Hello everybody and welcome to the OGN Champions Summer 2014 Semifinals week!
The first match this week is a bout between two younger but up-and-coming teams: KT Arrows and SKT S. Not only is a trip to the Grand Finals on the line, but also a chance to qualify for Season 4 Worlds. Both teams are strong and growing stronger and a win here would go a long way to establishing themselves as a top threat in Korea.
So without further ado, let’s check out the teams.
The Arrows have had a very good season thus far and only seem to be improving. A strong group stage performance saw them leaving with only a single game lost to the Jin Air Stealths and their victories continued as they moved on to beat the former runner-up team NaJin White Shield 3-2. They had a long and hard fought quarterfinals round to be sure, but one can expect no less when facing off against such a patient team as Shield.
KT Arrows have really made a name for themselves with their flashy play and high-risk, high-reward style. They are always at their best when throwing caution to the wind and going on the aggressive, so viewers can expect a lot of bloodshed once they hit the ground. In many ways the Arrows are very similar to where SKT K was at this point last year; what they lack in genius cunning they make up for in sheer gutsiness. This could be a huge turning point for KT to see if they can truly rise to the top and establish themselves as a top player in the Korean LoL community.
Players to watch
KaKao – Jungle
Known for his KaCackle and brilliant Lee Sin mechanics, KaKao is a major driving force behind the Arrows aggressive style. He loves playing a low-farm, high-roam style that gets his laners fed early and often.
KDA – 4.9 (3rd overall Jungler), Most Played Champion – Lee Sin
Rookie – Mid
Known in Korea as “Faker Jr”, he is very good at living up to the mid lane god from SKT K. He is a highly skilled and flashy player and he has excellent synergy with KaKao to establish aggressive early pressure.
KDA – 6 (5th overall Mid), Most Played Champion – Syndra
This is the third season for S in champions and they have spent the entire time living in the shadow of their brother team K, both literally and figuratively. Finally no longer! Forced to compete in the same group as K, S was able to have a solid performance and make it to their first finals bracket. Once reaching the quarterfinals, they had a series against the newly former NaJin Black Sword that can only be described as tedious.
Although SKT S has always been a slow paced team that likes to wait for late game, their quarterfinals showed a real difficulty in closing out games even when a solid advantage was formed. Fans of the team will have to hope they have been able to improve on this aspect of their play during their short break, or they will be dead in the water against a team as ruthless as the KT Arrows.
Players to watch
Easyhoon – Mid
An absolute terror on Ziggs, Easyhoon is easily a star on this team primarily for his knack at keeping his team alive even in the direst of situations. Although S is not always the most powerful of offensive teams his presence alone also makes them nearly unbreakable.
KDA – 6.9 (3rd overall Mid), Most Played Champion – Orianna
Wolf – Support
Wolf is strong both laning and roaming and has a solid champion pool to back up his skill. He is a huge threat on Thresh and his aggressive play is paramount to setting up vision and picks for S. He is the playmaker that they so desperately need, and though he is usually able to live up to this it still puts a lot of pressure on him to be at his best.
KDA – 4.5 (3rd overall Support), Most Played Champion – Thresh
KT Arrows beats SKT S: 3-1
While S is a very strong team I just don’t think they have what it takes to beat the Arrows at this point. I expect them to take a game at some point, most likely due to some kind of gamble that doesn’t pay off for KT or a strange pick/ban phase. Overall I think KT has the advantage and SKT S will not be able to punish their aggression enough to make it count. No matter what happens though it should be bloody and a whole lot of fun to watch.