a League of Legends analysis blog
This hasn’t been talked about much but interestingly, a trait of SKT this season has been to adapt what their opponents threw at them in their losses in the first half of Spring and utilizing these strategies against their opponents in this second half of LCK. With a 8-5 record, Faker admitted that they hadn’t adapted to the meta as quickly as others which could explain the borrowed approach.
I had no doubt they would take out Longzhu in 2 games this round. I’m not sure how or why such convictions come up from time to time, only that this same feeling was absent in their recent loss to ROX.
Perhaps it’s because their drafting this round did not cause viewers to frown. For reasons unexplained whenever SKT play the Tigers, they draft questionable comps. Instead of building a solid team comp to deal with skirmishes and team fights with enough reliable CC and/or gap bridges, they pick for lane match-ups and attempt split pushing strategies instead of responding to ROX’s mode of play.
We reviewed how the Tigers love to hunt in packs and glaringly, SKT’s style is quite different. This is a team who is first and foremost, objective-oriented to the point where casters describe them as methodical (and occasionally robotic). You can’t sense their blood lust like the Tigers on-screen. SKT do not hunt down opponents when they slightly overextend, but if one is out of position and they have enough information on the enemy team derived from vision control, they will make a move. If opponents contest the objective they want, they will kill them.
This rematch against LZ were typical SKT games, with the added bonus of paying back LZ for what they did to them in the first half. Dancing in the OGN booth? Denied.
Pure used Braum in both of LZ’s wins while Coco excelled with Lissandra in teamfights in Game 2 with 80% kill participation in the first half of Spring. This time around, SKT were the ones who first picked Lissandra and Kindred for Blank (finally!), then Braum on the red side. SKT has not played Lissandra since the Kespa cup last year losing to ESC Ever, and banned her out constantly after their loss to LZ.
Remember how Pure’s Braum and Cpt Jack’s Kog’maw invaded while bengi’s Udyr and Duke’s Fiora were doing the 1st Krug camp, chasing them off and delaying their start significantly? Wolf and Bang paid them back in full albeit cleanly too.
“Always bring Braum!”
They force Elise and Nautilus off the wolves, making them walk across mid lane to start raptors plus nab the 2 sentries at blue.
The ice queen who slides into the middle of team fights packing tons of CC also won the team fight for SKT during the 5th dragon contest and the game.
“Plans within plans.”
What teams do after the lane swap after taking down turrets on opposite sides of the map is important for it sets the pace for the rest of the game. Gold advantages surmount, and victories more easily won based on these crucial decisions.
“Flee – or stand firm…doesn’t matter!”
I like how SKT executed onto LZ exactly what ROX did against them – they 5-man pressure the 2nd tier bot turret, and when LZ realizes they will lose the turret if they don’t engage, SKT uses Lamb’s Respite to turn the fight around, killing 3 members of LZ and getting the objective they came for.
ROX’s mirror siege
The one difference is how ROX also utilized Rift Herald buff to gain the added advantage, something SKT rarely does as a single unit.
It’s not that Blank isn’t good with Gragas or Elise. It’s just that Kindred in this meta with a well-timed ult as ROX has demonstrated enough, has much more impact in pro-play. Ever since Week 1 Day 4 against JAG, SKT has not allowed Blank to participate with Lamb and Wolf. They even handed ROX this champion freely, never once banning it despite her 100% effectiveness.
Game 2 and SKT hands Blank Kindred again with even more confidence. Jumping past turrets? An ADC flashing beyond enemy lines? Extended team fight with SKT’s health bars reset?
“Life is ours…to end.”
Teams will now have to seriously consider if both Nidalee and Kindred will have to be banned against SKT, or grab Kindred against them which ROX has done convincingly.