SKT defeat Griffin to win their Eighth LCK Title
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August 31, 2019

SKT defeat Griffin to win their Eighth LCK Title

SKT win eighth LCK title in quite a fashion with a 3-1 win over the top seeded Griffin. This is not only SKT’s record eighth championship, but it is the only time an LCK team has rolled through the entire playoff gauntlet from Wild Card to Finals.

Game 1’s draft saw SKT pull together an aggressive early game comp with Elise and Renekton. Griffin tried to draft Mordekaiser to counter top lane tower dives, but SKT showed great flexibility in moving Renekton to mid lane. Their adaptation paid off, and Faker and Clid combined for multiple kills onto Chovy’s Sylas. This early lead net SKT three dragons and map control. They used the control to take a clean 30-minute baron and closed out shortly after.

In game 2, Griffin tried to adapt by drafting the Elise themselves. SKT took the double melee solo laners of Camille and Akali to go with a Sejuani pick. Griffin used their counterpick to grab a surprise Gangplank. Despite these changes, the game went largely the same. SKT gained an advantage off solo lane ganks and transitioned them into objectives. While the kill score was lower, Griffin were still backed into a corner. At 32 minutes, they saw Khan split pushing bot lane and went for Baron. SKT turned the fight on the weakened Griffin members and Effort pulled off a Braum ultimate baron steal which Khan used to close out the game.

A risky but worthwhile composition in Game 3

With their backs against the wall in game 3, Griffin went for an all-in early game or bust team composition. Jayce, Elise and Renekton top side would play for dominance over SKT’s Lucian and Braum bot lane. For the first time all series, Griffin got first blood via the Elise jungle pressure. Griffin’s early spike champs would go on to take over the game. With a large kill lead throughout the game and 5 dragons taken, Griffin took their first playoff game in the series and their organization’s history.

Hoping to carry on their momentum to a possible reverse sweep, Griffin looked to draft raw power for game 4. They got the contested picks of Sejuani and Aatrox in first rotation, but were forced to give up the lover’s duo bot lane of Xayah and Rakan. In the second phase, SKT took Trundle, a well-known Sejuani counterpick. They also picked up Faker’s undefeated Azir for one last ride. Back to their winning ways, SKT picked up first blood again off of Clid’s ganks. The game was cracked wide open at a Rift Herald fight which allowed SKT to get two Infernal dragons. After an extended chase from bot side to top side, SKT secured 3 kills, Baron and a third Infernal. A 10k gold lead was too much to overcome and Griffin fell to the most successful League of Legends team ever for the second straight LCK finals.

However, Griffin are already qualified for the World Championship off of circuit points, making them the Korean second seed. This will not be the last we see of them this year. Unfortunately, they have a game score of 1-6 in playoffs and have yet to win a playoff series.

As for SKT, they blazed through the gauntlet with a game score of 11-2. By winning both the Spring and Summer split, SKT have completely dispelled the notion that their dynasty might be over. Worlds is looming in the distance and SKT are no doubt looking for another title to add to their already extensive collection. However, the beginning of the season is not what was expected from this team.

Credit: Zakaria Almughrabi

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