The 2019 World Championship is drawing closer to its inevitable conclusion, but there are still many games to play. Day One of Quarterfinals was quite intense, but Day Two had incredible matches as well.
The first series was a true David vs Goliath matchup with European third-seed Spylce taking on SK Telecom T1, the biggest LoL dynasty in history. After that, the rising Challenger-to-Worlds Korean team Damwon Gaming took on G2 Esports, this year's MSI champions and Europe's undisputed best.
With their tournament lives and hopes of hoisting the Summoner's Cup on the line, these teams all delivered their best and gave LoL fans worldwide fantastic games!
SK Telecom T1 ("SKT") vs Splyce ("SPY")
This wasn't expected to be a very competitive series and unsurprisingly, SKT started it off with a win. To their credit though, SPY did land some punches in the early game. The top lane was quite the rough spot for SPY, as SKT dove Vizicsacsi to kill him for First Blood. A couple of minutes later, a 2v2 occurred, where SKT got another kill for Khan. But SPY's plays around the bottom lane were great, as their duo killed Effort and multiple SPY members went to the lane to win a fight two-for-one. SPY was even able to get a kill on Faker.
The prestige of SKT shone through in the mid-game though. They had full control over the neutral objectives and blossomed their lead by taking the Rift Herald, First Tower bonus and a Mountain Dragon. In addition, they capitalized on Humainoid's positioning error and killed him. This allowed SKT to gain more control and destroy more towers. An overzealous engage by SPY was similarily turned around by SKT, as they won the 5v5 mid two-for-zero and took the Baron right after. With it, SKT knocked down all the towers outside of SPY's base and the middle Inhibitor.
After winning another team fight, it was easy for SKT to claim their second Baron. When they began pushing their empowered waves, Khan solo killed Vizicsacsi before Teleporting bottom to help his team win a team fight. This lost engage for SPY was the last nail in the coffin for them, as they didn't have enough bodies to defend their Nexus from SKT's wrath.
- Time: 29:04
- Kills: 8-14
- Turrets: 2-9
- Gold: 47.8k-57.9k
- Dragons: 0-3
- Barons: 0-2
The match continued to go as expected, as SKT cleanly closed the second game versus SPY. Unlike the first though, SPY was barely able to stand up to SKT at all. SKT dove the SPY bottom lane tower at three minutes, where the teams traded two-for-two in kills. Meanwhile, Xerxe ganked and killed Khan top, but this did little to make an impact on the game as Vizicsacsi still lost the lane. From here, SKT put on a clinic, moving all around the map to find successful ganks and skirmishes.
SKT was funneling gold into themselves as SPY could do little more than watch. At 18 minutes, SKT demonstrated how far ahead they were by smashing a team fight three-for-one in kills. The game was truly decided at 22 minutes though. At this point, SKT rushed the Baron and secured it without contest, while Khan solo killed Humanoid on the side lane. In typical SKT fashion, they quickly went to work on SPY structures, demolishing one after another. They even went so far as to take one of the Nexus towers. They didn't need the Baron buff either, as it fell off and SKT continued to siege bot. SPY tried to pull off one last fight, but SKT slaughtered them and blasted their Nexus shortly after.
- Time: 27:22
- Kills: 18-7
- Turrets: 10-2
- Gold: 56.5k-45.5k
- Dragons: 4-0
- Barons: 1-0
Everybody thought they were down and out, but in this Game Three, SPY won a magnificent game against SKT. Their team fighting prowess shone bright here, but did require some early game setup. They got their hands on two Infernal Dragons in the early stages of the game and went top to kill Khan under his tower. SKT did dive Humanoid to kill him for First Blood before this, but SKT's abuse of Humanoid wasn't enough to stop them losing gold to successful SPY side lane plays. SPY made a great play bottom at 13 minutes, as they dove and killed both Teddy and Faker before destroying the tower there.
But all of a sudden, a mid-lane team fight erupted. Somehow, SKT killed four SPY champions for only one of their own and looked to be in the driver's seat. The game stalled for a few minutes until SPY started the Baron. SKT contested it, but SPY's turned on them perfectly, engaging a team fight they won five-for-one. They easily took the Baron afterward and went to work knocking down SKT's outer towers. SPY did overreach at one point though and was repelled by SKT.
Becuase of this, SPY had to wait for the next Baron to spawn. But it was actually SKT to make the first move when the Baron slithered up from the Void. Here, Clid tried to Skarner ult Kobbe, but a great Zhonya's bought time enough for his team to collapse and kill the out of position jungler. With no Smite threat, SPY claimed their second Baron. They rampaged down mid, taking the Inhibitor before crushing SKT four-for-one in their base and finishing the Nexus.
- Time: 31:45
- Kills: 12-18
- Turrets: 3-10
- Gold: 56.6k-63.7k
- Dragons: 1-3
- Barons: 0-2
Though SPY looked like they could take a second game from SKT, SKT shut down their hopes in a relatively close Game Four. SKT made the first move this game, fighting a top lane 2v2 to get First Blood for Khan. But SPY was able to turn around an SKT bottom lane dive at eight minutes to pick up an essentially free kill. Meanwhile, the two teams had each taken an Infernal Dragon before transitioning to the mid-game. Once the mid-game hit, SPY made critical positioning mistakes that gave over a sizeable amount of gold to their Korean opponents.
