Aug 8 2014 - 9:30 pm

SK Gaming sweeps opening round of playoffs

SK Gaming showed that strategy trumps skill in League of Legends today, as they opened their League Championship Series playoff run with a dominating performance against Millenium
Dot Esports

SK Gaming showed that strategy trumps skill in League of Legends today, as they opened their League Championship Series playoff run with a dominating performance against Millenium.

The team swept Millenium off the stage in three games thanks to superior preparation and execution. They took the first two games in large part due to their mastery of champion select, grabbing the potent Morgana and Kog’Maw duo twice. Marksman Adrian “CandyPanda” Wubbelman took advantage. The first game he posted a 10/1/7 KDA line, following it up with a 9/2/7 performance.

In the third game, Millenium let the powerful Maokai through to SK Gaming as first pick so they could steal away the Morgana and Kog’Maw combo. But even that wasn’t enough, as despite scoring some early kills, SK Gaming controlled the match. Jungler Dennis “Svenskeren” Johnsen posted a 7/0/8 line with the assassin Kha’Zix.

During the regular season Millenium had success using pick-based team compositions, using champions like Morgana and Elise to catch out enemies and rack up kills. But SK Gaming was ready for that style, and Millenium couldn’t find the champion picks to have an impact.

Jungle player Markus “KottenX” Tingvall, whose aggressive style was a boon to Millenium through the season, was shut down by SK Gaming. He put up a poor 8/17/14 KDA line in the three games, failing to get the kills that made him such a potent player before the playoffs.

That continues a run of poor form for Millenium. Through nine weeks, the team ranked third in the league, on a surge that seemed to make them favorites to end in the top three. But during Super Week, Millenium looked out of sorts, putting up an 0-4 record. The sweep ends their season with eight straight map losses.

They’ll need to stop that streak if they want to avoid falling to relegation for the second straight season.

The victory moves SK Gaming into the semifinals for the second straight year. Last season they were the top seed, but this time they’ll be the underdog when they face Alliance. And the matchup isn’t a good one for SK Gaming. Their 1-3 regular season record makes Alliance the only team SK did not post at least a .500 record against during the season, and some of those games against Alliance weren’t just losses. They were embarrassing.

But surrendering at 20 minutes is a thing of the past for SK Gaming. They have a clean slate in the playoffs, and if they can continue to prepare well for matches they just might find a way to crack the Alliance puzzle.

Screengrab via Riot Games/YouTube

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