On Sunday, the last remaining LCK team in SK Telecom T1 was eliminated from the 2019 League of Legends World Championship. In the most watched esports match of all time, breaking 3.98M peak concurrent viewers, G2 Esports ended Korea’s run in four games, advancing to the grand final and earning a chance to complete the grand slam of four titles in one year.
SKT’s elimination is a bizarre result in a way. While the majority of analyst desk, six out of eight in fact, called for a G2 win, the end result still felt kind of surprising. A lot of that came from the high expectations fans and pundits placed on the returned Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok who, up until that point, had proven himself as the best mid laner in the tournament. With a major change in style towards a more aggressive early game brought on by Kim “Clid” Tae-min, for SKT to make the finals of Worlds — and then win it — felt as the most natural thing.
So why did they lose? Were G2 so much better than them? According to Andrew “Vedius” Day, that’s not really the case.
“G2 also made a bunch of mistakes. They tried to force so many fights that didn’t make sense. They were greedy, they misplayed,” he said in a VOD analysis of the semifinal.
Vedius has a point. The only game of the series that was one-sided was G2’s loss in game 2, which SKT won 21-7 with 12K gold advantage by the end. In game 4, the mistakes were manifold too, with G2 losing all the initial Dragon fights and getting Faker to a 3/0/2 start on Qiyana by the 15-minute mark. The ace-for-one 5v5 at the first Baron was also a bad execution on G2’s part and in other conditions, that would’ve been the game.
So what happened?
“Ultimately, SKT played better than G2 did, but G2 drafted in a way that allowed them to come back in the game later on. A large part of that was SKT did not execute properly on the comps they drafted themselves and at the same time G2 had these moments in every game where one player stood out.”
This is especially evident in games 1 and 4, which hanged in the balance for the majority of the late game. Heavily dependent on landing big ulties, SKT’s Neeko/Leona and Qiyana/Vladimir compositions fumbled as SKT couldn’t find the fights they wanted. A big part of that was Mihael “Mikyx” Mehle’s control of the battlefield.
“Mikyx 100% should’ve been the MVP,” Vedius finishes.