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SK Telecom T1 earned their spot in the playoffs with a close 2-1 victory over Kongdoo Monster on the final day of the LCK Spring Split regular season.
SKT’s Spring Split closely resembled a roller coaster. At the start of the season, SKT were one of the worst teams in the league, riddled with roster issue. But as the Spring Split progressed and SKT’s starting lineup began to stabilize, the former world champions’ performance improved.
But SKT accrued too many losses, and their playoff hopes were in limbo. Numerous victories later, in addition to a little help from Jin Air Green Wings, who beat ROX Tigers yesterday, and SKT reached the playoff gates. The only roadblock between SKT and a spot in the playoff wildcard match against KSV Esports was the LCK’s last-place team, Kongdoo.
As game one progressed, however, Kongdoo seemed to be nothing but a stepping stone for SKT. Although Kongdoo found a few early kills, they broke down in teamfights. And once SKT earned their first ace from a fight at the Dragon pit, the game was over. With excess gold in their pockets, SKT clobbered Kongdoo’s turrets, and only took the Baron once they were ready to initiate their game-winning push.
Kongdoo, with nothing to lose, decided to play game two as aggressive as possible. And to the surprise of Kongdoo and viewers everywhere, SKT played along. Every time Kongdoo made an aggressive play, SKT would return the favor—the only difference was that Kongdoo’s plays actually succeeded. SKT were too focused on kills, which allowed Kongdoo to get three Infernal Drakes, as well as the Baron.
With such a colossal advantage, Kongdoo ended game two with ease. Suddenly SKT’s path to the playoffs looked much more difficult. One more loss meant ROX Tigers would face KSV instead of SKT.
But SKT returned to their slower, macro-heavy playstyle in game three. And while both teams remained fairly even, SKT finally found their opening around the Baron pit. SKT picked off a couple Kongdoo stragglers and proceeded to secure the buff. And with the Baron buff on hand, SKT marched down the mid lane to end the match and punch their ticket to the playoffs.
With the regular season now complete, the LCK will return on March 31 when KSV and SKT face off in the Spring Split playoff wildcard match.