It was a wild ride for SKT T1, but in the end, the LCK powerhouse came together. Their top lane still finds itself in a weird spot, and Wolf’s champion pool doesn’t bode well for the bottom lane, but everything else is on point. Most importantly, SKT are the kings of comebacks that can always find a key play to turn the tables on their opponents.
Afreeca Freecs have also had a rollercoaster of a season. Despite fielding strong carries in MaRin, Kuro, and Kramer, this lineup is constantly weighed down by its lackluster jungler presence. And while they have that wildcard factor that lets them upset top-tier teams, Afreeca have a hard time pulling it off on a regular basis.
Top Lane Matchup
There’s no denying that top lane could be going a lot better for SKT. With a 1.5 KDA and 8.9 CS per minute, Huni is the aggressive starter that’s way too shaky to make it to the end of most matches without being subbed out. His substitute—Untara—is a bit better and has a 3.9 KDA and 8.9 CS per minute to show for his efforts, although his lack of experience can be an issue against the best LCK top laners.
Unfortunately for SKT, that’s exactly who they’re facing this time. Sporting a 2.8 KDA and 9.0 CS per minute, Afreeca’s MaRin is a laning monster that makes sure to exploit each and every mistake his opponents make. And unless SKT force their jungler to camp top lane, MaRin will have no trouble doing the same this series.
Verdict: AFS MaRin breaks open the top lane.
Things haven’t been well in SKT’s jungle either. With a 4.1 KDA and 4.3 CS per minute, Blank is in clutch scenarios, but his jungling isn’t potent enough to make him a viable starter. The opposite is true for Peanut. Sporting a 2.8 KDA and 4.8 CS per minute, he has the innate knack for playmaking even though he has a hard time channeling it consistently.
But Afreeca Freecs aren’t in a position to exploit these weaknesses. With a 3.1 KDA and 4.4 CS per minute, Spirit is a textbook jungler that rarely—if ever—deviates from the standard gank routes. And—holding a 2.7 KDA and 4.1 CS per minute—Mowgli isn’t much better, especially when you consider how his champion pool fares in the current meta.
Verdict: SKT’s Blank and Peanut find a win in the jungle.
Mid Lane Matchup
We’ve been very impressed with Kuro this season. Sporting a 4.2 KDA and 8.5 CS per minute, Kuro went from being the weakest link of ROX Tigers to a very competent mid laner on Afreeca Freecs.
But ‘competent’ doesn’t cut it when you’re going against SKT’s Faker. With a 3.4 KDA and 9.5 CS per minute, Faker has the hyperaggressive playstyle that Kuro’s always found hard to deal with—and this time won’t be an exception.
Verdict: SKT Faker claims his mid lane throne.
Bot Lane Matchup
Afreeca’s bottom lane is rock solid. Holding a 4.6 KDA and 9.8 CS per minute, Kramer is a massive teamfighting threat that makes sure to do the most damage possible while TusiN (3.5 KDA) adds a lot of firepower with his pool of playmaking supports.
Meanwhile, SKT’s bot lane is at its worst right now. With a 4.9 KDA and 9.7 CS per minute, Bang is still a world-class AD carry that makes little to no mistakes in his games. But the duo tends to struggle and give away solo kills whenever Wolf (3.4 KDA) isn’t on his Alistar. And even though SKT have more talented players, Afreeca’s champion pools make them much stronger in the current meta.
Verdict: AFS Kramer and AFS TusiN win the bot lane standoff.
The pressure is on Afreeca Freecs to make something happen here. Otherwise, SKT will stall out the match and take over with their unstoppable late game. And even though Afreeca Freecs do have solid win conditions, their opponents can counter them in the draft. Our prediction: a 2-1 victory for SKT T1!
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