The second semifinal matchup at MSI is between G2 Esports and SK Telecom T1. This will take place on Saturday, May 18 at 3 a.m. Eastern standard time. This match is arguably the closer of the two semifinals, so taking a look at each team going in is going to be incredibly important. The winner of this match will play the winner of Invictus Gaming and Team Liquid. Check out the preview for that match if you need to catch up.
In a very surprising turn of events, G2 beat SKT in both group stage matches. Both games served as the first game for the teams in each round robin. Only three champions were played in both games: Azir, Elise, and Jayce. These three picks could prove important pickups for both teams, as two of these champions were played by both teams.
The other major commonalities that existed from the group matches are that G2 ran triple Summoner: Teleport, Sang-hyeok “Faker” Lee played Azir in both games, and Jin-seong “Teddy” Park played new pick Miss Fortune and scaling pick Ezreal. The other new pick was from G2 top laner Martin “Wunder” Hansen picking Pyke into Jayce. Overall new strategies and picks from both teams will make a very interesting series, so targeted bans and new picks would be expected.
G2 has played extremely well overall lately, if you discount the 0-2 record against Phong Vũ Buffalo. As seen from their finals run, G2 has continued to experiment with the game and found relatively good success. We’ve seen Neeko bot, Vayne top, Draven bot, and Camille jungle this MSI alone. G2 has run triple Summoner: Teleport in seven of their 10 games in group stage, and they rely on their ability to rotate and catch out opponents. Carry performances have been played by all the G2 members, so in even matchups, G2 could have any player rise to the occasion.
The large amount of picks at hand is also a double-edged sword. While they can play different styles of League, gimmicks can only take teams so far. If SKT hold G2 to a more conventional play style, they could struggle in a best-of-5 series.
SKT’s last game saw them rob Invictus Gaming out of their perfect 10-0 MSI record. SKT managed to take the only win against the front runner of the tournament. The losses to G2 and the loss to IG were the only games SKT failed to win, so they need to reform and come in looking strong.
Losing in 16 minutes to IG and 26 and 35 minutes to G2 does show growth in SKT’s ability to stall out games. Tae-min “Clid” Kim played half his games this tournament on Lee Sin and has been performing well to help SKT. Teddy, Faker, and Clid place Top 3 in KDA throughout the group stage. Stats-wise, SKT look like the strongest team in the semifinals. The potential problem for SKT is what G2 is excelling at this tournament: draft flexibility. SKT need to secure picks like Sylas and Lee Sin, while avoiding the Sona/Taric strategy.
Honestly, this series could go five games in either direction. G2 bring a lot to the table, and it might be my SKT bias kicking in, but I expect this will be close. SKT need to control early games and bring it into the late game, while G2 need to disrupt their opponents at every opportunity. Historically, in League, bringing new strategies against Korean teams can work well, but SKT might also have some new tricks up their sleeve. My guess is 3-2 to SKT, though again, it might be the SKT name bringing them ahead. However, it also would not surprise me if G2 managed to win the series.
For all the matches and statistics, check out lolesports.com to catch up before this MSI match starts! Then catch highlights and commentary here at Daily Esports.
I am a League of Legends writer from New Jersey. Graduated from Rutgers with my Bachelor’s in Journalism. Favorite League champions: Vel’Koz, Sion, Blitzcrank to name a few. I also play Overwatch, Slay the Spire, Stardew Valley, and D&D. Find me on Twitter @JaredWarnke