Jan 22 2015 - 10:21 pm

SK Gaming masterful in 2015 LCS debut

Two of Europe’s top League of Legends contenders met in an explosive match to open their League Championship Series seasons today
Dot Esports

Two of Europe’s top League of Legends contenders met in an explosive match to open their League Championship Series seasons today.

SK Gaming and ROCCAT have a lot of parallels heading into the 2015 season. They both made huge offseason pickups, bolstering lineups that already saw them rank at the top of Europe in 2014. Both teams feature lineups built around jungle superstars—Dennis “Svenskeren” Johnsen and Marcin “Jankos” Jankowski. Both added Swedish mid laners from the challenger scene, Hampus “Fox” Myhre and Erlend “Nukeduck” Holm. They each have stars considered tops at their position in Europe, Simon “Fredy122” Payne and Oskar “VandeR” Bogdan.

And both are favorites to win the league this season.

But only one team could win today.

SK Gaming put on a masterful display, slowly leveraging small advantages and individual tactical plays into a boulder ROCCAT couldn’t stop. SK controlled the match from the start, never giving ROCCAT a chance to come back in the match.

ROCCAT and their star jungler Jankowski tried to stem the tide, but SK often turned what looked like sure ganks into wins for their team, trading Payne for Dragon or using a miraculous escape to score two kills.

Johnsen fell but Payne cleaned up, scoring two kills against ROCCAT's one.

At the 25 minute mark, a top lane push by SK Gaming led to a decisive team fight where new marksman Konstantinos "FORG1VEN" Tzortziou picked up a triple kill, allowing SK to take the Baron and a commanding lead.

“My team played really good and I was just a part of it,” Tzortziou said after the match. “Maybe even a minor part of it... It was a team effort, not an individual effort.”

The end game scoreboard backs that up: no player on SK Gaming had more than 5 kills despite the team posting 16 against ROCCAT. All four non-support players scored at least 3 kills.

Tzortziou in particular credited the synergy between jungler Johnsen and top laner Payne, stating you can even see it outside of the game. The pair combined to ruin ROCCAT's early game plans, shutting down a number of gank attempts to keep SK Gaming on top.

And on top is where they'll be if they keep up that level of play. SK Gaming entered the season as the early favorite, and they played like it on day one against one of their closest competitors.

Screengrab via RiotGames/Twitch

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