SK Telecom T1 are the champions of the Mid-Season Invitational beating EU LCS champions G2 Esports in 3-1 on Sunday. SKT’s path through the tournament included only three losses in their 17 total games.
In the first game of the Finals, G2 got out to a nice early lead focusing Faker in the midlane. However, as the midgame started Peanut’s Lee Sin proved too strong taking over the game and carrying SKT’s damage helping them close the game quickly taking them to a 1-0 lead in the series.
Game two was all G2 Esports as every lane won thanks to a fantastic game from jungler Trick as well a fantastic laning phase from Perkz who beat Faker despite being countered in the matchup playing Syndra against Faker’s Ahri.
Games three and four were swift answers from SKT as they dominated every facet of the game and winning every lane. The unquestionable MVP through these games was SKT jungler Peanut who ended Game 4 9/0/6 on Olaf.
This is G2 Esports’ highest ever finish at an international tournament. Despite going to two international tournaments last year — the 2016 Mid-Season Invitational and the 2016 World Championships — both tournaments ended in disappointment as the team failed to make it out of the group stages. However, G2 put up a strong performance at MSI 2017 evening putting up a fight against World Champions SKT.
This is SK Telecom T1’s fourth straight championship finish at an international tournament and first since winning the World Championship in October of 2016. This is also SKT’s second straight win at the Mid-Season Invitational win. SK Telecom T1’s win is also notable because it is their first with their 2017 roster which included two new players neither of whom had won an international tournament before.
5:39 pm ET — G2 continue to struggle as SKT tightens their grip on the game. Their leads has expanded to almost 12k with G2 struggling to gain any kind of ground back into the match.
5:29 pm ET — G2 continue to allow small skirmishes and picks playing directly into SKT’s compositional strengths. They are going o need to force teamfights if they want a chance in this game.
5:27 pm ET — A massive bottom lane fight leads to just one kill for G2 evening things up at 3-3 until a midlane gank gives SKT back the kill lead 4-3.
5:21 pm ET — SKT get first blood in the bottom lane in an otherwise incredibly passive early game.
5:10 pm ET — Pick and Ban Game 4
G2 has Lee Sin and Lee Sin is still undefeated so far, so that is good for them. On the other hand, Faker is playing Leblanc, the champion that helped earn him his reputation as the best player in the world.
G2: Galio, Lee Sin, Orianna, Kalista, Thresh
Bans: Kennen, Fizz, Caitlyn, Ahri, Fiora
SKT: Rumble, Olaf, Leblanc, Twitch, Tahm Kench,
Bans: Lulu, Karma, Kog’Maw, Shen, Syndra
4:50 pm ET — SKT Take a 2-1 lead in the series winning game 3 with a commanding 12k gold lead.
4:48 pm ET — SKT win a huge fight thanks to a flash Zyra ult from Wolf. This leads SKT to a Baron and a very solid 9k gold lead.
4:40 pm ET — SKT are still pretty clearly in control, but G2 manage to catch Faker and Huni out of position for a couple of much needed kills. Not sure that will help them in the long run, but if they are going to get back into this game they are on the right track.
That being said, SKT are still up about 4k gold, 8-3 in kills, 2-1 in dragons and 3-1 in towers.
4:27 pm ET — After a couple strong ganks from Peanut, SKT has taken over the game completely. They are up 6-0 in kills and Peanut is 2/0/2 on Lee Sin.
4:16 pm ET — Pick and Ban Game 3
Here we go again. Peanut on Lee Sin, let’s see if Trick can counter it with Olaf. The good news for G2 is that their comp is much more well rounded than SKT’s. If SKT fall behind at all they are incredibly squishy and won’t have a chance to do much with the Rumble ultimates.
SKT: Rumble, Lee Sin, Ahri, Caitlyn, Zyra
Bans: Syndra, Twitch, Kog’Maw, Shen, Leblanc
G2: Galio, Olaf, Orianna, Ashe, Miss Fortune
Bans: Kennen, Lulu, Karma, Cassiopeia, Fizz
3:54 pm ET — G2 absolutely dominate SKT to take a win in Game 2. This is a game they could have played in game 1, but at least we have a series now.
3:52 pm ET — G2 win a huge fight with a member down and take Baron. Peanut looks a little lost on Ivern in teamfights. Are we all convinced that Lee is this series’ most important pick yet?
3:46 pm ET — G2 are winning and up 4k gold, but honestly neither teams are making good choices here. G2 over-extends twice in a row, then SKT overstays a tower dive. It’s a strange game so far.
3:29 pm ET — G2 seems to be playing a real early game this time that doesn’t involve hard camping midlane on a champion that will always scale. That means a big and early 3k gold lead and a lead in every lane.
