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Round 2 of League Champions Korea playoffs brings us a new, full-scale BO5 Telecom War. SKT T1 managed to take down KSV in a tight wildcard match last week, and they have been rewarded with a chance to prove themselves against a much stronger, on paper, opponent. KT are one of this split’s three main heavyweights, and along with Afreeca Freecs and the untouchable Kingzone form the trinity most likely to win the league.

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SK Telecom T1 strategy and analysis

The match against KSV, although not a display of impeccable gameplay by any means, showed that SKT was able to work out some of their long-standing issues. The main surprise compared to the expectations was the fantastic performance of their rookie top laner. Thal simply stomped world champion CuVee in lane in all three games, having an average lead of over 400 gold at ten minutes. In addition to that, his Cassiopeia worked very well in teamfights, and it seems that SKT have finally figured out how to unlock the young player.

Blank has also shown improvement compared to his previous form, and it seems that the newly discovered Trundle works great with his style, and adds a new power pick to his limited champion pool. Bang had an excellent series, showing that his Kai’sa is very strong, and also demonstrating how to carry on the safe and defensive Ezreal. SKT’s main weakness lies in the support role, where Effort and Wolf can’t seem to get more than one good game in a row, and it was also a surprise to see Faker perform well under his abilities. SKT’s legend has to seriously look at his positioning mistakes, because a team as individually strong as KT will not let those slide.

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KT Rolster strategy and analysis

KT, on the other hand, is finally looking like something more than just a bunch of superstars without synergy. Occasional team-related slip-ups still happen, but all of the members are mostly on the same page, which makes their teamfighting almost perfect. A strong early game is also KT’s huge asset, especially in the bot lane, where Deft and Mata are likely to significantly reduce Bang’s chances of carrying his team. Thal will also have a hard time going against Smeb, but if he pops off again, the duel might be more interesting.

KT’s jungler, however, might be their biggest advantage over SKT, considering how good Score is at reading his opponent’s pathing. KT’s captain is once again one of the strongest junglers in the world, and if his form is matched with a good draft phase to take Zac and Trundle away from Blank, they will have a clear upside in the matchup. Rolster’s rookie mid laner Ucal has also been on a rampage recently, and if his aggressive plays go awry, the safer and more support-oriented PawN will be ready on KT’s bench.

Prediction and best bet

Looking at the current state of both teams, it is clear that KT is a favourite in this match. SKT are known to be great at adapting and taking home clutch BO5 victories, but their upcoming opponents are just much stronger in terms of pure player quality. Unless coach kKoma, Bang or Faker do something extraordinary, the white side sould take the win in this split’s Telecom War.

Best bet: KT Rolster to win, paying -188.68 at BetOnline

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