As strong as KT have been, they’ve always had some issues. A huge part of it is synergy. Every player of theirs is an LCK veteran that could have an entire team built around him, but working together seems to be a tall order for these superstars. When it comes to shot calling, KT aren’t as decisive as a top-3 Korean team should be—and that’s something their enemies can exploit.
SKT T1 are on fire, baby! After a shocking slump, this team came back in full force for the playoffs. Their roster stabilized to the point where they have a solid 5-man core that doesn’t need to rely on endless substitutions, and their teamwork is looking sharper than ever. Once again, SKT are a powerhouse in every sense of the word.
Top Lane Matchup
There’s a reason why Smeb is considered the best top laner in the world. With a 4.3 KDA and 8.8 CS per minute, KT’s starter combines mechanical prowess with a vast champion pool and a veteran game sense. He’s the closest thing you could get to the complete package.
And while Untara has been doing well for himself, he pales in comparison. Holding a 3.0 KDA and 8.9 CS per minute, he’s a versatile top laner and a great team player, but he just can’t hope to match Smeb’s explosive energy.
Verdict: KT Smeb takes over the top lane.
A similar narrative unfolds in the jungle. Sporting a massive 7.1 KDA and 4.7 CS per minute, Score is a jungling juggernaut that shows up with one top-tier performance after another.
Of course, you could make an argument that Peanut can match him—but that’s only when SKT’s jungler is consistently playing at his best. And that’s something Peanut didn’t have much luck with, as evidenced by his middling 2.8 KDA and 4.8 CS per minute.
Verdict: KT Score conquers the jungle.
Mid Lane Matchup
The mid lane is where SKT strike back. Faker has been exceptional lately, especially in his series against Samsung Galaxy where he dismantled Crown. With a 3.4 KDA and 9.5 CS per minute, he continues his reign as the most dominant mid laner in the LCK.
And even though PawN has proven that he can compete with Faker when he’s playing his A-game, it’s been a while since we’ve seen KT’s mid laner perform. The majority of his games this season happened on Galio and Taliyah—two champions that are infamously used to dodge hard laning matchups. But despite what his 6.0 KDA and 8.7 CS per minute might indicate, PawN is going to have a hard time turning his back on Faker.
Verdict: SKT Faker secures a commanding lead in the mid lane.
Bot Lane Matchup
This is ridiculously close. With a 4.9 KDA and 9.7 CS per minute, Bang is a stellar AD carry that thrives in teamfights and skirmishes while his support—Wolf—backs him up with a wide range of defensive supports and a 3.4 KDA of his own.
But KT’s Deft is also a world-class marksman that prides himself on having immaculate mechanics, and has a 5.8 KDA and 9.6 CS per minute to show for his efforts. Even more important is his support Mata. Sporting a 5.0 KDA, he’s an aggressive playmaker that doubles down as a confident shot caller. In the end, it’s the support discrepancy that tips the scales in KT’s favor.
Verdict: KT’s Deft and Mata edge out a win in the bottom lane.
On the surface, it might look grim with SKT having three losing matchups. But KT’s advantages aren’t large enough to overwhelm their opponents, and lane dominance has always been their main weapon. Apart from that, KT find themselves behind in every aspect of the game. As long as SKT can contain the enemy aggression, they will be able to close out the series with a 3-1 score!
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