SK Telecom T1 achieved a crucial victory in the LCK this morning by defeating Gen.G. Led by a throwback performance from top laner Kim “Khan” Dong-ha, SKT were able to win in a clean sweep.
Khan became a dominant force in the region two years ago on a variety of aggressive top lane champions, including Riven and Jayce. But he’s struggled a bit since losing in the quarterfinals of Worlds 2017—and for much of this year, he’s been SKT’s weakest player.
Perhaps seeking to restore his confidence, SKT coaches had him start out on Fiora vs. Gen.G top laner Lee “CuVee” Seong-jin, historically one of the most consistent players in Korea. He won the matchup into Aatrox handily, building up a massive minion lead while mid laner Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok took care of the rest of the map, racking up a bunch of kills.
SKT’s confidence in Khan really showed in the second game. They saved last pick for him and he came back with his trademark Riven to the delight of the English casting duo.
Having seen enough of what Khan and Faker did to them, Gen.G made a somewhat desperate rotation, bringing in Kim “Roach” Kang-hui in the top lane and Song “Fly” Yong-jun in mid lane.
Roach actually had decent results—he stayed even in farm by prioritizing a couple early defensive options. And Fly somehow beat Faker as well. But in a key sequence around a Cloud Drake, Khan pulled off a perfect teleport flank. Letting Riven into the team is usually bad news, and it was basically the game for Gen.G.
After the game, Faker said in a post-match interview with Korizon that, with several teams chasing SKT in the standings, it was important to get the victory over Gen.G. “We hope to aim for second place,” Faker said. “And we will work harder so even first place is [in] sight.”
The match also marked a special anniversary for Faker and fellow SKT veteran Cho “Mata” Se-hyeong. Both players have competed for six years now, and the time has flown for Faker. “I feel like I haven’t played that long,” Faker said. “I feel like I can play for much longer.”