Melany M. October 12, 2019
The unkillable demon king is back! Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok debuted at the 2019 League of Legends World Championship with a perfect KDA.
SK Telecom T1 started its World Championship run with a dominant victory over Fnatic. During the broadcast, the analysts predicted that Fnatic would take the game considering how little time SKT had to prepare in the European server. They didn't anticipate the power of the three-time world champion and neither did Fnatic.
SKT adapts to the Worlds' meta
What looked like a standard composition turned out to be an adaptation to counter Garen and Yuumi. Faker took Tristana to the mid lane and let Park "Teddy" Jin-seong take Kayle to the bottom lane. Teddy opted for a Kleptomancy rune on Kayle, a strategy that has become increasingly popular of late.
It was first introduced by Jang "Nuguri" Ha-gwon, but Teddy put his own twist on it to be a bottom lane option. Fnatic wasn’t expecting the adaptation and couldn’t respond to it in time.
The game started with a level one first blood when SKT decided to invade Fnatic’s side of the map and contest the red buff. That early injection of gold put Faker significantly ahead of Tim "Nemesis" Lipovšek. Tristana’s ability to shove the lane and quickly clear the wave, allowed Faker to move into the fog of war and threaten a possible roam to the side lanes.
Once Teddy completed his Guinsoo’s Rageblade, SKT was ready to roll over Fnatic. SKT had flanking options, different disengaging tools, and multiple sources of damage. Fnatic got picks, but that wasn't nearly enough to get back in the game.
SKT’s plan to close the game was clear, threaten the baron buff and force Fnatic to waste resources. This play worked on multiple occasions until SKT saw an opening to fight.
27 minutes into the match, SKT aced Fnatic. Minutes later the Korean champion claimed the Baron buff and marched into Fnatic’s base, ready to take its first win of the tournament.
Faker finished the game with nine kills and zero deaths.