a League of Legends analysis blog
With tears in eyes, two fists clenched and a swollen breath held, SKT finally took down the nexus after 53.28 minutes in game 3 of the series against KT.
Just before in game 2, KT wrecked all of SKT’s 11 towers, 3 inhibitors, nabbed 3 dragons, 2 barons, stretching their gold lead from 46 at 3 minutes to 13.4k at 37 minutes end game. Bang attained his 1000th LCK kill in game 1, coming in 3rd after Faker and ParY, leaving us mere mortals left thinking about which of these numbers we could buy to enter the lottery in hopes of riding on this lucky train.
A lot can be said, written and broken down about this series. SKT opted for Nautilus tank top with full solo scaling lanes in game 1 and 2, which led KT to go ham with a last pick Zed in game 2. Faker being Faker, responded with his own Zed with Huni’s Rumble in the deciding game 3—No tank, just a lot of pain.
Most curiously, bengi’s absence was deeply felt. Now that he is no longer in LCK, Score has sealed his spot as the number 1 (veteran) jungler. Instead of supporting his lanes with Elise in game 1, why not just feed himself with Graves jungle? Fast clear, massive bursts, more options for pathing, 1v1 any jungler early…He was the real ADC, out-damaging Deft’s support Ashe both times.
This means that if 2016 was the year SKT’s weakest link was their jungle, 2017 could be equally troubling even with an arguable Peanut upgrade. While bengi could not out-jungle score, he matched or outmaneuvered him across the map. Together with Blank, out of 16 games played against KT in the 2016 regular seasons and playoffs, SKT won 11.
On the other hand, Score has been rewarded with a team upgrade. Again what SKT did to ROX Peanut, KT did SKT Peanut. As a team KT ensured that SKT’s jungle early game in the first 2 clears was consistently warded with near 100% knowledge of SKT’s jungler whereabouts so that Score could milk the map.
|Time||Game 1/3: KT’s vision in SKT’s jungle|
|0.59||Score + Smeb push in for a scouting invade, spotting Peanut at raptorsScore makes decision to start at raptors as well, mirroring Graves|
|1.38||Knowing that Huni and Peanut are at raptors, Smeb places a trinket at SKT’s Red buff to track where Peanut moves to after taking Red
|2.13||Pings go down at SKT’s blue buff as KT can see that Peanut moved towards bottom jungle
Score mirrors his camps:
Peanut clears Wolves into Blue into Scuttle, while Score goes for Blue into Gromp into Scuttle
|3.19||Smeb on Runble, naturally pushes the lane against Nautilus. Knowing that Graves went bot, he safely walks into SKT’s jungle to place a trinket at Krugs then propels himself out of there over the Baron pit
|3.30||As if that’s not enough, Score then walks over to SKT’s Raptors to ward the small bush
|4.16||Smeb’s and Score’s wards just nicely gives KT info of Peanut’s 2nd clear start at Krugs into Raptors
|5.51||Score wards SKT’s raptors again
Later spots Peanut at 7.30
|7-8mins||At this point in the game KT has full vision control at River because
1. Bot lane with Caitlyn with BF sword pushes harder than Ezreal
2. Top lane is perpetually pushed by Rumble
These circumstances translates to Score + Mata going on a deep warding mission into SKT’s jungle and challenging SKT’s Blue (which Graves secures but not ideal as he wanted to give it to Ryze)SKT chase Score, Mata and Pawn out of their jungle, only to meet with a teleporting Smeb who scores a perfect equalizer securing KT their first 2 kills
When, who and how KT tracked SKT Peanut in early Game 1
|Time||Game 2/3: KT’s vision in SKT’s jungle|
|1.10||Deft wards SKT’s tri-bursh and uses Ashe’s volley + Karma’s Q for harass, keeping SKT’s in check
|1.24||We discover why the forced early ward at 1.10:
Pawn wards SKT’s Red over the wall with the support of Deft and Mata. Tri’s vision with harass ensures that SKT’s bot do not collapse on Pawn as he does so
SKT is aware that KT warded the red, so Peanut wraps from Raptors to Krugs with no buffs. This ward alone gives KT a huge edge.
