Melany M. August 11, 2019
Hanwha Life Esports pulled off a major upset versus SK Telecom T1.
SKT is thriving in the 2019 LCK Summer Split while Hanwha is fighting to stay out of the 2020 LCK Spring Promotion Tournament. That fact had Hanwha entering this match as the clear underdog but their desperation to avoid relegation served them well as they scored a shock victory.
Hanwha kept it simple in game one. The team created pressure in different areas of the map, which gave SKT jungler Kim “Clid” Tae-min more fires than he could hope to put out. Hanwha snowballed that advantage out of control and SKT couldn’t find a way to get back into the game.
SKT learned from their mistakes and played more proactive in game two. Clid looked for early ganks to create pressure of his own. Hanwha still managed to get picks and break even with SKT.
On Hanwha’s side, bot laner Gwon "Sangyoon" Sang-yun stood out. His presence on the map knocked SKT off balance, causing the enemies to jump into unfavorable fights. Top laner Kim "Khan" Dong-ha was the best and worst player for SKT, putting his teammates into unfavorable situations but also coming through in the clutch moments where they needed him. He closed out the game in style alongside bot laner Park "Teddy" Jin-seong, with the duo taking the final fight for SKT to even the series.
At match point, Hanwha returned to its original, aggressive strategy. The team played through the bottom lane, enabling Sangyoon. Hanwha capitalized on SKT’s repeated mistakes. SKT was out of position in every team fight, allowing Hanwha to take kills for free.
Hanwha turned those kills into objectives and gold. Powered up with the baron buff, Hanwha marched into the base and took the nexus to seal the series.
SKT fell from second to fourth with the loss while Hanwha moved up to eighth place, moving out of relegation territory for the moment. The standings are constantly changing and every game counts as the split nears completion.