SK Telecom T1 may have started the day strong with a victory over the NA LCS representatives, Team SoloMid, featuring a 20,000 gold lead in under 30-minutes, but the struggled to take control of the game in their second match of the day against the LPL's Team WE.
An early game teamfight in the bot lane saw blood being spilled from both teams, but ended overall in the LPL team's favour which allowed for their bot lane to secure enough of a foothold and keep the SKT duo in check. The typical peace during the laning phase did not last long as yet another explosive fight broke out around the 13-minute mark with a five on five skirmish in the top lane. The sheer amount of trading between both teams set Peanut behind as Ivern was unable to go through the counter-jungling and early ganking patterns that have come to be expected when playing with this champion.
The Nami and Ivern pick seemed to be the wrong choice initially for SKT as they were unable to provide the tools the team needed early on to decisively close out a fight. For most of these trades, Peanut could not land his root and failed to contribute as much as Condi's Rengar who would dive in and lockdown important targets such as Faker with a Bola while being empowered by a Wild Growth. This weaker team fighting composition during the early stages of the game allowed for Team WE to neutralize any losses and turn the aggression around with their remaining teammates thanks to the shields and speed of SwordArt's Lulu.
With both teams more or less tied in towers, kills, and gold, this was the first time at MSI where SKT appeared to be at vulnerable and in a situation where a single misstep could result in their first defeat. SKT were able to break the stalemate at the 23-minute mark when Team WE made the decision to go for Baron, but lost the gamble after Peanut flashed in and secured his team the buff.
Employing a 4-1 strategy, SKT sent Huni alone to push both lane while the rest of the team with their Baron empowered minions charged down top to demolish the WE towers. While Huni may have been picked off a few times, his pressure forced Condi away from the rest of the SKT members which resulted in advantageous fights for SKT as Team WE found themselves without one of their main damage threat.
SKT built up enough of a gold lead and item advantage that Team WE could no longer continue to trade on equal footing in teamfights. SKT ended the second day at MSI 2017 with a final victory and maintained their undefeated record 4-0.
Image credit: Riot Games via Flickr