SK Telecom T1 have defeated Royal Never Give Up 3-1 in the quarterfinals of the 2016 World Championship. They move on to the semifinals where they will face the winner of Sunday's match between their LCK rivals, the ROX Tigers, and the LPL's EDward Gaming.
RNG came out very confidently in Game 1, securing first blood six minutes in and getting another three kills before SKT finally got on the board at 27 minutes. While SKT were able to stay in the game, RNG took Baron at 37 minutes and then caught SKT trying to take Elder Dragon, forcing them to disengage after a teamfight and stealing the dragon. The Chinese team then raced down mid and took SKT’s Nexus for a win at 47 minutes on the dot.
Between games, SKT switched out starting jungler Bae "Bengi" Seong-woong for Kang "Blank" Sun-gu. Blank is technically the team’s primary jungler, but SKT had announced that Bengi would start for them in the quarterfinals on Tuesday. Bengi had a difficult Game 1, with no kills, one death, four assists and 178 CS against RNG.
If SKT were tilted by RNG’s dominant win, they didn’t show it as the reigning champions got things going at three minutes with a double kill on on RNG jungler Liu "Mlxg" Shi-yu and support Cho "Mata" Se-hyeong, who were wandering in the river. That early misplay allowed SKT to snowball hard, getting five unanswered kills, the first tower bonus and the first dragon by 11 minutes.
RNG were able to hold steady and frustrate several of SKT’s attempts on Baron while Jang "Looper" Hyeong-seok bullied Lee "Duke" Ho-Seong. However, once SKT finally slew Baron, the game was effectively over as SKT pressed into RNG’s base and closed it out at 43:06 with 13 kills to three and a 10K gold lead. Duke was responsible for all three of SKT’s deaths in the game, however it was the top laner’s first time playing with Kennen professionally for some time. SKT’s support Wolf had a good game with a 3/0/9 KDA record and a 92 percent kill participation.
Royal Never Give Up did not live up to their name in Game 3 as they once again fell behind early, but except instead of holding the line, they grouped up early and attempted force teamfights as SKT picked them off and controlled the objectives. By 23 minutes, SKT had 17 kills to five, five towers to none, a 13K lead and a newly-acquired Baron buff. SKT easily closed it out cleanly just past the 30-minute mark.. Duke was able to redeem his shaky Game 2 performance with four kills, 3 assists and no deaths. RNG’s failure to ban Syndra also allowed Lee "Faker" Sang-hyeok to deal heavy early damage and end the game with a 6/3/4 record.
RNG seemed to have get it back together for Game 4, killing Wolf twice in nine minutes. An attempt to gank a flash-less Faker ended poorly, and coupled with a kill in the bot lane, SKT evened things out 3-3. While RNG were able to fight off a top gank for another two kills and the tower bonus, SKT kept pushing hard, forcing teamfights across the map for a 11-7 kill lead by 24 minutes and a 4K gold lead. Following a Triple Kill on RNG, SKT were able to take the Baron at 25:46. Finally, a merciless ace at 30 minutes allowed SKT to close the game, and the series, at 30:39. SKT ADC Bae "Bang" Jun-sik and Duke led the game in kills with seven apiece. Both had one death, but Bang had eight assists versus Duke’s four.
Sasha Erfanian is a news editor for theScore esports. Follow him on Twitter, it'll be great for his self-esteem.