SK Telecom T1 certainly haven't shown up as the SKT we've come to know, but the Mid-Season Invitational champions have played their best when it mattered most. Wednesday was no exception, as SKT survived a hard fought series against Longzhu Gaming, ending Week 2, Day 2 of the of League Champions Korea with a 2-1 series win in Seoul, South Korea.
Each team entered Game 1 with different styles from the onset, shown by the standard team fight-oriented draft from SKT(2-1, 4-3 match record), compared to the pick composition Longzhu Gaming (2-1, 5-3 match record) brought to the Rift. Neither team was able to break away from one another until the mid game, when Longzhu was finally able to find a handful of necessary picks to gain map control. Methodically tightening its grip on the game through objective control and having a better mid-game composition, Longzhu was able to take down Baron at the 28-minute mark without much reaction from SKT. The Baron buff didn't do much for Longzhu, but it was able to end the game shortly after following a 3-for-0 team fight.
Despite being in a hole, SKT didn't try to change things heading into Game 2, operating a standard draft. Longzhu, however, looked to try something new by locking in Cassiopeia for top laner Kim "Khan" Dong-ha, and in the beginning the move appeared to be brilliant. Longzhu looked stronger in the early game despite a prolonged jungle invade by SKT jungler Kang "Blank" Sun-g's Gragas. But SKT wrestled the lead away after a series of smart team fights and a few misplays from Longzhu that left kills on the table. The game finally broke open after SKT was able to take down Baron near the 30-minute mark, narrowly winning a 3-for-2 fight. With its newfound Baron buff, SKT was able to take down four members of Longzhu en route to evening the series at 1-1.
The draft for Game 3 was another standard teamfighting composition for SKT, whereas Longzhu opted to take hyper-carry champions like Fiora, Kassadin and Xayah into every lane. The early game was scrappy, but SKT maintained its momentum by taking down first tower. All throughout the mid game, SKT kept Longzhu from scaling by protecting its towers well while forcing Longzhu to defend its own. SKT's lead grew through superior team fighting and a Baron kill at the 35-minute mark. While SKT was shockingly unable to capitalize on the buff, it did manage to break into Longzhu's base awhile later thanks to the strength of three Mountain Drakes. By that point, though, Longzhu had fully scaled into the late, allowing both teams to chip away at one another's base while dancing around team fights. A continual back-and-forth game ended with SKT whittling down Longzhu just fast enough at 55 minutes to take the series 2-1.