|2.48||Score wards SKT’s intersection to river before going for a gank into FB on Faker’s Orianna mid, as preventive measure just in case Rengar decides to show up for a counter-ganks
|3.20||Score wards the bush by Blue and steals it while Peanut’s Rengar is stuck mid having to clear the crashing wave.
|3.47||This ward spots Peanut’s Rengar as he approaches blue only to see it gone as Score steals another camp at Gromp.
SKT can’t challenge Score being in their jungle at all because Rumble is once again forcing Huni’s Nautilus to be stuck at the tower picking up the wave while Faker’s Orianna just got back to mid after FB.
|7.16||Smeb, after pushing his lane, wards SKT’s Gromp|
|7.28||Mata wards SKT’s raptors, Red and Krugs
Peanut spotted at 8.02 doing RaptorsScore’s Graves with mid + bot lane, pressures Peanut out of his own jungle. Zed swipes in for the kill but flash with Orianna’s E saves Rengar
When, who and how KT tracked SKT Peanut in the early Game 2
|Time||Game 3/3: KT’s vision in SKT’s jungle|
|When jungle minions spawn||This time, KT’s top and mid laner brute force their presence in SKT’s jungle
When Faker joins the party Pawn intentionally draws attention away from Grag and sacrifices Flash.
Man, can you imagine, they’re doing this all for Score hyung’s benefit!
|2.04||Here’s the prize: SKT’s blue buff. After Raptors, Scre went straight for this as he knew Rengar has already been delayed, plus a second steal at Wolves with a deep ward
3-buff here he comes?
|3.41||Not so straight-forward initially. SKT knew he would be going for his down 3rd buff Blue, and attempted to steal it so that Blank’s Rengar isn’t so starved
However, KT read the situation. Smeb’s Grag and Pawn’s Jayce collapse while Mata’s Braum walked all the way up from bot lane preemptively to execute a successful roam
Like in game 2, SKT give up 2 straight kills again due to Score’s jungling ‘magic’.
When, who and how KT tracked SKT Peanut in the early Game 3
The immense early game pressure from Score is undeniable. SKT’s live Raptor camp was never out of sight for KT with their allocated warding missions in Game 1. In fact every early game KT together forced SKT’s hand whether it was Peanut or Blank, working tightly with Score.
What’s gonna happen on Sunday?
First off we’re gonna be on Patch 7.4. It’s not a big one. The most significant is Cho’gath’s buff with slight nerfs to Mao, Ryze and Corki.
What’s KT going to do on Sunday?
See the blue curve? KT ain’t gonna let it fall anymore. They’re going to tighten their mid game and transit early leads into closure with draft tweaks. Game 1 SKT Bang exploded with late game blue Ezreal while game 3 was completely turned around by Huni’s Rumble.
Team Gold Advantage, Game 1 and 3 of KT vs SKT
The only game won by KT was when they snowballed with a life-threatening Zed and split push. Instead of prioritizing Jayce for Pawn, it will be a treat if he pulls out other lethalithy assassins he’s known for: Yasuo and Talon.
What is SKT going to do on Sunday?
Are they going to match early aggression with more aggression? Unlikely. This is SKT we’re talking about. What they can do is be more proactive with the early trinket wards. Not letting KT as a team force wards into their jungle early to influence or track Peanut’s/Blank’s pathing would change the pace of the early game significantly. Drafting pushing lanes (instead of multiple scaling ones) would also work in their favour.
Expect Smeb to continue to be pinched. No Maokai, no Rumble, likely no Kennen but with the possibility of Fiora. SKT would much rather force him on something else altogether and perhaps put Huni on more carry –oriented champions.
At least one thing’s for sure—we’re not going to see Gragas top again from either Telecomm.
Keep your eyes wide open for the rematch!