Picks and Bans – SKT target Darshan, Stixxay, and aphromoo with Bard, Fiora, and Kalista banned. CLG banned Kog’Maw, Nautilus, and Corki which are fine power picks off the tabe. CLG go Lucian/Poppy, which is interesting – can Darshan be effective on Poppy? T1 get Lulu/Braum, interesting to see Lulu drop. Faker’s been so good on Lulu and this could be a way to bully around the map. Whoa CLG go with Gragas/Thresh – haven’t seen Thresh in a while in NA (think the last one was Remi), and I agree with Kreppo – Thresh is curious, although he gives Poppy an escape. SKT are able to counter Poppy with Trundle; Trundle has been hugely popular in the LCK but in the top, he works really well against tanks like Poppy. And Huhi takes Lux into Faker. I’m not sure about that. Faker was already going to bully Huhi, now he scales late on Lux allowing Faker to shove the lane and then roam. Feels a bit disjointed from CLG.
Early Game – SKT initiates the lane swap to keep Ezreal away from Lucian. Wolf comes down to gank mid at 48:00 but aphromoo is there and they get a very early flash from Faker. If CLG are to have a chance, they need outplays like this. Not sure what Darshan’s plan is at 52:20. He doesn’t have damage on Poppy is easily dropped by Bang. However, CLG are making the play by extending the lane swap and rotating to the bot lane turret. With the turret down, Duke is caught in no man’s land at 54:00 and that’s a kill for CLG. Their map rotations are really sharp, they’ve avoided Wolf and Bang, and Huhi is even with Faker, keeping Lulu in lane. SKT, coming out of the more methodical Korean meta, are slow to react to the second part of the Western lane swap.
Mid-Game – CLG still have the pressure advantage in most lanes but ned to be wary of Lulu/Ezreal scaling. This play at 1:04:00 helps; the catch Bang with a bind into a laser into a hook and get a kill for Stixxay. Problem is with Darshan split on Poppy, he just can’t shove the wave far enough while Faker has the bot lane pushing. They need to lay a serious siege on the mid lane turret but don’t have the tools to do so (no Caitlin, Trundle, Corki).
CLG go mid again at 1:06:20 and SKT call the TPs in to match. This is the danger of having a bad siege comp – CLG dodge the Braum Q and Ezreal ult but Huhi is locked up before he can take the lantern. SKT take down the Lux then the Thresh on the way out. CLG try to grab Faker on the way out at 1:07:15 but he dances out of the skill shots and then Bang assassinates Stixxay from way downtown!
SKT now have all the waves in their advantage and start splitting out for CLG turrets. They take the bot lane tier 2 and the mid outer before CLG finally take the SKT mid outer they were trying to siege. CLG now don’t have the tools to deal with Faker and Duke. SKT are so strong Faker is straight tanking turrets with Lulu. He almost gets the mid tier 2 at 1:18:05 but CLG catch him on his second attempt. But CLG burn all of aphromoo’s cooldowns to do so and SKT re-engage at 1:18:45. Stixxay is caught and forced away, allowing SKT to pop aphromoo. Bang then snipes Stixxay AGAIN, which is the go signal for SKT. Rushing into the base, the grab Huhi, Darshan, and Xmithie and the Ace turns into the game.
This wasn’t the cleanest game from SKT, but they played patiently and had the superior late-game comp. That was it. CLG had an early advantage but didn’t have the tools take advantage and once their midlane push stalled, it allowed Faker and Bang to take over the game. Those two are straight better than Huhi/Stixxay at this point, and CLG need to go back to the split push strat that has worked for them to get out of the group.