After an exciting and unexpected Summer Split, the LCK Finals are here at last with SK Telecom T1 facing off against Longzhu Gaming.
When the match up begins Friday morning all eyes will be on the middle lane as Korea’s brightest up and coming star Longzhu’s Kwak “Bdd” Bo-seong takes on League of Legend’s most famous player, Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok.
Mirroring closely the mid lane match up, are the stakes for both teams as they enter the Finals. For Longzhu this series represents a chance to advance to their first ever World Championship. If Longzhu were to lose, they would be sent to the qualification bracket and forced to go up against teams like Samsung Galaxy on their way to Worlds. SKT, on the other hand, have already earned their trip to worlds. Should they lose, they make it through on Championship Points as Korea’s number two seed, if they win, it’s the number one seed for them.
While it may sound like these are fairly low stakes for SKT, there’s more at stake here than a slightly better group at Worlds. Over the last two months SK Telecom have been hounded relentlessly by the struggles of their season. For the first time in their four year history, the team made roster moves that simply haven’t worked. Both the inconsistencies of new jungler Han “Peanut” Wang-ho, combined with the failed reclamation project on toplaner Heo “Huni” Seung-hoon , mean that neither move has worked the way the team had hoped. To say they have been inconsistent this Summer would be to put it mildly. But the LCK Finals are a chance for SKT to put that narrative to bed and to prove that they are still the world’s best team.