The LEC Summer Split Playoffs are beginning with SK Gaming and Schalke. They both start their journey not just towards playoffs but also the honor of representing the LEC at Worlds 2020 in China. Both will have to win three straight series in order to make Worlds, but they have to start somewhere.
Coming in as the fifth and sixth seeds, SK Gaming and Schalke went 9-9 and 8-10 respectively. SK Gaming were actually the last team to beat Schalke before then went on their miracle run to the playoffs. Now SK will look to end their Cinderella story. Here are three things they will need to do in order to make that happen.
1. Tame the god Gilius
Of everything that is discussed in this article, this is definitely the hardest thing to do. But, it is something that must happen for SK Gaming to have any chance of taking down Schalke right now. The question then becomes, how does one tame a god?
Well the answer starts in draft. Hitting his champion pool may not be worth the effort, instead, SK will need to prepare for Gilius’ aggression. While he is known for his Lee Sin, he is also 16-28 on the champion and averages almost four deaths a game on it, which is his highest deaths per game on a champion. This is because sometimes he gets too confident.
If SK Gaming can draft to push side lanes and get dragon control then they can more easily keep Gilius from taking over the game. They will need to focus more on their own draft than trying to take away certain champions from Gilius. If they are unable to do this, then it could be a very quick series.
2. Play Through Crownshot
While this technically goes along with keeping Gilius in check, Crownshot has also been the best player on SK Gaming all season. He has been extremely underrated and shown that no matter what pick he is given, he is going to make plays. This is important for numerous reasons.
Again, having dragon control is paramount to winning this season. In many cases, an Ocean or Infernal soul can be a win condition in themselves. Having early dragon control can not only shorten games if SK are winning but they can also give them an out if the mid-game gets out of control.
Picking a winning lane matchup for Crownshot and LIMIT will be of utmost importance for SK Gaming. Options like Caitlyn, Ashe or even Aphelios paired with an aggressive or high damage support should do wonders for SK Gaming.
3. Don’t Tilt if They Get Down Early
This is a five-game series and losing the first game can be detrimental to a young team. They normally need momentum to help carry themselves through series like this. Especially against an opponent like Schalke who one could argue are the best team currently in the LEC.
While Trick has plenty of playoffs and best-of-five experience, the rest of the team has one bet of series between them and that was last year with Crownshot. That means that they will need to listen to Trick during tough parts in each game and lean on his experience. If he and the coaching staff can keep this team’s mental in check, then they stand a much better chance.
If SK tilt early in this series, then it could be a landslide loss very quickly. Schalke have a lot of experience in Odoamne and Gilius and they have been under pressure the entire second half of the Split. So, they are already used to it. SK need to stay mentally strong in order to come out on top.
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