Melany M. July 4, 2019
SK Telecom T1 didn’t improve their standing in the LCK but found an important win this week.
The Korean side is off to a good start at Rift Rivals 2019. SKT started the tournament with a dominant victory over LMS representatives Flash Wolves.
Flash Wolves is one of the most popular teams in their region, with the squad finding some international relevance over the years. Unfortunately, the organization is going through a rough patch after losing mid laner Huang "Maple" Yi-Tang and support Hu "SwordArt" Shuo-Chieh. That has left Flash Wolves reeling this season and entering the event as their region’s weakest link, much like SKT who have been similarly shaky in the LCK.
Rift Rivals 2019 is played in live patch 9.13. This brought surprising picks like Sylas for jungler Kim “Clid” Tae-min.
In the top lane, Kim “Khan” Dong-ha played defensively on Camille while Jungler Liang “Enso” En-Shuo supported Su “Hanabi” Chia-Hsiang. The matchup favored Flash Wolves but it came at the expense of the other lanes as Enso neglected mid and bottom.
This opened a window that SKT abused.
Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok outfarmed his lane opponent Shin “Rather” Hyeong-seop, which allowed him to play more aggressively. While those moves have been punished in the LCK of late, Flash Wolves let him do as he pleased.
At 23 minutes, SKT initiated a fight for the mid lane outer turret. Flash Wolves repelled the attack but a critical flank from Khan allowed SKT to reap some major rewards from the skirmish. Khan stayed out of sight and let the Enso and Hanabi go for the engage. Meanwhile, he attacked the back line and erased bottom duo Lu “Betty” Yu-Hung and Liu “ShiauC” Chia-Hao from the map.
SKT turned this play into a baron buff and a push. The LCK spring champions took the win in convincing fashion, and would have actually finished with a flawless KDA if not for a late fountain dive.
It’s hard to say if SKT is in shape again but this performance does inspire some confidence going forward. The squad’s real test will come in day two when they face Invictus Gaming.