Doublelift at Worlds: Semi Finals Day 1
Before I get into these matches, several stats really stuck out to me as important throughout the series.
Game Times for NJS Wins: 47:50 // 38:41
Game Times for SKT T1 Wins: 29:56 // 22:49 // 27:04
Ahri W/L: 0/4
Ori W/L: 3/0
Renekton W/L: 3/0
Shen W/L: 0/3
Faker shouldn’t be playing Ahri because Nagne had prepared Gragas as a counter to it and even baited Faker into playing it the first game. He fell victim to the same bait in Game 3. Once Gragas was out of the picture and Faker was allowed to farm freely on a scaling mid like Ori vs Nagne’s weak laning phase, SKT T1 started winning.
When NJS wins, it’s an incredibly slow struggle for them to close it out. This is because while NJS isn’t bad enough to throw the game, they aren’t good enough to ride momentum out and stomp like SKT T1 does. This leads me to believe that SKT T1 is the superior team, since they are able to turtle and outplay from behind. Once they get ahead, however, they never throw it and always end the game as fast as possible. These are the signs of an aggressive and decisive team. Having favorable lane matchups means everything to these teams, as the team with the winning lanes will continuously pull pressure and have the ability to make plays, and neither team throws their leads.
SKT T1 vs NJS Game 1
Jax beats Shen. Gragas splits even and farms safely against Ahri. Corki + Leona has more kill potential and stronger burst/utility/pick potential than Ezreal + Zyra. All of NJS’s lanes are superior, and all they had to do was drag this game to the point where Jax crushes Shen into the ground. Watch had some very smart ganks top lane and ended up diving Shen under turret multiple times. All in all, a one sided game for NaJin.
SKT T1 vs NJS Game 2
SKT T1 played the 2v1 very smart. They tried to deny the enemy Jax as much as possible, while Pray and Cain misplayed and fed Renekton + Lee a kill each. This would come back to bite them in the ass when Renekton started laning against a starved Jax, who he promptly dumpstered. Orianna is also a good safe and scaling pick into Gragas, so Faker wasn’t worried about not getting early kills. Orianna’s utility is far greater than Gragas and she can easily shield half of his damage as the game goes late.
Piglet and Mandu actually did really well this game, getting a lot of crucial kills, pulling pressure onto them bot lane as they split pushed, and team fighting well. This was by far their best game in the whole series.
SKT T1 vs NJS Game 3
SKT T1 started seeing that Expession liked Jax a lot, and Jax is an incredibly annoying champion. Thus, they banned Jax this game and picked Shen thinking that Jax wouldn’t be there to counter.
Expession answered with a Renekton pick, and did well against Shen despite dying to interrupt his port. During the top lane skirmish, PraY and Nagne ended up getting ahead of Faker and Piglet because of the massive outplay that Pray did. Once Aatrox got behind, it was nearly impossible for SKT T1 to get back into the game. This is why I don’t like junglers like Aatrox, especially if Bengi isn’t going to farm 24/7 and his style is to gank and support his team.
I think SKT T1 literally threw this game in picks. Ahri into Gragas again, which was a repeat of Game 1. A completely random Aatrox, the only other game SKT played it was vs GamingGear. Early pick Shen which blatantly disrespects Expession. All in all, a really weak game for SKT T1.
SKT T1 vs NJS Game 4
Letting Expession have Jax and beating it with Renekton like SKT T1 did in Game 2 was very smart. At this point, after 2 losses, SKT T1 have compiled enough information to beat Sword. Banning Gragas leaves Nagne with his comfort pick – Ahri, which Faker can easily out-farm and out-scale with Orianna. Corki Zyra is a really strong lane overall, and SKT T1 used it to constantly pressure Pray and make him unimpactful.
Despite Bengi dying on the jungle invade and getting super far behind, he was still able to catch up and make huge plays. I like that Bengi knows how to play from behind and make Lee Sin meaningful. Watch did nothing with his lead, and ended up losing Dragon and one of his buffs to a jungler that died at lvl 1.
SKT T1 just wins games when they play standard and don’t let themselves get counter picked in lane. As long as there are plays to be made in the lanes due to favorable or even matchups, SKT T1 will pull some insane play out and get a gold lead. Once the gold lead happens, it’s a stomp like this game. 22:49 surrender by NJS.
SKT T1 vs NJS Game 5
Once again, SKT T1 has NJS completely downloaded. Expession early picks Shen thinking he can deal with any of Impact’s champions, and suddenly Impact pulls out Jax. Faker goes with the safe Ori into Ahri matchup, and for some reason NJS gives Bengi his signature Lee. Ezreal + Zyra is a safe lane that can farm against anything for SKT T1, while NJS is under pressure to use their Caitlyn to siege turrets or risk getting out-scaled.
As you can tell from the boring first 20 minutes to this game, SKT T1 decided that their best chance was to just farm it out until they hit a power spike. Their superior dragon control would yield them a small gold lead at first, which widened once they took essentially every outer turret. By the time they had a 4k gold lead, they were so far ahead that they bought their core items and pushed together. The entire time, Bengi was feeding Faker his jungle and biding time for Ori to hit her Rabadon’s/Athene’s power spike. Once she hit it, they grouped and pushed and never split up again.
SKT T1 literally pounded NJS into the ground in terms of map movements and team fights because they were so far ahead and their approach to the game was so much smarter. They essentially used every bit of information they had about NJS to force Pray into useless Caitlyn by banning Twitch + Corki, and have Faker out-scale Nagne by picking Ori. Impact’s Jax both out-scales and beats Shen in lane. Strategically and in terms of execution, SKT T1 is so good it’s unreal.