While there little doubt that League of Legends Champions Korea representatives SK Telecom T1 would advance to the finals of the Mid-Season Invitational, the world watched in awe as SKT obliterated the Flash Wolves with a 3-0 sweep in Rio de Janeiro.
SKT had a phenomenal start to the series as it drafted a ridiculous shield composition to protect AD carry Bae "Bang" Jun-sik's Caitlyn, who picked up first blood at just under three minutes into Game 1. Flash Wolves did what it could to match SKT's map pressure, but SKT simply outclassed the LMS representatives, securing first tower gold and farming into a considerable gold lead. Flash Wolves had a glimmer of hope as they picked up a couple of picks in the mid-late game, but with shields coming from mid laner Lee "Faker" Sang-hyeok's Orianna and support Lee "Wolf" Jae-wan's Lulu, Bang was free to wreak havoc on the Flash Wolves, finishing with a 5/2/5 KDA (kills/deaths/assists). A 4-for-0 teamfight at 27 minutes gave SKT a free Baron kill, and another 4-for-0 a few minutes later gave SKT the first win of the series in just under 30 minutes.
Wanting to remind the world why he is considered the greatest of all time, Faker put on a mid lane clinic as Cassiopeia, holding a 30 CS (creep score) lead over FW mid laner Huang "Maple" Yi-Tang's LeBlanc at the seven-minute mark, around the same time SKT top laner Heo "Huni" Seung-hoon's Fizz picked up first blood with a solo kill. Faker continued to power up, holding as much as a 50 CS lead at nine minutes while the rest of SKT picked up kills across the map. Huni in particular shined as he routinely drew three FW members to deal with him and almost always trading at least 1-for-1 in these 1-vs-3 scenarios. With a Rift Herald buff given to him at 18 minutes, Huni was untouchable, split-pushing with impunity while the rest of SKT secured two Mountain Drakes, an Ocean Drake, and a 26-minute Baron kill to build a staggering gold lead of over 11,000 gold at 26 minutes. Picking up a final 1-vs-3 kill, en route to his 4/2/2 and game-high 14,500 damage dealt to enemy champions, SKT joined Huni in FW's base to secure the 27-minute win.
In a desperation Game 3, Flash Wolves picked mid lane Lucian for Maple, where he succeeded in picking up first blood on Faker's Orianna at three minutes with help from jungler Hung "Karsa" Hau-Hsuan's Ivern. FW's momentum was promptly stopped, though, by Bang's Twitch who picked up a kill on Karsa to start snowballing ahead. SKT put immense pressure on the bottom side of the map, killing Karsa and FW's bot lane a couple of times before Faker finally took first tower gold in the mid lane at 15 minutes, leading to a nearly 4,000-gold lead. SKT was free to do as it pleased with its massive early lead, which ballooned to nearly 6,000 gold by the 19-minute point, sieging down FW towers despite some sloppy, over-aggressive mistakes. After a SKT Baron kill at 27 minutes, SKT's gold lead had grown to over 10,000 gold, culminating in a final 2-for-0 fight in FW's base and a third consecutive sub-30 minute win for SKT.
After Friday's commanding performance, SK Telecom will await the winner of G2 Esports and Team WE who play on Saturday at 2 p.m ET. The finals are Sunday.