Everyone expected for a clean 3-0 win for SKT Telecom T1, the gods of League of Legends hailing from Korea in their game against debutants to Worlds hailing from Europe, Misfits. The Europeans were definitely one of the underestimated underdogs heading into this series but that should not be the case once the dust have settled. The Europeans took down North America’s top team, TSM in groups stages to make it to the Quarterfinals and have definitely proven themselves so by holding their ground against SKT Telecom T1 despite the losing 3-2 at the end.
Game one was the definition of a nightmare for Misfits with SKT taking them down in an orderly way, with ‘Faker’, the star player of SKT himself playing a dominating ‘Galio’ in the midlane and stomping on Misfits in about 25 minutes with a roam top strategy to help SKT’s toplaner, ‘Huni’, stay safe and take the lead. SKT won the match with a 13k gold lead and ‘Baron’ buff alongside 2 mountain dragons.
There were definitely small mistakes on Misfit’s parts such as no missing in action calls and misplays and unfortunately for them, capitalising on their enemies’ mistakes is where SKT shines brightest. Most teams would find themselves tilted from such a hard loss but this was not the case for Misfits at all.
Still in good spirits, Misfits went on to game 2 with a mindset that was definitely out of the box. ‘IgNar’, Misfits’ support player known for his mean Blitzcrank plays performed as expected when he was called upon. Not only did he play well, he managed to snowball his ADC with hooks to the enemy team that was so precise that it was basically a guaranteed death for whoever who was unlucky enough to be in the way. The dominating performance of ‘IgNar’ on Blitzcrank not only shut down SKT’s ADC to be able to be useful in game, it even snowballed the team entirely.
Game 2 between these two teams today showed a slightly more desperate – even tilted side of SKT which saw ‘Huni’ and ‘Faker’ himself making misplays with no follow ups from their teammates. It was a bitter loss for SKT with Misfits giving them a taste of their own medicine with ‘IgNar’ the playmaker ending the game with a 0/0/9 KDA and 81% kill participation.
There is a saying – to fight SKT at their fullest with their main jungler in the team – Blank, the opposing team must first prove themselves. Misfits definitely did that as SKT did bring in ‘Blank’ in as jungler, replacing ‘Peanut’. For the first time ever in the history of Worlds, ‘Blitzcrank’ was banned on the big stage – likely due to ‘IgNar’s’ impressive performance on the annoying champion. ‘IgNar’ responds with another off meta pick – ‘Leona’ on support, which had not been seen in the pro play scene 2015 by Fnatic in the EULCS.
To make things more interesting, ‘IgNar’ ran ‘Leona’ with ‘Fervor’ masteries, something very, very unexpected which topped off the off meta pick. SKT responds with their own off meta pick – ‘Vayne’ ADC, possibly in hopes of being able to counter the ‘Leona’ pick. The Ardent Censer meta – a support item that enhances basic attacks to champions that the support shields or heals for 6 seconds on top of a 10% heal and shield power, is one of the most broken support items in game which results in supports with heavy shields and heals like ‘Janna’ and ‘Lulu’ to be on the high priority ban list. The item was still built though; not on the support, but on the ‘Ivern’ who was jungler for the Misfits.
The combination of ‘Ivern’s’ snare and ‘Leona’s’ stuns were just too much for the Korean team to handle. ‘PowerofEvil’, midlaner of Misfits also had an off meta build for ‘Orianna’ – a Nashor’s Tooth. It was understandable why he did so, the extra damage done when his abilities were done with his auto attack definitely made the build worth it. The off meta team composition worked well in favour of Misfits and they found themselves grinning as they ended the game with a 2-1 score.
— lolesports (@lolesports) October 20, 2017
Tilted, SKT found themselves in a dangerous situation. Losing the next round will be the end for them at Worlds 2017. As a result, the tempo of game four was definitely more different with SKT playing a more passive and patient game, patiently waiting for a Misfits mistake – a strategy very much capitalised by the Korean team later on. It seemed like Misfits had the game in the bag with a very dominating early game. The lanes were pushed up all the way to the base of SKT only for the Koreans to time and time again denying their opposition who were constantly getting picked out while trying to play hero. SKT’s patience were finally rewarded as a disrespectful Misfits team found themselves being dominated in team fight which swung the momentum in SKT’s favour.
— lolesports (@lolesports) October 20, 2017
Things got heated as the match reached the tiebreaker round. SKT unbenched the Kench with their Tahm Kench support pick, something ‘Wolf’, SKT’s support player is very familiar with to ensure his teammates would be able to survive bursts of damage besides setting up for kills and ganks. And finally, after so long, Worlds finally sees a normal, non Ardent Censer pick from both supports with ‘IgNar’ picking up Thresh. SKT ran their first strategy play once more with ‘Faker’ constantly roaming up top to help his toplaner snowball. The game seemed a little shaky on the side of SKT at first with miscommunications and slow responses. Luckily for them, the game turned around in their favour when Misfits got a little too cocky and a disastrous team fight erupted by the dragon pit at 37 minutes where the Elder Dragon was Smite stolen by ‘Blank’ – SKT’s jungler – beautifully. SKT took the win for the final game with a 3-2 score.
Too often has been said that Worlds 2017 had been full surprises with results going against the expectations of many. Despite being at Worlds for the first time with their very young and new team, Misfits are stomping on the expectations of many, showing that they are not a weak team but a force to be reckoned with. Holding well against the Gods of League of Legends is a feat in itself and it looks like the future is definitely bright for the Misfits. With that, ends another exciting day of Worlds. Worlds continues tomorrow at 4 PM local time with Royals Never Give Up versus Fnatic!