Faker, Blank help bring SK Telecom to life against Afreeca Freecs

SK Telecom T1's star mid laner Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok waves to the crowd in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, after his SKT team remained undefeated at the Mid-Season Invitational. Riot Games

The Afreeca Freecs made a valiant effort on Sunday, but SK Telecom T1 came out on top with a 2-1 victory in Seoul, Korea to open up the final day of Week 3 of League of Legends Champions Korea.

Despite getting Galio for mid laner Lee "Faker" Seong-hyu, SKT (5-1, 10-4 match record) looked extremely out of sorts as it was unable to do much of anything for the vast majority of Game 1. Afreeca (3-3, 9-9 match record) mid laner Lee "KurO" Seo-haeng got his hands on the Malzahar, becoming a monster as he helped pick up three kills on Faker by the time 14 minutes had passed. When the 24-minute mark had rolled around, Afreeca had picked up its first Baron while enjoying being up 8-to-0 in kills and a 7,000-gold advantage. While SKT showed some semblance of life when Faker landed back-to-back four-man taunts pick up an ace at 32 minutes, the play only served to delay an inevitable 42-minute victory for Afreeca.

With SKT subbing in jungler Kang "Blank" Sun-gu and top laner Ui "Untara" Jin-Park for Game 2, there was a renewed sense of vigor from the SKT squad after the rough Game 1 loss. SKT seemed to compose itself by taking first blood, but Afreeca grabbed the first tower to even things up. As the game progressed, Afreeca looked to snowball ahead after taking the first Baron, but SKT didn't allow it. Blank showed off his great technical prowess on Lee Sin to keep SKT within striking distance with picks across the map, while Faker's Karma was performing extremely well as compared to Game 1, giving his team tons of shields and speed with Inspire/Defiance while still picking up kills. These advantages allowed SKT to easily pick up the second Baron of the game and an Elder Dragon, setting up for the 44-minute victory to force Game 3.

With all of the fireworks in the first two games of the series, it was only fitting that Game 3 started off incredibly slow. After farming through the entire early game with no kills coming from either side, Afreeca came up with the first blood that was followed immediately by kills across all three lanes to take a lead over SKT. Unfortunately, Afreeca was never able to build on the lead, which allowed SKT to come inching back into the game. SKT managed to pick up a few kills to give it some space to go for a decisive Baron at 28 minutes that went uncontested due to a lack of vision for Afreeca. The Baron was all SKT needed to make a final push into the base, as it easily wrapped up the 32-minute win just as the Baron buff was expiring to take the series 2-1.