MSI Semi-Final Preview: SK Telecom T1 vs. G2 Esports

League of Legends. Photo courtesy of Riot Games.
League of Legends. Photo courtesy of Riot Games. /
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Jankos, G2 Esports.
League of Legends. Photo courtesy of Riot Games. /

Key Match-Up: Kin “Khan” Dong-ha vs. Martin “Wunder” Hansen

The top lane has been the name of the game at MSI 2019, with the likes of Impact, Khan, TheShy, and Wunder all impressing so far. Therefore, it would be no surprise if we saw a lot of the focus towards the northern most point of Summoner’s Rift in Saturday’s semi-final. Both players have a tremendous number of champions at their disposable, as demonstrated by the usage of Hecarim, Neeko, Pyke, and Vayne in the group stages, and viewers should expect to see a few more interesting picks when these two meet again.

Khan’s KDA is the highest of any top laner at MSI at 4.4 and he has also created the second largest gold disparity at 15 minutes at +54. On the other hand, Wunder operates in the middle of the road for most top lane stats, mostly due to G2’s collapse in the second half of the group stages resulting in their 5-5 record.

The main difference between these two immense players is their carry potential. Khan is expected to be a rock for his team; a consistent member that can win a lane without jungle presence and provide utility via intelligent roams or TP flanks. Wunder is currently the second carry on G2 Esports, behind Caps, and is set up to win skirmishes in the early-mid game to put his team in an excellent position. He is also an excellent split-push option later in the game and has showcased that on multiple occasions in the LEC this season.

It will be an intriguing match-up between two very intelligent top laners in Saturday’s semi-final. Although a lot of jungle attention may be directed towards the mid lane, viewers should anticipate a lot of top lane action throughout the BO5 and the likelihood is both top laners will have their chance to carry at some point during the series.

MSI Semi-Final Prediction: SK Telecom T1 3 – 1 G2 Esports

While the prospect of an NA v EU international final has surely got everyone excited, G2 still need to take down a remarkable SKT team to get to that stage. We’ve already witnessed how high aggression and tempo fares against a more patient approach this weekend, and it’s likely to play out the same way on Saturday.

G2’s chaotic early game may have been enough to blitz SKT on two occasions in the group stages, but I’d be surprised if the Korean team allowed it to happen over a longer series. Nonetheless, the European side have already excelled in BO5s this season, with two 3-0 victories over Origen in the LEC playoff finals.

Overall it’s a question of which G2 will show up? The dominating team that flew past opposition in the first half of the group stages, or the disappointing side that slipped against Phong Vũ Buffalo and Team Liquid and finished 5-5? The answer to this question will decide whether SKT destroy G2 in quick fashion, or whether it’ll be a much tighter affair in the semi-final. There’s no doubt both sides will be giving their utmost for a chance to face TL in the final as it presents an excellent chance for silverware so early in the 2019 season.

Next. Flame Friday: how Invictus Gaming choked to Team Liquid. dark

Who will secure their place in the final of MSI? Do you agree with this prediction or do you think G2 will come out on top? Flash your #SKTWin or #G2Win in the comments below!

The second MSI semi-final starts on Saturday at 03:00 ET / 08:00 CET on the Riot Games Twitch channel.