MSI recap: Edward Gaming defeat SKT 3-2, become MSI 2015 champions

by Jake Scott May 10 2015
Thumbnail image courtesy of Robert Paul / theScore eSports

EDward Gaming won the 2015 Mid Season Invitational final against SK Telecom T1 3-2 in a nail-biting best of 5 series. They also managed to make League of Legends history by giving Faker his first taste of failure on his legendary LeBlanc.

The first game of the series went to SKT with precise control and well selected team fights. EDG bounced back in game 2 with Deft playing a magnificent Jinx and ceaseless aggression. Their momentum carried them through game 3 with an early snowball lead that saw SKT surrender at 30 minutes.

SKT’s mid laner Easyhoon was swapped out with Faker for game 4 as EDG threatened to take the series. The swap proved successful with SKT securing the win to force game 5. However, EDG's superior team fight and fast-pushing was too much for SKT to handle, giving Faker his first competitive loss on Leblanc and the MSI title to China.

Game 1

SK Telecom T1’s patient play and consistent control won them the first game of the Mid Season Invitational final round against EDward Gaming

EDG focused their bans on taking junglers away from SKT’s Bengi while SKT focused on mid lane champions. SKT’s go-to mid laner Faker was swapped out for Easyhoon.

EDG’s PawN tried to get first blood on Easyhoon, but a jungle gank by Bengi saw PawN fall for first blood. That quick kill let SKT take an early gold lead.

There was a slight lull while both teams farmed lanes until the first dragon spawned. EDG’s Meiko was able to kill SKT’s Bang and they were able to take the first dragon, ten minutes in. The mid-game aggression turned up after that. Koro1 was playing an amazing top lane game escaping SKT’s engagements with both his life and, usually, a kill.

SKT responded by grabbing the first mid lane turret while EDG snapped up the first bottom lane turret. The second dragon spawned and both teams postured around it but after a brief team fight EDG took their second buff. Despite controlling the first two dragons EDG was lagging behind SKT in kills, gold and towers 24 minutes in. The top lane saw massive action with SKT coming away with better trades for their engagements.

SKT usually focus heavily on getting dragon buffs, but since they were denied the first two, the third apparently did not appeal to them. After wiping four-of-five members of EDG, they ignored dragon three and took Baron instead. Entering the 30 minute mark, SKT was sitting at 12-5 kills with an 8k gold advantage. EDG couldn’t hold their own in team fights at this point and SKT continued to snowball.

The second Baron went live and SKT started it. EDG came in to try and deny the buff, but they couldn't handle the damage output or the murder machine that is Easyhoon. This final fight gave SKT the buff and the power to take the nexus at 38 minutes. The final score was 21-8 in kills, 7-3 towers, 2-2 dragons, 2-0 Baron buffs and a 14k gold lead. Easyhoon finished with a KDA of 9/0/8.

Game 2

Many of the same bans from Game 1 popped up for Game 2. Interestingly enough, EDG first picked Cassiopeia, presumably because of Easyhoon’s previous performance on her. In the end, the mid laners swapped their champions with Easyhoon on Orianna and PawN on Cassiopeia.

The game opened with EDG going for a five man invade in the enemy jungle that lead to a team fight with all players at level one. EDG picked up first blood and then second. Also third. Three minutes into the game, EDG had a nice leg up with three kills and 1k gold advantage.

EDG was looking to snowball that early lead with aggressive plays and the first dragon buff at 6 minutes. SKT responded by netting a couple kills of their own, but were more focused on taking objectives than picking fights. By the ten minute mark, SKT successfully knocked down the top and bot lane towers. The objectives helped them bridge the gold gap and get back into the game.

The second dragon was snapped up by EDG and they used that for a heavy push in the mid lane. A team fight saw a one-for-one trade in kills, but EDG failed to take the turret on the first pass. The skirmish continued with EDG snaking back around their mid lane turret to massacre everybody but SKT’s Wolf. The respawn time was enough for EDG to take the first and second tier turrets in the mid lane.

Twenty minutes in, EDG had a very clear lead that just kept growing. Deft’s Jinx was terrifying at 6/1/7 and SKT just couldn’t find an edge in team fights. With EDG posturing around the Baron pit and three dragons in their pocket, Bengi sacrificed himself to steal the Baron buff from EDG.

That buff kept SKT in the game with enough of an edge to hold their own in team fights. The next 10 minutes of gameplay was a series of five man battles with both teams swapping kills. EDG kept their lead and managed to snag the second Baron for themselves 30 minutes into the game letting them push down the mid lane inhibitor.

SKT’s objectives were getting smacked down left and right as EDG grabbed their fifth dragon to push in the bottom lane. A massive team fight in SKT’s own base saw them aced for EDG to take the Nexus.

The final score was 30-12 kills, 8-3 towers, 5-0 dragons, 1-1 Baron buffs and a 15k gold advantage for EDG. Deft’s Jinx went 10/2/12 for a fantastic game.

Game 3

The third game of the Mid Season Invitational ended in a surrender by SK Telecom T1 putting EDward Gaming in a position to win the finals in game 4.

Many of the same bans were seen in Game 3 with the exception of EDG taking away Cassiopeia and SKT banning Gragas. EDG’s team composition was very team fight oriented with double tank and ADC champs.

The game opened with a lane swap by EDG sending Deft and Meiko to the top lane against MaRin. A few early game team fights didn’t see any kills, but the pacing and aggression for the rest of the game was being set. First blood came at 7 minutes into the game in the top lane. EDG pulled off a beautiful three man tower dive with Clearlove killing MaRin first and then Bengi shortly after.

