Going down 0-2 was definitely not part of KT Rolster’s plan to dismantle the most successful team in League of Legends history. But the reverse sweep that followed was unforeseen by the vast majority of LCK fans. After having a consistently dismal playoff record against SK Telecom T1 throughout the years, KT finally managed to pull through in a 3-2 victory in the classic Korean telecommunications war.
SKT Starts Strong
KT actually came flying out of the gate in the first game. Their early pressure into the jungle put Score miles ahead of Blank in this key matchup. However, despite this advantage, SKT quickly emerged as the more mature team in the midgame. Superior team-fighting, especially from the bruising combo of Maokai and Rek’Sai prevented KT’s carries from having much of an impact, eventually leading to an SKT victory.
Game 2 wasn’t even close. KT Rolster only managed to muster up a single kill. Star top laner Ssumday looked out of sorts, and Fly’s Varus could not land a decent ultimate. In 25 minutes, the match was over without a glimmer of hope.
Score Takes Control
The KT Reverse Sweep
Game 3 was indubitably the turning point in the series. Behind a refined pick-ban phase to counter out Duke and Blank, KT was able to assume control. Fly brought Ekko into the midlane, rushing a Hextech Protobelt which gave him over-the-edge mobility. Score stole away the Rek’Sai from Blank, who looked uncomfortable to say the least. The story of Blank’s weak champion pool would prove to be the fall of SKT.
In the following matches, SKT never regained their footing. Faker had an uncharacteristically poor game 4, and the final match was a clinic from KT. Compiling 23 kills, behind a 5-1-15 Elise that dominated the entire map, KT was finally able to complete the reverse sweep against their demons.
Arrow had an impressive series, playing 3 consecutive games on Jhin. In total he amassed a ridiculous 18-0-22 in KT’s victories. Despite extremely aggressive laning and fantastic damage output each game, he simply could not be killed.
While neither SKT Telecom T1 nor KT Rolster have actually qualified/been eliminated from the World Championships yet, both are in good position to make it still. KT matches up against the ROX Tigers upcoming in the 2016 Summer Finals. If KT wins, they will automatically qualify as the 1st seed, with ROX placing 2nd, and a 3rd seed emerging from the ‘gauntlet qualifier’. However, if ROX takes the finals, SKT automatically qualifies as the 2nd seed with ROX 1st, and KT will have to play in the gauntlet.