3:24 pm ET — Pick and Ban Game 2
SKT are going to have a lot of ways to get picks, but are going to be a little low on damage come the late game. G2’s main advantage over the first game is that Peanut isn’t playing Lee Sin. Other than that, they have a ton of damage and at least a few different distractions that should help Zven get some damage out on Kog’Maw.
G2: Gangplank, Lee Sin, Syndra, Kog’Maw, Braum
Bans: Fizz, Kennen, Caitlyn, Lucian, Fiora
SKT: Galio, Ivern, Ahri, Ashe, Tahm Kench
Bans: Lulu, Karma, Zyra, Shen, Gragas
3:00 pm ET — The speed with which SKT pulled this game out of G2’s passive hands is incredible. However, what they forgot is that the player to shut down on this team is Peanut not Faker and if you give him Lee Sin, you aren’t going to shut him down.
SKT win with an almost 20k gold lead. G2 are going to need to completely rethink their approach to this series.
2:54 pm ET — G2 start Baron but seem to have forgotten that they have no engage and are losing. So, they lose the fight badly trading 4-2 in kills and taking just a tower in trade of Baron. The compositional limitations of G2 are really starting to show since they failed to get objectives early on.
2:47 pm ET — After 10 minutes of stalling for ... well I’m not sure why, G2 have given up their lead and Baron leaving them down almost 3k gold and putting Faker back in the game in terms of gold. There are very very few ways for G2 to get back into this game.
2:42 pm ET — Keeping Faker down early is a great move to counter Cassiopeia, but G2 are going to have to capitalize on it early because Cassiopeia will always scale into damage. They can’t afford to stall too long they’ll need objectives soon.
2:36 pm ET — Another death and Faker is clearly way out of his element at the moment. Four people from G2 ended up Mid and Faker flashed late dying to Rumble burn.
In response, SKT are looking for bot tower while G2 push mid.
2:30 pm ET — Faker has gone down three times in the first 8 minutes. He seems to have no idea how to track an Ivern who is mid-focused.
Meanwhile Peanut is completely lost in the SKT jungle having done almost nothing in the game so far. G2 is up almost 2k so far with most of that on Jayce the team’s best scaling champion.
2:25 pm ET — Pick and Ban Game 1
Giving Peanut Lee Sin was probably a bad idea. I’m not saying that G2 are doomed, but Peanut’s Lee has been pretty amazing so far at MSI. Other than that SKT have a ton of damage and are going to be sitting on a fantastic tank in Galio. Meanwhile, G2 are going to have a really had time getting into the backline, but should they gain a lead their siege will be incredible.
SKT: Galio, Lee Sin, Cassiopeia, Ashe, Zyra
Bans: Syndra, Twitch, Kog’Maw, Leblanc, Orianna
G2: Rumble, Ivern, Jayce, Caitlyn, Tahm Kench
Bans: Lulu, Karma, Kennen, Lucian, Fizz
The Mid-Season Invitational Finals kick off on Sunday between LCK champions SK Telecom T1 and EU LCS champions G2 Esports.
The road to the finals was difficult for G2 who struggled in the Group Stage advancing with a record of 4-6. However, they showed up in the Semi-Finals on Saturday looking like a completely different team defeating Team WE in a decisive 3-1 series. SKT on the other hand only lost two games in the Group Stage and had a clean 3-0 sweep of Flash Wolves in a Semi-Final on Friday.
This series should be fairly standard for SK Telecom T1. They enter the series with a top three in the world player at every role and some of the best map movements and decision making in the game. If they can stay composed and consistent in the face of whatever slightly strange pick G2 might throw at them, they should be able to take yet another MSI Championship.
G2 Esports enter this series in a fantastic position. After a year of extreme disappointment on the international stage they have managed to make up for it by advancing to the finals at MSI. Now that they have made it there is little expectation for them to win and anything they manage in a series against SKT will simply be icing on the cake of an otherwise successful international tournament.
That being said, if G2 are to succeed in this series it will likely be off the back of jungler Kim “Trick” Gang-yun who will have to take advantage of Han “Peanut” Wang-ho’s occasionally lackluster early game pathing when no gank opportunities present themselves.
SK Telecom T1
- Heo “Huni” Seung-hoon
- Han “Peanut” Wang-ho
- Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok
- Bae “Bang” Jun-sik
- Lee “Wolf” Jae-wan
- Ki “Expect” Dae-han
- Kim “Trick” Gang-yun
- Luka “PerkZ” Perković
- Jesper “Zven” Svenningsen
- Alfonso “mithy” Aguirre Rodríguez
Series info and how to watch
The SKT vs. G2 series will be a best-of-five and watchable on Lolesports and the Riot Games Twitch channel. It is scheduled to start at 2 p.m. ET, or 3 p.m. local time.