Hanwha Life have pulled off back-to-back upsets in the 2019 LCK Summer Split, taking down SK Telecom T1 2-1 today. While Hanwha are out of playoff contention, their two recent victories against SKT and Damwon Gaming have shaken up the race to the top in the LCK.
An uncharacteristically tame SKT hit the Rift today. Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok couldn’t find his way into the series no matter which champion he played, getting consistently beaten out by his lane opponent, Kang “Tempt” Myung-gu. His Sylas in game one had little impact, his Azir took a back seat to Park “Teddy” Jin-seong’s Kai’Sa in the second game, and his Akali couldn’t keep SKT in the final game.
Without a mid lane kingdom to fall back on, SKT’s side lanes crumbled. Gwon “Sangyoon” Sang-yun got early leads over Teddy in every game and SKT were battling from behind more than they were fighting from in front.
A Hanwha Life mistake in game two was SKT’s only saving grace in the series. It gifted SKT a victory and a chance to set the record straight. Kim “Khan” Dong-ha righted his game one wrongs with a solid Quinn performance to shut down Kim “SoHwan” Jun-yeong’s Renekton in game three, but the rest of SKT were punished by Hanwha’s strong mid-game.
SKT’s fights were sloppy, often losing around major objectives at key times, and Hanwha Life used their tempo advantage to out-macro SKT. Taking a triple teleport to the top lane, Hanwha Life brute-forced themselves into SKT’s base before cleaning up the scraps to seal the upset.
But this game wasn’t about SKT losing it as much as Hanwha Life digging in and winning. Tempt and Sangyoon looked like they swapped nameplates with their SKT counterparts and Hanwha Life played well around their win conditions. Smart lane swaps, quick objectives, and running SKT around the map meant that they played their game on their terms, and SKT couldn’t keep up.
SKT will face off against Damwon Gaming on Aug. 15, while Hanwha Life have a key match against Afreeca Freecs on Aug. 16.