The reigning World Champion SK Telecom T1 flexed their muscles with a 3-0 victory over last year’s runner up Samsung Galaxy in the first round of the League of Legends Champions Korea Summer Playoffs. Now set up for a rematch with the rival KT Rolster, SKT can secure their third straight trip to Worlds with a victory.
After a disappointing finish to the Summer Split saw SKT fall to fourth place in the final standings of the LCK, they were faced with the daunting task of having to win four separate series against the best of the LCK to secure another league championship.
Quickly dispatching Afreeca Freecs in the Wild Card Round, SKT next faced off against a familiar foe in Samsung Galaxy.
In the first game of the series, SKT mid laner Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok reminded everyone why he is considered the greatest player of all time, with a 9-1-2 performance on Lucian that could be considered one of the single greatest playoff performances the rift has ever seen.
The devastation Faker unleashed upon Samsung was clear after the game, as Samsung mid laner Lee “Crown” Min-ho appeared distraught.
Samsung would bounce back with a lead for most of the second game, knocking down multiple inhibitors in the SKT base and looking to be in full control as they attempted to even the series.
SKT would fight off multiple attempts to end the game before an ultimate from Faker’s Fizz would catch Crown’s Orianna and turn the game on its head.
SKT would use their momentum from the ensuing team fight to capture Baron and eventually end the game, a testament to their resilience and ability to battle back from deficits.
After a Summer Split where SKT appeared to have taken a step back, these are the games that remind their opponents why they are the reigning World Champions.
— lolesports (@lolesports) August 15, 2017
The desperation for Samsung was evident in their decision to switch out three players after their game two loss. Despite the new additions, Samsung fell in the quickest game of the series as SKT completed the sweep. Following their impressive victory over Samsung, SK Telecom T1 has put the rest of the LCK on notice that they are coming back into form.
With their victory over Samsung, SKT has a chance to secure their spot at Worlds with a victory in their next series against KT Rolster.
By defeating KT Rolster, SKT would have enough Championship points to qualify for the World CHampionships as the LCK’s second seed, even if they fell to Longzhu Gaming in the Finals
The KT Rolster “super team”, while better, has still not lived up to the pre-season expectations that surrounded the organization when the roster was first announced.
SK Telecom T1 always seems to bring their A-game against their Telecom rivals, more than capable of defeating KT to advance to the LCK Finals.
While it may seem monotonous, a World Championship without Faker and SKT just wouldn’t feel the same. Luckily for fans, after their dismantling of Samsung, the chances of SKT not advancing to Worlds get slimmer by the day.