large, and with four Dragons they collapsed on the enemy base. SKT fought back hard, but in the end it wasn’t enough. G2 took advantage of SKT pushing up too far, and sent Caps and Wunder to backdoor the Nexus. In an absolutely incredible play, they took the series to Game 5.

Game 5

In an ending that this series deserved, it all came down to Game 5. With Wunder on Pyke and Faker on LeBlanc, there was barely any remaining attention to be paid to Perkz choosing Syndra for the Bot Lane.

The gold stayed even after an early team fight provided Wunder and Faker with one kill each. It tipped in the favor of G2 though, as the European team came away from a Bot Lane skirmish with two free kills. The lead increased dramatically as Wunder went on a killing spree, increasing his KDA to 5/0/0 in only a few minutes. Having the advantage in objectives as well as kills, G2  took control of the game and held on tight.

The team fight skills of SKT should never be counted out, and they were able to secure some skirmish wins, despite being down 7k gold. One of these fight victories for SKT led to their eventual downfall, as they tried to force a Baron after winning a skirmish. G2 responded beautifully, winning the team fight and chasing down Faker and Khan before pushing on to the Nexus.

 

With this victory, G2 secured their trip to the first ever NA vs EU MSI Final. Both the World Champions Invictus Gaming and the legendary SKT T1 fell in the Semi Finals this year at MSI to Western teams, and regardless of any excuses, this shakes the traditional idea of East vs West power dynamics of this game to the core.

 

 

Find the rest of Nick’s articles here. If you would like to contact him or keep up with him, follow him on Twitter @_mrdantes.

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