With the League of Legends world championships between SK Telecom T1 and Samsung Galaxy a day away, Fomos reporter Son Chang-Sik conducted interviews with various Korean pros on how the matchups will go lane by lane.
For analysis in the top lane, he spoke with Chinese team Royal Never Give Up’s top laner Jang “Looper” Hyeong-Seok, who faced both teams’ top laners during the tournament.
“Looking at League Champions Korea as a standard, (Lee “Duke” Ho-Seong) was looking much better, but (Lee “CuVee” Seong-Jin’s) growth since worlds has been impressive,” he told Fomos. “Despite that, Duke’s play style is sturdy and doesn’t fall easily, so I don’t see the game being decided in the top lane.”
The jungle is in an interesting spot as SKT has two junglers it has been able to swap: Kang “Blank” Sun-Gu and Bae “Bengi” Seong-Ung. Meanwhile, Samsung has veteran jungler Kang “Ambition” Chan-Yong. The jungle analysis was done by Lee “GBM” Chang-Suk, who recently changed his role from mid lane to jungle.
“Blank’s play style is centered around his own growth, but because it didn’t work well with SKT’s overall style, it was difficult for him to have consistent performances, but as he’s been switching to a more “covering” style, he’s been looking better,” GBM said. “In Bengi’s case he likes to play mind games and thinks of routes for reverse ganking, so I expect him to be the starting jungler. Ambition is a very textbook jungler, and we can see him carrying when his teammates aren’t falling behind. I think that’s why Samsung tends to take the game into the later stages.”
The mid lane is a very contested area. Samsung’s CuVee has mentioned that if Lee “Crown” Min-Ho doesn’t fall behind, Samsung might have a 50% chance at winning. That might seem like a tall order against Lee “Faker” Sang-Hyeok. However, H2K’s mid laner Ryu “Ryu” Sang-Wook said it might not be dependent on the mid laners themselves.
“Faker looks like he has the wider champion pool, while Crown has a very aggressive play style and is very hardy in lane,” he said. “Rather than a 1-on-1 match, we’ll have to see how the other laners get involved in the middle.”
The matchup between AD Carries is also a point of contention, as SKT’s long time star Bae “Bang” Jun-Sik will compete against super rookie Park “Ruler” Jae-Hyuk. Very much a David vs. Goliath match, world champion Chae “Piglet” Gwang-Jin gave the edge to his team’s new ADC.
“Bang is the best ADC SKT has produced,” he said. “All the players of SKT have large champion pools, and Bang can perform no matter what he plays. It’s impressive that Ruler made it to the finals despite being a rookie, but he still looked unstable on certain champions. In order for Samsung to win, Ruler will have to be more consistent on other champions.”
On the final piece of the puzzle in the bot lane, SKT’s Lee “Wolf” Jae-Wan will potentially facing two adversaries from Samsung, Kwon “Wraith” Ji-Min and Jo “CoreJJ” Yong-In. RNG’s prized support Cho “Mata” Se-Hyoung stepped in to share his two cents on the matter.
“When I faced both teams, both Wolf and CoreJJ looked like they were good in terms of their condition,” he said. “They are both aggressive yet stable supporters, so the one that makes the less mistakes will take the game. Overall I think SKT looks stronger.”