SKT T1 are entering this series after a hard-fought victory against Misfits. Their early game continues being a glaring weakness, and while they can bounce back with late game teamfights, we can’t help but think this is the shakiest iteration of SKT yet. Combine that with the evident hole in the jungle, and SKT losing at Worlds seems like a very realistic prospect.
Royal Never Give Up have also had some shaky games against Fantic. Their trademark high-tempo playstyle was nowhere to be seen, and the only times they could truly outclass Europe’s #3 seed was in 5v5s. Still, a part of this downswing had to be due to Uzi’s sickness, and we expect RNG to show up much stronger in the Semifinals.
Top Lane matchup
As much as people like to bash Huni, he’s been key to SKT’s victories. His 2.9 KDA and 9.5 CS per minute might not seem like much, but he makes up for these with incredible splitpushing and lane dominance. No matter the matchup, Huni always has the potential to break open the game from the top lane.
Meanwhile, LetMe performs a more supportive role on RNG. With a 4.4 KDA and 7.4 CS per minute, he’s a measured tank player that works best in teamfights and skirmishes. We wouldn’t count on LetMe challenging SKT’s top laner 1v1, but if he gets some help, he has what it takes to turn Huni’s aggression against him.
Verdict: SKT Huni edges out a win in the top lane.
It might be the meta, or the nature of SKT’s team dynamics, but Peanut clearly isn’t working out for them. Sporting a 4.3 KDA and 3.7 CS per minute, the former ROX superstar looks like a shadow of his former self, and spends more time on the bench than on Summoner’s Rift. Fortunately for SKT, they also have Blank. With a 3.8 KDA and 3.0 CS per minute, Blank is a supportive jungler that plays well off his carries and snowballs games by setting them up for success.
Opposing them is Mlxg, a man that’s made a name for himself as the most aggressive jungler at Worlds. With a 4.1 KDA and 4.1 CS per minute, RNG’s starter thrives on ganks and early game pressure, but he’s been equally great at finding good fights and 5v5s when it matters late.
Verdict: RNG Mlxg takes it away in the jungle.
Mid Lane matchup
Despite the struggles of his teammates, Faker continues his mid lane reign. With a 4.5 KDA and 9.4 CS per minute, he’s continuously shown up with great decision-making and mechanical prowess, and he might be the sole reason why SKT even made it this far.
On paper, RNG Xiaohu should be able to challenge him. Holding a 14.8 KDA and 9.5 CS per minute, he’s proven himself by going toe-to-toe with the mid laners like Crown, Perkz, and Caps. But Faker is an entirely different beast, and we’re not sure Xiaohu is ready to take him on.
Verdict: SKT Faker conquers the mid lane.
Bot Lane matchup
SKT’s duo has always been hailed as one of the most consistent bot lanes in the scene. With a 6.8 KDA and 9.7 CS per minute, Bang is a gifted marksman that knows full well how to push his edge in teamfights and skirmishes. Meanwhile, Wolf (4.5 KDA) excels on defensive tanks and enchanter supports, which makes him perfect in the current meta. But their recent games against Misfits revealed notable weaknesses in their laning phase, and RNG have everything they need to exploit them.
Sporting an 11.3 KDA and 11.1 CS per minute, Uzi is a monstrous marksman that thrives on clutch plays and aggression. And while his support Ming (7.9 KDA) isn’t as dominant, he always seems to do the right things to make his star AD carry shine.
Verdict: RNG’s Uzi and Ming outgun the enemy bottom lane.
On the surface, it might seem that these teams are evenly matched. But SKT have more tools at their disposal. Peanut and Blank should be able to get a read on Mlxg’s pathing, and Bang and Wolf have shown that they can hold out against aggressive bot lanes. Provided that happens, SKT will snowball the game from solo lanes and score a 3-2 victory over RNG.
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