After a few roster moves in the off-season, Longzhu Gaming had a sudden resurgence. Khan, Cuzz, and Bdd added a lot of wild energy to this lineups, but it’s really the veteran presence from PraY and GorillA that’s holding everything together. Longzhu used this combination of brain and brawn to rise to the top of the LCK ladder. Can they do the same in the finals?
It’s been a long road for SKT T1. The LCK powerhouse had to go through three consecutive Bo5s to reach the finals, but each of these matches has only made it stronger. Now, with a stable 5-man core and a reliable substitute capable of showing up in clutch scenarios, SKT will look to prove their worth one last time in the finals.
Top Lane Matchup
Ever since his debut, LZ Khan has been taking the top lane by storm. Sporting a 4.1 KDA and 9.1 CS per minute, he’s a mechanical monster that’s particularly impressive on carries and hard engage champions. The meta might not be the best for him, but if there’s one man that can make weird picks work, it’s Khan.
Let’s face it, we’re not going to see Huni anytime soon. The truth is Untara does everything he could do, but better. With a 3.0 KDA and 8.9 CS per minute, SKT’s new top laner has a solid mix of mechanics and game sense that allows him to do his job while avoiding unnecessary risks. Even so, he’ll have a hard time standing up to Khan’s measured aggression.
Verdict: LZ Khan perseveres in the top lane.
The jungle has been shaky for SKT. Despite Peanut’s return to form, he’s had trouble holding his ground against KT Score. With a 2.8 KDA and 4.8 CS per minute, he’s a highly aggressive jungler that can either show up with massive outplays or get completely shut down with a single counter gank. Perhaps more interesting is the fact his teammate, Blank, still has the clutch factor. Holding a 4.1 KDA and 4.3 CS per minute, he’s a reliable jungler that can show up even in the direst situations.
Longzhu’s Cuzz has definitely made a grand debut. Sporting a 4.6 KDA and 4.1 CS per minute, he’s a confident playmaker that thrives in early game skirmishes. He might be able to go toe-to-toe with SKT’s starter, but we can’t help but wonder how his aggression will hold up against Blank’s controlled playstyle.
Verdict: SKT’s Peanut and Blank edge out a win in the jungle.
Mid Lane Matchup
The mid lane will be the breaking point of this series. With a massive 11.3 KDA and 9.1 CS per minute, Bdd has been breezing through the mid lane with one mechanical outplay after another.
But even the most gifted prodigy will struggle to find windows of opportunity against Faker. With a 3.4 KDA and 9.5 CS per minute, Faker still has the inhumane game sense and skill that made him the mid lane king.
Verdict: SKT Faker outmuscles Bdd in the mid lane.
Bot Lane Matchup
The bot lane has always been the foundation of SKT T1. With a 4.9 KDA and 9.7 CS per minute, Bang is a veteran marksman that seamlessly dishes out the most damage in teamfights and skirmishes. And while his support—Wolf—has been criticized for being one-dimensional in the past, he’s since widened his champion pool and has a 3.4 KDA to show for his efforts.
But Longzhu’s PraY is more than capable of matching Bang’s mechanical prowess with a 4.7 KDA and 9.4 CS per minute of his own. Meanwhile, his teammate, GorillA (4.2 KDA), completely outclasses Wolf in the support role with a deeper champion pool and a more aggressive playstyle.
Verdict: LZ’s PraY and GorillA find a win in the bottom lane.
It’s ironic, but reaching the finals did a disservice to Longzhu Gaming. They’re fielding three players that have close to zero playoffs experience, and this is bound to show against a powerhouse like SKT T1. On paper, Longzhu should be able to match their opponents both in lane and out of it. But in practice, SKT are a far more stable and versatile team. Our prediction: a 3-1 victory in favor of SKT T1.
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