G2 Esports won an epic five-game series against SK Telecom T1 today to secure a spot in the MSI 2019 finals. Both teams fought tooth and nail for every inch, but G2 proved that the world doesn’t need to hold to the Korean meta and that creativity and innovation can overcome the controlled style that Korea is famous for.
If you had to find a metaphor for this game, look at it like it was the battle of the Precision and Inspiration rune trees. SKT exemplified Precision as every decision was made with poise and elegance. But G2’s controlled chaos, the creativity to pull out picks like Pyke for Martin “Wunder” Hansen, eventually triumphed.
G2 picked Sona/Taric for the bot lane in game one and they were resoundingly punished as Kim “Clid” Tae-min’s Jarvan IV dominated the jungle and freely ganked all lanes. G2 couldn’t hold on against the sudden aggression and yielded the first game in the series after failing to surprise SKT with niche champion picks.
But they bounced back in the second game off the back of Rasmus “Caps” Winther unleashing on Akali, closing out the game with a Pentakill. He wasn’t alone, as Wunder’s Neeko and Luka “Perkz” Perkovic’s Draven were effective in shredding the SKT lineup. Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok stood tall on Sylas as he stole Pop Blossoms and Perfect Executions to draw out the match, but he and Kim “Khan” Dong-ha fell to the European champions’ relentless aggression to tie up the series.
Game three was all Clid as he locked down three kills early and turned that into a barnstorming 10/1/8 performance as he led the Korean champions to a dominant victory. But on the blue side for the second time this series in game four, G2 turned SKT’s momentum back in their face as Caps popped off on Ryze to set up Perkz and the rest of the team for play after play. Faker was the only man in their way as he played Sylas to almost perfection, stealing Wunder’s Gnar ultimate to completely turn a teamfight as well as hitting clutch Skarner Impales stolen from Jankos. He couldn’t withstand the onslaught, however, and a lapse in judgment allowed Wunder and Caps to take down the Nexus in a brilliant backdoor after previous G2 sieges opened up SKT’s base.
After “Silver Scrapes” played, a roar erupted around the arena as Perkz locked in Syndra in the bot lane and Wunder chose Pyke. They won the early game and withstood Faker and the rest of SKT’s best efforts to steal the game from under their noses until they fully came online. The monstrous pick potential gave them kill after kill, and after a dramatic Baron throw from SKT, their base was wide open for G2 to win the game and the series.
With this victory over Korea’s best, we’ll see North America take on Europe for the first time in an international final after Liquid shocked the world yesterday by defeating reigning world champions Invictus Gaming. A new region will win the Mid-Season Invitational in less than 24 hours.