a League of Legends analysis blog
eSports is not just sport but entertainment, and the general view of the finals was “This series has delivered!”, “Even better than ROX vs SKT!”, “Really good games!”.
I beg to differ. As Papa Smithy pointed out, SKT made more mistakes this series than their entire Worlds 2016 run. In a Bo5 this was the most uncharacteristic of SKT we have witnessed. The biggest mistake that would tilt anyone was in game 3 where SKT
1) Caught Crown out
2) Made him burn summoner spells and ult
3) Saw Samsung move away from mid lane to start their 4th dragon of the game
4) …and did nothing about it
SKT were 9.1k gold up. They all had positive KDAs. They were wrecking SSG. But in this instance 4 SKT members were grouped mid near dragon, and they only decided to move towards the objective after SSG completed it.
To tilt it off, watch closely at 29.13 where both bengi’s Elise and Wolf’s Nami actually path towards Baron as SSG started the drake which was the right call but the team made a collective decision instead to move towards dragon, never to reach it in time, then loop back towards Baron only to be almost aced by SSG.
All this indecisiveness added up to time wasted and handing over free objectives to Samsung. Check out the ward coverage too—SSG had none at Baron, but a Trueshot Barrage scouts SKT out. All the pinks leading to Baron were all Samsung’s so SKT had no vision at all of their approach. This one major moment gave Samsung the momentum and poise to close game 3.
SKT vs SSG, Game 4 scoreboard
SKT in Game 4 lost in a different fashion. While I’ve had no complaints about their drafts so far at Worlds, it has been a significant issue of contention throughout the regular LCK season especially since their drafting resulted in a resounding defeat in game 3 vs KT in the Summer semifinals.
The thing is, already in game 3 Ambition was utilizing Lee Sin to punish the immobile Orianna. Time and again he was finding these narrow windows to hit Sonic Wave into Dragon’s Rage, eliminating Faker from fights.
Master yourself, master the enemy
Yet in Game 4, SSG grabbed Lee Sin for Ambition and Ori was once again picked into it.
SKT got to FP Ashe and SSG took power-pick Karma with Lee Sin—a good idea since Ambition was on a roll. 2nd round of p/b presented key options for SKT: The chance to deny Crown of Viktor. On top of that, because they banned Jayce and Zyra, Kennen for top lane was still left dangerously open. [Note: Classically, SKT had freely given Kennen to opponents because they picked Zyra to prevent his engage. Think vs. C9, RNG]
Instead, lane centric safe champs Ganr and Nami were locked in and no-brainer, SSG got what they wanted.
If you close your right eye and view SKT’s comp you might approve of the possibilities of wombo combo with Ori’s ball onto Zac or Gnar as they jump into the enemy team.
But once you open both eyes and look at the high mobility plus AoE/zoning control SSG have, the perfect picture falls apart.
This sequence of choices certainly bit SKT right in the back.
Succinctly, that is how the finals turned into an unexpected 5-game series: Old SKT habits of not drafting as crisp as they should, and showing on international stage their occasional messy regular season LCK game. It is possible that it’s precisely because they were playing against fellow LCK team Samsung that such tendencies arose.
Only in the very last game did SKT decide to deny Viktor and take away Lee Sin while handing over Olaf to Samsung. Finally. Only in the very last game did bengi return to save SKT for the Championship, starting with first blood. Finally.
The moment Faker placed a trinket and took a raptor, bengi made his way bot for an easy gank onto Samsung’s bot lane who had pushed up beyond their safety zone. An aggressive dive from SSG then gave Faker a kill, followed by another for bengi down mid lane thanks to a preemptive roam by Wolf.
Player Statistics at Worlds 2016
On January 22 in early LCK Spring 2016 it was likewise bengi who propelled SKT to victory over Samsung in the same style, outmaneuvering and out-visioning Ambition in the jungle for first blood at bot lane. It was bengi who started the year victoriously for SKT and ended it triumphantly as well. In my book, bengi is the core of SKT as he is consistently able to work the map like no other.
Congratulations to SKT T1 on defending their title and nabbing their 3rd Championship at Worlds!