For the first time since the organization initially ventured into competitive League of Legends in 2013, SK Telecom T1 have been knocked out of playoff contention following a 2-0 loss to Griffin earlier today.
After Afreeca Freecs defeated them earlier in the week, SKT were in dire straits. In order to make the playoffs, SKT not only needed to beat Griffin and KINGZONE DragonX, but also win both matches 2-0.
Resolute in running substitute mid laner Choi “Pirean” Jun-sik, SKT began both of their losses today with strong early games. Led by jungler Kang “Blank” Sun-gu, SKT gained an edge over Griffin through early objectives like the Rift Herald and Elemental Drakes.
SKT’s downfall, though, was caused by none other than Griffin’s biggest strength—teamfighting. With the ability to find a key teamfight win, Griffin took the Baron and immediately turned around both games.
In the matter of a minute, the game state changed from Griffin being behind to Griffin dominating the map. Once SKT fell behind Griffin, they were unable to claw back, and instead lost more and more fights until their Nexus was destroyed.
With today’s loss to Griffin, SKT mathematically have no way of catching up to either Afreeca or Hanwha Life Esports—and thus, their LCK Summer Season has been cut short, despite having to still play KINGZONE next week.
But there’s still hope of SKT making the upcoming World Championship. Depending on the results of the upcoming LCK Summer Split playoffs, SKT have a chance to qualify for the regional finals—and if they win, SKT will earn a spot in the World Championship as Korea’s third seed.
Unlike SKT, though, Griffin’s final match next week still has implications as to where they end in the regular season rankings. Griffin will try to retain their spot at the top of the LCK on Aug. 8 when they face bbq Olivers.