Melany M. August 16, 2019
SK Telecom T1 is in a very bad spot in the 2019 LCK Summer Split.
SKT dropped a critical match versus Damwon Gaming and might miss the playoffs as a result. Damwon moved up to first place as a result of their victory and secured a place in the next round of the competition.
Damwon steals the game from SKT
SKT is coming off a loss to Hanwha Life Esports and needed this victory to hold onto a spot in the playoffs. The defending champion jumped into the rift with an aggressive strategy centered around jungler Kim “Clid” Tae-min on Skarner.
Clid took control of the early objective and helped the bottom duo pressure the lane. This was followed by a rotation towards the top lane to get the first turret for SKT. These aggressive maneuvers let SKT take over the early game, and seemingly set the team up for success.
Damwon Jungler Kim “Canyon” Geon-bu waited patiently for his time to get in the game. The MVP frontrunner kept a low profile until he found the right window to hit SKT. Around the dragon pit, Clid caught Canyon hiding in the bush but the rest of his team lacked the damage to burst him down.
SKT waited for the next dragon spawn while Damwom rushed the baron. SKT chased them through the jungle and got two, but Damwon was strong enough to push.
Damwon caught Park "Teddy" Jin-seong and Lee "Effort" Sang-ho one step out of position. With two members in the death chamber, SKT had to give up the nexus and game one.
Canyon redeems himself
Canyon opened game two with a solo kill in the top lane, catching Kim "Khan" Dong-ha as he tried to disengage from a fight.
SKT grouped as five, with support Cho "Mata" Se-hyeong serving as the main initiator for the team on Volibear. Mata flashed on multiple occasions to get the kills SKT needed to stay in the game.
SKT’s decay actually started after a botched initiation from Mata. The team killed Canyon and didn’t go immediately for baron, instead settling for a turret.
Later, SKT moved to baron and hid in the fog of war. Canyon spotted Khan with a sweeper and predicted the location of the rest of the team with a stolen Sejuani ult. Damwon jumped in and aced SKT on the spot.
Damwon would get a second baron thanks to support Cho "BeryL" Geon-hee on Leona. SKT was once again hiding in a bush when BeryL engaged on them. This time, Damwon won the fight by killing three members of SKT but they lost two of their own.
Canyon caught SKT one last time with the stolen Sejuani ult, this time around the elder dragon. Two SKT players gave up their lives while the rest limped back to their base. Damwon was merciless and pushed for the win for a clean 2-0.
The result puts SKT in a difficult position. SKT must win its final game versus Sandbox Gaming and hope that Afreeca Freecs and Gen.G lose their games. The race for playoffs is closer than ever in the LCK.