Faker not even needed – SKT T1 reclaims Korea without their superstar

The League Champions Korea 2015 Finals came to a close with SKT T1 battling against the GE Tigers. After SKT’s narrow victory against CJ Entus in the round prior and having not seen much from GE it was anyones game, even though analysts did see SKT as a slight favourite. But noone expected what actually happened on that fateful night.

SKT T1 started out the game as some of their fans may have feared, yet expected: They fielded EasyHoon and Tom instead of Faker and Bengi. After loosing the first two games to CJ Entus in the second round with this constellation and just barely achieving the reverse sweep against them by swapping in their superstar mid laner from game three on, one was wondering just why their world champion duo wasn’t in the booth. But EasyHoon and Tom would proove that they are no slouches and up to the task.

In game one GE’s top laner smeb opted to pick Irelia a champion that had fallen out of the meta a while ago, into MaRins famed Gnar. Even though he got first blood by an early gank from Lee, Smeb was unable to have any impact with the lead he had and still got bullied around and heavily outscaled. With EasyHoon on one of his best champions in Cassiopeia and good decisions and teamfighting from the rest of the team GE got utterly decimated by the heavy cc and Sivir/Sejuani engages from SKT in just 34 minutes being 12k gold down.

With EasyHoon and Tom perfoming as they did (EasyHoon getting MVP) there seemed to be no reason to put “the ultimate weapon” into the mid lane for SKT. The pick ban series this time saw the Tigers picking the exact same champions from SKT’s game one composition with one exception. Smeb was on Irelia once more, obviously thinking that he just misplayed in the last game and still felt confident that he was able to carry with the ionian blade mistress. But it wasn’t to be. This time without first blood he seemed to have even less presence than in the last game. Meanwhile the jungle matchup – this time mirrored with Lee on Sejuani and Tom on Nunu – was won by SKT convingly. Especially the smart on the fly decision from Tom to go for an extremely early dragon at level 3 with 2 points in consume already as Lee showed top side let SKT acquire 4 dragons at 25 (!) minutes. With EasyHoon also playing a mirrored matchup from last game as Azir against Kuro’s Cassiopeia one was thinking we are in for a farm fest. But apparently the SKT mid laners fused brains as EasyHoon got a Faker like solo kill on Kuro under his tower. Needless to say this game was even more one sided that game 1 with SKT closing it out with an easy baron at just 29 minutes with another 12k gold lead atop their 4 dragons.

After the Irelia pick had failed miserably twice in a row now GE was forced to switch it up in the match point game for SKT. So they decided to first pick Gnar away from MaRin and banning his Maokai. But the SKT top laner happily picked one of his best champions in Rumble, showing no fear whatsoever. The mid laners seemingly had a gentlemans agreement to only choose between Cassiopeia and Azir as this time it was EasyHoons turn to play the petrifying snake and Kuro on the emperor of sands. In this one Gorilla had a great perfomance on Morgana landing seemingly every skillshot and setting up first blood on Bang’s Urgot. But only five minutes later EasyHoon prooved that he was actually Faker with one of those Mission Impossible masks that made him look just like EasyHoon. He went fully all in on Kuro’s Azir at level 7 and flash ulted him and just straight up bursted him to achieve yet another solo kill as the last poison tick took down GE’s mid laner under his tower.

At 25 minutes GE finally secures their first dragon not only of this game but of the entire series so far, but they pay heavily giving up four kills for it. SKT seize the opportunity and go for a risky baron with Azir still being alive, but they manage to barely live and pick up the objective. It seemed like the game was going to turn out exactly like the last two with SKT leading in every possible regard. But GE stayed in the game credit to Gorillas otherworldy Morgana play landing binding after binding almost giving a quadrakill to Kuro at 42 minutes, acing SKT and getting the first baron of the series for GE asdwell as a subsequent inhibitor take.

It seemed like the Tigers finally had all it took to grasp a foothold in this series. But at minute 50 SKT came in to contest what would be their fifth dragon. And even though Smeb GNAR!’s MaRin and EasyHoon into the wall and Tom’s ultimate gets spellshielded, the instant Mikaels from Wolf for Rumble lets MaRin just toast Pray and Gorilla in the backline as Bang swaps Kuro into oblivion. After the almost clean ace SKT take their fifth dragon and march into the GE Tigers base. Kuro, Gorilla and Smeb are back and it looks like they might have a shot at at least prolonging this game, but the six offensive item Rumble and EasyHoons cassiopeia make quick work of them as MaRin picks up a triple kill to close this rather one sided series and put SKTelekom T1 back to where they were at the end of 2013: on top of Korea, and probably the world.

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