a League of Legends analysis blog
Can you imagine a team coming into the semifnals with a 7-match win streak buff that includes beating their current opponents 2-1 as well as the number 1 team SKT 2-0? They then proceed to lose 0-3 to a super team that couldn’t hold against MVP and KDM in the 2nd half of the regular season. They are called Samsung and their Galaxy imploded.
SSG’s and KT’s track record (Source: https://youtu.be/kC2OZUzvif8)
The most exciting part of the entire series was picks and bans. In the first game, 3 ADCs were immediately off the table: Ezreal, Varus and Ashe. KT on blue side then boldly first-picked Catilyn which translated to “Siege comp inc!”.
This move set the tone for the rest of the games. KT did not want Ruler on Ezreal, and prioritised a favourable ADC for Deft.
Then something changed. In game 3 KT switched to red side while Stitch entered the arena for SSG, meaning Ezreal need not be banned; KT took off Varus and Ashe instead while SSG banned Cait in the first round. Because KT chose not to pick an ADC beforehand, SSG banned an additional Kog. As Deft doesn’t play Jhin, perhaps SSG was considering him on Twitch.
Jinx became the hype, but nonetheless there was hope because SSG finally had a decent team comp! Kalista drew a CS lead over Jinx, Graves outfarmed Lee Sin, CuVee looked much more comfortable on a tank-initiator, and we could trust Crown’s Ryze to go even in lane and scale up.
26-minute mark where the gold was practically even (Source: lolesports.com)
Despite KT’s early lead, SSG even managed to be on par at 26 minutes after a favourable teamfight…and then this happened.
Deft’s Jinx played that 1v5 (literally) on the edge and narrowly came out tops. Still, SSG secured Baron and hung on until the series ended in the most anticlimactic way: Mispositionings by Samsung allowed KT, with the power of 3 Cloud Drakes, catch Graves and Nautilus in a choke.
The second major related reason why this match was a convincing win for KT is the vision control they laid out from level 1. Similar to how they nullified SKT’s early game jungling, SSG’s Haru felt the brunt of it all especially in game 1.
|Time||Game 1 : kt vs SSG|
|1.34||Smeb wards Haru’s ref buff just before it spawns and it is too late to change pathing.
|2.37||Rengar clears out all 3 camps at bot side jungle and goes back for first buy|
|3.10||Pawn’s LeBlanc spots Lee Sin as he takes scuttle crab at bot side river
This informs KT that he likely cleared SSG’s bot side jungle which leaves Score to leisurely jungle on the opposite side of the map
|3.56||Score uses Scryer’s, spots out SSG’s top side river ward and clears it, revealing his position.
There is no threat to KT because they have full knowledge of Lee Sin’s pathing and the only camp that was alive at this time is Krugs…
|4.13||…in which Smeb pushes the lane as Rumble and wards it just as Lee Sin moves towards the camp
What does knowledge of Haru at top achieve? Immense pressure bot lane with Caitlyn and Malz pushing the wave and hitting tower.
|5.04||Pawn wards side bush off mid lane towards bottom river
|5.13||Haru is spotted out – again!
KT has full view that he turned back into SSG’s bot side jungle to continue the clear
|6.08||Haru uses Scryer’s and spots Mata as he walks back to lane, which also gives away his own position and pings go down
|Score wards SSG’s red buff as it is due to respawn soon
KT has full view of Haru doing red buff—again
What does KT do in response? Push bot hard—again, with Rengar waiting in the side lines just in case Lee Sin shows up.
Notice what KT does in mid as well: LeBlanc intentionally makes a favourable trade onto Taliyah, chunking her down and draws Lee Sin’s attention away from bot lane
First turret to KT!
How is Lee Sin ever going to gank if KT had full information on him since camp #1?
Every move Haru made, KT had eyes on him. Never once could he help his bot lane who were out-ranged and out-pressured by Catilyn and Malzahar.
So now that we’re convinced KT drafted solidly and prepped smart vision coverage against Samsung, do you think this is enough to beat SKT? What will SKT do in the Finals?
Firstly the difference key between SSG and SKT is that CuVee does not play Rumble but Huni and Profit do, albeit skilfully. Don’t expect SKT to ban out multiple ADCs like SSG did, for they have plenty of leeway to obtain power-picks in top, mid and jungle.
If anything, KT would want Smeb on a comfort carry pick like Rumble and Kennen while SKT would rather force him on a tank (think: Gragas in game 3) again. I surmise that neither Kennen nor Rumble will make it on the Rift in the same game. Either one is banned and the other picked, or both will be out entirely as it wouldn’t be wise to draft a tank against Kennen, and SKT can roll back to Nautlius or Shen.
In the jungle, KT’s previous bans focused on disallowing Peanut on Lee Sin will likely continue. While KT was able to completely render Haru’s Lee Sin irrelevant in game 1, as long as SKT takes care of the level 1 start and drafts winning lanes, KT won’t be able to so easily sneak in deeper vision. Picks will be typical—Score and Peanut on Lee Sin, Graves, Elise, or Rengar. Teams like BBQ have found success in the early game against SKT by running heavy CC that allows them to be proactive and take objectives, so we might see KT throw more weight towards Elise.
Down at bot lane, one thing is for sure—Varus and Malzahar will continue to be perma-banned in these KT vs SKT games. Bot boils down to which ADC Bang is prepared to use against Deft’s smaller champion pool and how SKT can cleverly draft a flexible support to handle laning and teamfighting. Compared to the last time they met, there are more options for ranged supports since Lulu was buffed so I don’t see Mata on a melee support (eg. Braum) coming into the finals.
Faker’s top 3 champions played as of 19 Apr 2017 (Source: op.gg)
Mid lane will either be extremely exciting to watch right from the start of picks and bans, or not at all. We can see Faker go two ways: LeBlanc mid where of this post he has practised 7 ranked games on LeBlanc the past week / [insert another assassin to prove he is better than Pawn], or fall back to the usual well-rounded mages like Ahri, Syndra, Orianna or Zilean for the sake of the team. Inven speculates that Azir might make an appearance. Faker after all is one of the few who picks Azir into LeBlanc and wins the game.
As far as things go between KT and SKT, 2 key factors stand out as to how LCK Spring 2017 will be won:
a) Draft winning lanes
b) Vision control, especially in the enemy’s jungle
and if it comes down to it, c) Late game teamfights and shotcalls. Depending on the type of dragons that spawn and how important they are to the compositions drafted, remember KT’s dragon control against SSG was dismal and that’s one area where SKT can gain an advantage. Besides, if anything, there’s always Blank.