SK Gaming pull off big upset against MAD Lions to keep 2021 LEC Summer Split playoff dreams alive

Mundo goes where he pleases.

Photo via Riot Games

There are less than three weeks left in the 2021 LEC Summer Split, which means there isn’t a lot of time for teams to get into the playoffs—especially for squads outside of the postseason picture. But SK Gaming have injected some hope into their own miracle run by taking down MAD Lions today in their first match of the weekend.

SK came into this week with almost nothing to lose since they were last in the regular-season standings. This match also represented the first on-stage game for rookie support Lilipp. Those aspects, combined with a matchup against the defending 2021 LEC Spring Split champions, made SK heavy underdogs heading into today’s League of Legends match.

Luckily for SK fans, MAD Lions failed to build a team composition that could deal with Treatz’s Dr. Mundo pick, opting instead for champions like Kalista, LeBlanc, Lee Sin, and Volibear. This meant that they had to dominate the early game to have a chance since SK’s team composition would ultimately scale too far if they could hit the late game.

It took less than three minutes for Treatz to pick up a couple of kills in the bottom lane, boosting himself far into the lead. Although MAD kept the gold lead from extending further, they couldn’t find any significant teamfights to help push themselves into a sizable lead. As a result, Treatz’s Mundo became unkillable in the later stages of the game. With the help of some great engages from Lilipp’s Leona and stuns from Blue’s Syndra, SK crushed the later teamfights and took the game with ease.

With this win, SK are now three games away from the sixth and final playoff spot in the LEC. It might not seem far off, but they also have a tough schedule ahead with games against Excel, G2 Esports, Fnatic, Misfits Gaming, Astralis, and Rogue in the last two weeks of the split. Every game counts now if they want to make the unlikely happen.

For MAD, this loss will be big for their momentum and confidence heading into the rest of the season. They also have games against the top-five teams of the league ahead of them, which will be an important test for their form as they look to defend their throne next month.

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