a League of Legends analysis blog
Essay question, 25 marks: Even with a consistent >5k gold lead, why couldn’t SKT close the game early?
tl;dr: Viktor and vision.
SKT intended to do what SKT does best—set up the map in logical fashion so that a slew of objectives can be taken to quickly close the game.
Land swap + 1st bot turret? Check.
1st dragon? Check + push out bot lane after.
Rift Herald? Check.
Next on the list: Mid turret and vision.
Denied. A single laser from Viktor makes the entire wave disappear even before it reaches the turret!
So Plan B on how to siege a turret: Reduce KT’s numbers either by a) Chipping them down with poke such that one or more are forced to go back to the fountain or b) Picking one off. Unfortunately for SKT, they did eventually get it but not without collateral damage.
“Mess with the bull and you get the horns!”
When Faker gets his hands on Corki it is guaranteed he’s going to be in your face. How many times this LCK Spring split already have we seen Bang use his summoner heal just to save an ignited Faker? A top team like KT expectedly did not allow such aggressiveness to go unpunished. To prevent the rear flank teleport from Poppy, SKT had laboriously swept their side of the jungle for wards prior to this initiation. KT however, snuck a sneaky one just behind the dragon pit. It’s a little further from mid lane, but gets the hammering job done where 3 members of SKT are taken down, and Faker lives. There’s no point for Duke’s GP to match KT’s teleport because Cannon Barrage was burnt trying to save Faker (hur hur) and GP requires strategic timing to set up kegs.
What Faker starts, Faker cleans up
Post turret trade, Alistar actually had flash in KT’s great escape but did not use it and pays the price with his life. A double kill from Faker’s Corki onto Lucian easily opens up the outer mid turret for SKT.
But then, it’s Déjà vu. A similar sequence of events repeats when SKT tries to siege the 2nd tier mid turret: They can’t touch it because of Viktor’s efficient wave clear and worse, SKT could not get vision around it because KT conceitedly defended their pink.
KT using vision control to their advantage
Another pick off Faker’s Corki by a surprise flash into Pulverize by Alistar from fog of war hands KT a Baron buff and closes the gold lead.
With 2 ADCs (including Corki, a natural escapist) perhaps SKT could have deployed their 1-3-1 strategy instead of 4-1, especially since KT devoted vision around the mid turret. However because wards need to be invested at Baron and both sides of the enemy jungle for such a strategy to work, in a season where there aren’t many wards to go around in the first place the odds are not in favour. It is simply more rational to team fight, kill, then siege.
Though SK Telecom has been forced to tread on the defensive much more than they are comfortable with this season, nothing is as satisfying as watching them execute come-back team fights.
It’s a 4v4 with SKT Duke’s GP and KT Score’s Graves on death timers. The 2 teams go back and forth as KT chips down the inhibitor with every minion wave.
Kept on their toes, KT backs away each time Wolf moves forward threatening an engage because their summoner spells and ults were on CD from the last skirmish at Baron. SKT’s composition, without a hard engage tank to dive onto KT’s backline, dictated their teamfighting methodology—wear down KT’s front line with consistent poke, and take down either Alistar or Poppy before all else.
Lee Sin’s well-timed 3-man kick achieves this as they pick off Alistar, send the rest of KT onto the retreat, and grab a free Baron. A second kill onto Ssumday’s Poppy puts the cherry on top.
“It’s a Charlie Foxtrot!”
This concoction is exactly what SKT needed all game—Baron buff + 1 member of KT down + Baron empowered minions so that Viktor’s laser does not take them out in one shot = Turret-taking time.
Defense can sometimes be the best form of attack. If there’s one team you can trust to turn the game around with decisiveness, precision and not a drop of skill shots wasted, it is SKT.
With both carries Kalista and Corki down, KT had a comfortable window to grab the open mid inhib and break at least 1 nexus turret. But, but, BUT… Arrow opens with Lucian’s ult which hits neither the minion wave nor the SKT squad. An easily unnoticeable mistake which arguably costs KT the game because it decreased their wave clear effectiveness at a point in the game where it is crucial to sweep the clumps of waves emerging from the Nexus in order to reach the turret.
In the end, they don’t even manage to get any because Duke’s swift powder kegs early on already wounded KT’s suqishies Lucian and Graves with 1.6k damage. Yes, massive.
Their lowered HPs gives bengi the green to zone them away from the turret while the other 3 members of KT turn their attention to the MVP. Sure they tickle him, just as the seconds trickle down and SKT’s carries are up and fighting.
3 zones are established: bengi holds off the ADCs at the top, GP’s on the opposite side consistently laying down kegs, while Thresh, Kalista deal with the diving Alistar and Poppy. Faker’s Corki transits between these 3 zones, bursting down the lowest health targets first. Gotta love how Duke held onto cannon barrage just when Viktor and Graves huddle, saving it just enough for Vik to be exhausted, stuck and murdered in the kill zone.
Mistakes are made every game. It’s the dances around fog of war, skill shots, CDs and positioning where ultimately, only the team that makes the least mistakes at the critical moments can claim victory.