MVP 2-1 SKT
Team MVP's historic losing streak came to an end early Thursday morning when it defeated none other than SK Telecom T1 2-1 during League Champions Korea.
There's no overstating how dire MVP's position was at the beginning of this game. It came into the match not only as the heavy underdogs, but also as a team carrying a heavy burden, that of the longest losing streak in the history of the LCK.
Then about 20 minutes into Game 1, everything started turning around. It was something of a perfect storm. MVP managed to draft two winning solo lanes, while SKT (1-4) drafted a composition reliant upon a gimmicky combination of Nasus and Galio, and the results were painfully predictable. Come the mid game, nothing could touch either mid laner An "Ian" Jun-hyeong or AD carry Oh "MaHa" Hyun-sik, which was a problem that SKT couldn't solve before its nexus exploded -- and just like that MVP were off to the races.
While SKT steamrolled MVP in short fashion during Game 2, it was MVP who would have the last laugh. In perhaps the best display of discipline we've seen from the notoriously passionate team, MVP managed to close out a very slow Game 3 without any major mistakes. While MVP are still last place in the LCK, it's not by much as SKT are sitting right there at the bottom of the standings with a 1-4 record.
Team MVP's road to redemption will see it take on the Afreeca Freecs at 3 a.m. ET next Thursday, while SK Telecom T1 won't have much time to gather itself before facing the Afreeca Freecs at 6 a.m. ET this Sunday.
KT Rolster 2-0 Jin Air
KT Rolster dissected the Jin Air Green Wings over the course of a 2-0 series.
On paper, such a result seems anything but surprising. After all, Jin Air have never defeated KT Rolster in a series ever in the history of the team's existence. JAG entered this match with just as much momentum as KT Rolster, however, and its victory over SKT left some wondering if a win against KT Rolster might not be possible as well.
To Jin Air's credit, it was clear that the team had heavily prepared for the matchup. Its strategy of isolating Song "Smeb" Kyung-ho in Game 1, for example, looked like a prepared strategy, and while it proved unsuccessful in the long term, it ensured that Jin Air were in the pilot's seat for the majority of the game. KT's superior individual ability and, more importantly, its superior ability to improvise proved to be the decisive factor, however, as Jin Air's clever stratagems simply bought time rather than actually put the team ahead.
Nowhere was KT Rolster's individual ability more on display than in the performance of its shotcaller and top laner, Smeb. He kept a level head throughout Game 1 despite being both counter picked and the focus of Jin Air's early game efforts. Despite that, it was Smeb that went on to control the teamfights later in the game, which was a testament to his presence of mind as much as it was a testament to the awesome power of Maokai. He kept his hot streak going into Game 2 where he took over his lane early and never surrendered control, allowing his team to snowball on the back of his 5/0/5 KDA (kills/deaths/assists).
KT Rolster will take on the ROX Tigers at 3 a.m. ET on Sunday, while the Jin Air Green Wings will also face the ROX Tigers in its next match at 6 a.m. ET next Thursday.