The old Korean kings SKT T1 faced off against Kingzone DragonX in this split’s LCK semifinals. After a catastrophic year for the organization, SKT were eager to prove themselves. They knew this wasn’t going to be an easy match, as Kingzone looked quite strong in the regular split. A win for either team would mean advancing into the finals to face the almighty Griffin. Were SKT able to make an important step in their redemption ark, or did Kingzone have other plans?
The early game in the first match was fairly even, with both teams trading blows in both objectives and kills. Neither team was able to gain an edge on their opponent and it seemed like we were up for a very close series. In the mid-game, team fights started emerging around objectives, especially by the Baron. SKT usually came out on top, even with Heo “PawN” Won-seok doing his best to even out the fights on Corki. It was actually his performance, which reminded us of his Samsung White days, that kept Kingzone in the game for so long. After an impressive Baron steal from Park “Teddy” Jin-seong on Varus, SKT were able to break into Kingzone’s base and end the game.
After their loss in the first game, Kingzone started the second game strong. They racked up a lot of early kills, mostly due to the roaming presence of PawN’s LeBlanc. His roams helped the team amass a decent gold lead in the early game. That lead ballooned heading into the mid-game, as SKT members got caught left and right. Kim “Rascal” Kwang-hee tried to end the game early with a backdoor but ultimately failed. SKT took the chance and were able to grab themselves the Baron buff and keep themselves in the game.
With another desperate push attempt from Rascal, the momentum completely swung in SKT’s favor. They began winning fights and slowly closed the gold gap. After securing another Baron and winning a few more team fights, SKT ended the game with confidence.
With SKT at match point, Kingzone would have to win the next three games to advance. SKT took the lead in the early game, with many small skirmishes around the map that put them at a decent gold advantage. Kingzone fought, but SKT were in the driver’s seat for the entirety of the game and didn’t give them any chances to come back from the deficit. Slowly but surely, SKT were able to defeat the Dragons and secure the series, earning a spot in the finals.
Make sure to tune in to SKT T1 vs Griffin on Saturday. It’s bound to be a great series!
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Vince Koyle is an esports writer, tech nerd and future CompSci student. He often likes to compare traditional sports to esports, showing his love for both kinds. Also tends to sometimes try too hard with explaining what esports is and how it isn’t any different than traditional sports. He mainly covers the League of Legends scene, with an emphasis on European and Asian leagues.