Melany M. July 11, 2019
SK Telecom T1 might just be on a hot streak.
The LCK spring champions destroyed Hanwha Life Esports in their return to the LCK and are climbing in the standings. The team returned to their league with the aggressive style they tinkered with at Rift Rivals 2019.
In game one, SKT showed a new look with Lee “Effort” Sang-ho in the support role. Despite that tweak the team played a tight game, with all their players on the same page.
Mid laner Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok locked in his signature Leblanc and led the team on all fronts. He continued to play offensively, pushing the tempo of the game and initiating team fights.
SKT exited the lanes early and grouped to get objectives. Hanwha fell into SKT’s traps multiple times, getting goaded into fights despite being behind in gold and items.
With limited options, Hanwha rushed the baron buff but SKT jungler Kim “Clid” Tae-min snuck into the pit and snatched it out from under the five enemy players. That allowed SKT to march into the base and take the nexus at 26 minutes.
SKT continued to shine through game two. The squad took over the map with smart rotations and pressured Hanwha to retreat.
One by one, SKT destroyed structures without opposition. One baron buff was enough to secure the second win and the series.
Though this gave SKT fans reason to celebrate, the bigger story is the decline of Hanwha. The team is currently in ninth place and is likely to be relegated to the spring promotion tournament. Roster tweaks might be coming down the line for Hanwha and the organization is not scared of making serious changes.
On the other hand, SKT is climbing up the standings slowly but surely. The team is in seventh place with a chance to move up to sixth after their game on Friday against KT Rolster.
It is hard to say if SKT is back in form or just reaping the benefits of some relatively soft competition. The defending champion will face a real test in week seven when they face Griffin.