On the 18th of May (KST), SK Telecom T1 and G2 Esports faced each other in the semifinals of the 2019 Mid-Season Invitational. As one of the biggest upsets in League of Legends esports history happened the day before, with Team Liquid bringing down World Champion Invictus Gaming, the attention toward this match was going through the roof. In the Group Stage of this MSI, SKT lost to G2 in both matches. Again in the semifinals, it was G2 Esports' creativity that had an impact over the Rift. G2 defeated SKT 3-2 and headed to meet Team Liquid in the finals.
G2 brought out the Sona-Taric comp in Game 1. SKT answered with Ezreal-Karma in the bot lane and succeeded to start off with an early first blood in the invade phase. Afterward, wherever Clid’s Jarvan IV went, SKT scored points. As G2 wasn’t able to stop SKT’s momentum, they used extreme measures by allowing the top inhibitor to be destroyed. Just when the Sona-Taric comp could impact the Rift, SKT marched through G2’s territory, winning the teamfight and closing the game.
G2 didn’t go down easy. As the only team that gave SKT 2 losses in the group stage, once G2 had a firm grip on the initiative over the game, they didn’t allow any turnarounds. In most skirmishes, G2 players survived with minimum HP left and struck back with power. SKT still managed to pick off Caps’ Akali multiple times, but after G2 collapsed on SKT’s bot duo in the mid lane, no more difference could have been made. G2 succeeded to destroy SKT’s Nexus following the Penta Kill from Caps.
Game 3 was Clid all the way. SKT secured Rek’Sai as the second pick for Clid. As a result, Clid demolished everything in his way on the Rift. G2 picked a scaling comp, with Azir, Vladimir, and Kai’Sa. Clid took full advantage of the early game and carried his team to victory. When G2’s Nexus was destroyed, Clid’s Rek’Sai had an 8/1/? record.
The two teams let through Ryze, one of the highest-tier champions in the meta, in the first phase of Picks & Bans, and Caps picked it up. Along with Ryze, G2 picked Skarner, a pick that helped Team Liquid seal their victory on the day before. Through these picks, G2 had the advantage for most of the game, but as Faker pulled off several super plays, the game stayed close, and SKT was able to secure Baron. However, when SKT advanced with the Baron buff, G2 attempted a backdoor with Ryze and Gnar. SKT recalled in a hurry, but failed to stop the Nexus from being destroyed.
Pyke, Lissandra, and bot Syndra were G2’s picks in the final game. The roams from Pyke and Lissandra were too fast for SKT to react effectively, and the kill score was 7:2 in G2’s favor, with Pyke having a 5/0/0 KDA. However, in the following fights, SKT managed to stay close. In a teamfight around the 28-minute mark, SKT finally succeeded to pull off an Ace. They headed towards Baron, but G2 returned too early. G2 stole baron and again, returned the Ace to end the game.
The finals will be held tomorrow, with NA’s Team Liquid and EU’s G2 Esports.
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