Those first two kills seemed to be the cue for EDG to grab the first dragon buff at around 10 minutes. They kept up their early aggression to rack up kill after kill with Clearlove’s Nunu dominating engagements.

Fifteen minutes in, EDG grabbed the second dragon. Their lead let them throw their weight around, pushing SKT in impossible team fights. The Nunu pick was definitely adding to EDG’s snowball in the mid game.

Baron spawned and EDG pushed SKT away. Deft grabbed a double kill in the mid lane and they rushed Baron. No time was wasted, as EDG rushed down and grabbed their third dragon as well. There was no sign of EDG slowing down. SKT tried to engage in the jungle, but gave a quadra kill to PawN’s Azir.

At 27 minutes EDG was leading 23-5 in kills, 4-3 in towers, 3-0 in dragon buffs, a Baron buff and 12k in gold. There was almost no surviving fights for SKT. Their grim reality was realized and the game ended in a surrender at 29 minutes.

Game 4

SK Telecom T1 defeated EDward Gaming to force game five in the best of five series for the Mid Season Invitational finals.

The decisive game for EDG saw Jinx banned out to avoid another fed Deft. EDG's team composition was the same as Game 3 with the exception of Deft on Corki due to the Jinx ban. SKT swapped out mid laner Easyhoon for Faker and their team composition featured heavy disengage to escape EDG’s relentless attacks.

An early team fight saw first blood taken by Deft on Bengi near the dragon spawn at 4 minutes. SKT responded with a kill in the top lane, Bang taking down Koro1, tying up the kill score.

After the first kill exchange, EDG found themselves in a bad spot in the jungle allowing Bang to pick up a double kill with well placed skill shots. This was a different SKT from the past two games of the series. They were winning team fights and took the first dragon at the 10 minute mark.

While SKT was holding the lead in gold and kills, EDG took down the first turret in the bottom lane, giving Deft enough gold for Trinity Force for a power spike. Deft tried to push in the mid lane with PawN, but was denied by Faker.

The second dragon spawned and a massive battle followed. SKT picked up their second dragon buff and both teams swapped three kills each.

The action turned up in the mid game with EDG running a 5 man push in the top lane. SKT had a three man defense up top and sent Faker and Bang to push down the bottom and mid lane turrets. The third dragon was set to spawn and of course, it resulted in a team fight in the mid lane that saw SKT walk away with three kills. The battle left them spent, and the recall time cost SKT the third dragon.

Approaching the 30 minute mark, SKT was leading in kills 15-5, 5-4 towers, 2-1 dragon buffs and held a 5k gold lead. EDG made a play to position themselves to take the Baron buff and turn the tides of war in their favor. They set up some wards and moved to the bottom to try and grab the fourth dragon before making a Baron attempt. Unfortunately SKT was there too and aced EDG giving them the time to take Baron buff without any resistance.

EDG just wasn’t able to deal enough damage to SKT as Korea's representatives pulled further and further ahead. SKT split pushed through to the inhibitor turrets with their Baron-empowered minions and on their last push, SKT finished the game at 34 minutes following a team fight in EDG’s base.

Game 5

EDward Gaming took the Mid Season Invitational and served Faker his first professional loss on LeBlanc by taking down SK Telecom T1 in the final game of the series.

EDG kicked things off by taking away experience in SKT’s jungle and transitioning to a four versus two fight under the bottom lane turret. EDG picked up first blood on MaRin and a second kill on Wolf shortly after that at 4 minutes. A kill was picked up by SKT’s Wolf before he died.

The modest lead that double kill gave EDG let them take the first dragon and control the bottom lane. Shortly after the first dragon went down, SKT’s tier 1 turret in the bottom lane went down too. They were down in every category compared to EDG, except in creep score. A team fight in the bottom lane was won by SKT equalizing the scores and giving them a grace period to take the second dragon, 14 minutes into the game.

Pressure was put on EDG’s top lane turret as SKT took their first objective. A four versus five ensued with EDG coming out on top, shutting down three players from SKT. The battle put EDG at a 2k gold advantage.

The response from SKT was swift, as they took the third dragon of the game at 20 minutes and grabbed a couple of kills when EDG tried to deny them. EDG bounced back with a ferocious teamfight in the mid lane taking out everyone on SKT but Faker and Bengi. The lead EDG had was starting to grow with the kill score at 12-6 and a 3K gold lead.

The fourth dragon spawned and Baron was live. SKT lost the team fight around the dragon and had to back off while EDG rushed up to take the Baron. MaRin and Faker rushed the pit to force the weakened EDG to fall back and deny them the buff.

EDG ran a rinse and repeat play posturing around the dragon to draw SKT in. They won the team fight and rushed the Baron, this time managing to take the buff near the 30 minute mark. Their sights were set on the nexus as they split pushed SKT’s top and mid lane inhibitor turrets. SKT defended burning every ult. on EDG and running out their Baron buff.

EDG was still leading with 18-7 kills, 5-3 towers and a 8k gold lead. They were knocking on the door of SKT’s base but over aggression saw SKT grab two kills and push them back. The onslaught continued, but when the the dragon and Baron went live EDG won yet another team fight and got the buff.

That was the final nail in SKT’s coffin as they pushed through the mid lane to take the Nexus and the Mid Season Invitational. The final score was 9-22 kills, 6-3 turrets and a 14k gold lead for EDG.

Jake Scott is a writer for theScore eSports. You can follow him on Twitter.