Imploding Chinese Fireworks: The Destructive Effect Of EDG’s Loss To SKT

Day two of the World Championship Group Stage would see a rematch between two of the biggest international rivalries in League of Legends history, SK Telecom T1 and EDward Gaming. The crowd expected fireworks and the matchup certainly delivered.

Both SK Telecom T1 and EDward Gaming headed into Group A heavily favoured to tussle for the first seed heading into the knock-out round.

Surprisingly, heading into the first of their anticipated match-ups, the narrative behind the two regional heavyweights had shifted, as EDG drop their first game to AHQ e-Sports Club in an uncharacteristic fashion.

Burdened with a well-documented issue with handling losses, it became a question of if EDG could shake the loss off and move forward into the next game.

Source: Riot Games Flickr

These questions would be answered very early on as EDG’s strategy became adundantly clear: pressure mid, exemplified by a well-timed gank by Ming “Clearlove7” Kai on Rek’sai at the 3-minute mark.

The pressure would continue, as EDG repeatedly ganked Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok, pushing the reigning world champion increasingly behind Lee “Scout” Ye-Chan’s Lucian.

The lane came to a head as a skirmish in the mid lane saw EDG wipe three members of SKT and critically take both mid-lane towers at only 14 minutes into the game.

Continuing to push their lead EDG would manoeuvre around the map and take apart all of SKT’s outer towers and leave them in tatters.

Without a kill on the board and their super-star mid sitting at 0/4/0 all hope seemed to be lost with even the casters discussing what the group will look like with potentially all the teams sitting at 1-1.

“SKT are in such a tough spot, it looks almost impossible for them to come back…”

Martin “Deficio” Lynge

This is where the unthinkable would begin to unravel.

With EDG waiting on the dragon spawn it left SKT an opening to clear out baron vision. SKT would not take this chance and instead bank on EDG to take the bluff and try and take the inside track on mid, which they did.

Using this to their advantage the Korean squad would surprise a grouped-up EDG team with a wombo and kill two members instantly, transitioning this victory into a baron and two turrets to shrink the 11K gold lead acquired by EDG and more importantly, giving SKT much more time to work with.

The Chinese fireworks had been released inside of the stadium.

EDG would not give up so easily though and would take back their lead during a bottom lane siege by SKT. Killing four members and taking the middle inhibitor, putting the Chinese line-up back in the driver’s seat.

In the end, however, the final fight would come inside of EDG’s base where Clearlove7 would get picked off and the team would slowly capsize without their tank, watching their nexus explode like a catherine wheel at 44 minutes.

Source: Riot Games Flickr

Chances are this will become one of the defining games of the 2017 World Championship as it perfectly encapsulates the incredible highs and lows of each team, as well as their very noticeable flaws.

Moving forward in the tournament it will be a great story to see if EDG can bounce back from this excruciating loss and if teams can learn something from how well they handled SKT in the early game.