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SK Telecom T1 looked in form as it swept Afreeca Freecs 2-0 to begin the League of Legends Champions Korea Summer Playoffs on Saturday in Seoul, South Korea.
Despite having spent a majority of 2017 being hailed as the best team in the world, SKT (13-5, 26-16 match record) had an untimely slump after Rift Rivals that forced it down to the first round of the playoffs. Not only did SKT look beatable for a sizable stretch a few weeks back, but it had to play Afreeca Freecs (10-8, 27-21 match record) -- a team that has always heavily challenged SKT and earned a sweep of the reigning world champs during that slump.
The LCK Playoffs have never been this stacked, but SKT is the team that Afreeca would choose to play every time because of its history. Being heralded as SKT's kryptonite, Afreeca had a better shot of winning this series than it would against any other team.
Despite Afreeca's perceived prowess as the giant killers, SKT looked completely unfazed all series long. Whether it was keeping things even in the early game before snowballing toward a big victory in Game 1 or using superior macro and teamfighting in Game 2, SKT had it all here. This was the team that fans know and love, which is great for the SKT's morale but surely has unsettled its opponents.
With this victory, SKT has nearly guaranteed itself a Worlds seed, as it is getting precariously close to having enough circuit points to qualify without even winning the Summer Split. If it wants that top seed, though, it will need to beat out Samsung Galaxy (13-5, 29-15 match record), KT Rolster (14-4, 31-16 match record), and Longzhu Gaming (14-4, 31-13 match record). Afreeca, on the other hand, has a much tougher road to Worlds. It is currently seeded third in the Regional Qualifier, and it will have to beat MVP (6-12, 13-29 match record), and two more teams that fall out of the playoffs to punch a ticket to Worlds.
SKT continues its path toward that No. 1 seed against Samsung Galaxy at 4 a.m. ET on Tuesday.