Following an incredible run, SK Telecom T1 claimed the championship title of the 2017 League of Legends Mid-Season Invitational to conclude the weekend.
This makes it the second time in a row for the South Korean powerhouse, having displayed its dominance at last year’s Mid-Season Invitational as well. What came as a surprise was how the team breezed through the initial stages of the tournament but had to slightly push itself in the grand finals.
The final tally of 3-1 may make it seem like G2 Esports did little to stop SKT in its tracks. The reality is that the western roster proved how even gods can sometimes bleed.
Few expected Luka “PerkZ” Perković to give any trouble to Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok, who is hailed as the best player in the world and seemingly untouchable. The 2017 League of Legends Mid-Season Invitational resulted in PerkZ answer his critics about his past failings at international events.
Not showing any signs of fear or respect for the world champions, PerkZ played aggressively from the very start. With the help of jungler Kim “Trick” Gang-yun, he eliminated Faker for First Blood and then followed by killing the star player of the Korean roster three more times.
It put G2 Esports in the lead but the hard focus on the mid lane proved disastrous later on when the side-lanes managed to push right into the base. The other members of SKT refused to give any more control of the map, and secured the first game with a couple of late-game skirmishes.
“I actually think this was one of the most difficult games for me,” said Faker afterwards. “My performance wasn’t good. And my condition wasn’t that good either.”
G2 Esports had no intention to pull out, becoming even more aggressive in the second game. At level one, the team surprised Faker in the river and forced him to blow his Flash. Without an escape option, control of the lane was awarded to PerkZ and he did well in the early-game. By the time SKT began to contest for team fights, it was already too late and G2 Esports was able to tie the series.
The third game saw SKT take respond by relying on comfort picks and strategically dismantling G2 Esports. In the mid-lane clash, PerkZ managed to take an early lead on Faker but the world champion was still able to make life miserable.
The fourth and final game of the 2017 League of Legends Mid-Season Invitational was where the South Korean players showed their renowned skill and understanding of the game. The bottom lane of G2 Esports was completely crushed and control of the bottom side of the jungle was taken away from them. Starved for gold, G2 became irrelevant for SKT by the mid-game and lost multiple fights. It was only a matter of time before the South Koreans grouped up to finish the game and take home the title.
Despite losing, G2 Esports was impressive and proved its worth on the international stage. With the League of Legends Mid-Seasonal Invitational concluded, we now await to see what both teams have to offer at the World Championship later this year.