After day 1 of the quarterfinals gave us the biggest upset of the 2017 World Championship so far, day 2 sets the stage for one that would be even more shocking, as defending world champions SK telecom T1 take on European LCS number two seed, Misfits Gaming.
For SKT, this has been far and away the weakest they have looked since the team’s first World Championship in 2013. With a roster that could never quite find its footing back in the LCK Summer Split, SKT struggled during the Worlds Group Stage, despite the way their 5-1 record may look. But they’re the defending champions for a reason and every time they have looked weak in the past, it’s been a precursor to them soaring to new heights. They undoubtedly will enter this series as the favorites.
But Misfits Gaming is a team uniquely qualified to beating a weaker SK telecom. First of all, while the team may feel plenty of pressure, none of it is from the fans. One of the benefits of going against a three time World Champion is that anything short of a 3-0 finish to the series is a bit of a victory.
More importantly though, Misfits has made a name for themselves in the EU LCS as a team that excels at preparing for specific opponents. During their impressive EU LCS Summer Split playoff run, the team went from barely making it in, to dominating some of the tournament’s favorites with meticulous pick and ban phases and a deep understanding of their opponent's strategy. We still don’t know if there is any way to knock SKT out of Worlds in a best of five, but if there is, careful preparation and planning is certainly a good first step.
The series will be a best of five and is scheduled to begin at 4:00 a.m. ET.