WATCH: WE Xiye Styles On SKT Faker After Unleashing Lucian In The Mid Lane

With nothing to play for, the final game of the Mid-Season Invitational between SK Telecom T1 and Team WE was expected to be an uneventful affair. All pre-game assumptions were shattered however, as WE mid laner Su “Xiye” Han-wei unveiled the surprise pick of Lucian. There had been rumours of the strength of the champion in the mid lane, a myth confirmed by Xiye who ran rampant across the map, destroying Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok in the process.

Both Team WE and SK Telecom T1 entered the final group stage match having locked in their respective seeds for the knockout phase. The two teams would have been forgiven for wanting to end the game promptly and make the most of a deserved break, instead Xiye and Team WE took it as an opportunity to strike fear into the hearts of their future opponents.

Source: Riot Games Flickr

It’s not often that Faker is completely outclassed in a mid lane matchup, but after sacrificing two solo kills to Xiye, SKT found themselves on the back foot against a rampaging Lucian. The blood bath started early. In homage to the legendary “caster curse”, shoutcaster Martin “Deficio” Lynge described it as “impossible” that Faker would die to an early gank from WE’s star jungler Xiang “Condi” Ren-jie on Elise:

A double kill for Xiye within the fourth minute of the match got the snowball rolling, filling the Chinese mid laner with the confidence to attempt some increasingly daring moves as the game developed. Just moments later Faker was dead once more, crumpled in a heap under his own turret as Xiye made his escape with just a slither of health.

Faker’s most-played champion, Orianna could no longer withstand the onslaught of the aggressive Lucian, around whom Team WE had built a solid team composition. The reigning world champion’s dejected reaction to his second death of the game spoke volumes for Xiye’s potency on Lucian mid.

With the Brazilian crowd still in full voice, Xiye completed the hat-trick of kills over his MSI rival. As cries of “Solado” (solo-killed) echoed around the Rio de Janeiro arena, Team WE grinned with delight at the prospect of exacting revenge over the Korean favourites.

SKT typically fought valiantly to get themselves back into contention, Faker getting the satisfaction of shutting down Xiye’s killing spree in a mass mid lane brawl, before Han “Peanut” Wang-ho calmly stole a Baron for the LCK squad to provide a lifeline. Undeterred however, Team WE ended the game after a dramatic fight in the top lane, Lucian once more dancing around the stunned Korean squad to increase the death toll and crack the SKT base.

Source: Riot Games Flickr

Xiye may have been the first, but it is unlikely that he will be the last mid laner to unleash a pocket Lucian pick at the 2017 Mid-Season Invitational. Just as ROX tigers waited until the World Championship semi-final to reveal their Miss Fortune support pick, many mid laners were likely holding back the Lucian pick to surprise opponents in the later phases. The impact Xiye enjoyed by dismantling SK Telecom T1 and Faker however, will certainly be hard to beat.