Despite this, SPY managed to win a 5v5 team fight at 18 minutes four-for-two. All the picks from SKT, primarily the ones on Vizicsacsi and Norskeren, made it difficult for SPY to push their advantage though. Because of this, SKT used better macro to push themselves back in control. As a result, SKT was able to win a team fight three-for-one and claim the Baron. They demolished some outer towers but did make some mistakes themselves to give a couple of kills back to SPY. The end came at a strange point then. Khan solo killed Humanoid in the top lane, but SPY sent multiple members to chase down the Quinn. Doing this, they left their base wide open to SKT. They eventually killed Khan, but it was a false victory as SKT simply walked into the SPY base and took their free Nexus.
- Time: 31:49
- Kills: 17-10
- Turrets: 9-1
- Gold: 61.0k-51.3k
- Dragons: 4-1
- Barons: 1-0
Damwon Gaming ("DWG") vs G2 Esports ("G2")
What was expected to be the closest, most exciting series of the Quarterfinals started off with a bang by G2. Though it wasn't as clean as it could've been, their macro decision demonstrated how smart of a team they really are. The early game was very contested, as G2 won a skirmish in the bottom lane to get First Blood on Perkz but Canyon ganked and killed Wunder. But this gank didn't matter too much, as Nuguri's Kayle was already set incredibly far behind because of immense G2 top lane pressure. This pressure led the G2 top laner to get the First Tower solo before 10 minutes.
G2 leveraged their lead in the mid-game to make some picks, as well as take two middle towers and a Mountain Dragon. But they didn't push it farther, and as a result, DWG had ample time to scale up and hit critical item and level marks. This made a precarious situation, as at 26 minutes, they traded two-for-two in a team fight they should've probably lost. But G2's macro shone when Wunder and Caps killed Nuguri in the side lane, then took an Inhibitor while G2 forced DWG to stay near Baron, or else lose the objective.
It wasn't over though, because another team fight at Baron was close, with DWG actually winning three-for-two. But at 33 minutes, G2 decided to rush the Baron and secured it before DWG could contest. They killed Canyon right after before rampaging down mid, slaughtering the DWG champions on their Fountain, and taking their first Nexus.
- Time: 34:16
- Kills: 14-9
- Turrets: 9-3
- Gold: 65.4k-57.8k
- Dragons: 3-1
- Barons: 1-0
The second game was another long one, but this DWG got the better of G2. Jankos ganked top and got Wunder First Blood on Nuguri at four minutes and Caps killed Canyon a short time after. But DWG soon would take the lead. First, they caught out Jankos, took the Infernal, then took the Herald as well. In addition, DWG obtained the First Tower bonus and a number of dragons. But DWG solidly gripped the reins at 16 minutes, where they fought G2 mid and killed three of their champions while losing none of their own.
There were a few quiet minutes before another team fight erupted, this one at 26 minutes, where DWG killed four for one and claimed the first Baron. But G2 stimied their siege with a team fight win, so DWG had to wait for the next one to spawn. It inevitably did and after decisively winning another team fight, DWG secured it. It didn't do all that much damage, but after turning to take Elder Dragon, DWG managed to destroy the bottom and middle Inhibitors.
This wasn't enough to bring G2 to their knees though. Because of how well G2 was defending, DWG had to go for a third Baron. It fell in their favor and they took the top Inhibitor, although the other two had respawned by then. G2 knew DWG's next step was to go for the Elder Dragon, so they rushed it and took it themselves. But DWG was there, and with G2 grouped in the pit, it was like shooting fish in a barrel. DWG clean Ace'd G2 before strolling into their base and securing their first Nexus of the series.
- Time: 44:16
- Kills: 12-23
- Turrets: 3-11
- Gold: 76.1k-90.4k
- Dragons: 1-6
- Barons: 0-3
Game Three went back in the favor of G2, with this win being much more decisive than either of the two previous games. G2 was very proactive early, diving the bottom lane tower at three minutes to trade up three-for-two in kills. Jankos made a repeat gank to the bottom lane at six minutes, where he grabbed two more kills for his team. G2 also secured a Mountain Dragon but did misstep at 12 minutes when they traded two-for-two in kills and lost Rift Herald to DWG. This gave DWG the opportunity to use the Herald and procure the First Tower bonus top.
This equalized the gold difference, but G2 quickly recovered. They did this by first catching out Nuguri, then knocking down the bottom tower. In addition, G2 traded up in towers when they split the map. At 17 minutes, Nuguri and Canyon were positioned way too far forward and gifted two more kills to G2. G2's superior macro shone once more this game, as they pushed the top lane and mid lane to take three towers in total while DWG hesitated to respond.
The Europeans secured Baron at 28 minutes after G2 won a team fight two-for-one. Empowered, G2 was easily able to win one final fight three-for-zero and claim their second Nexus of the series.
- Time: 31:00
- Kills: 18-7
- Turrets: 10-2
- Gold: 63.3k-52.3k
- Dragons: 2-2
- Barons: 1-0
The series became relatively more one-sided for G2 it went on, and this proved to be quite true in Game Four. All of the Quarterfinal series had completed with 3-1 match scores, and G2 kept this trend alive. This last game was absolute devastation, as G2 played an incredibly proactive early game around top lane. A 3v3 top resulted in Caps getting First Blood on Canyon, but G2 didn't stop there. Caps and Jankos visited top four times and killed Nuguri over and over again. Canyon made a successful gank bot, but G2 three-manned mid and killed ShowMaker too so it didn't matter.
When the mid-game rolled around, G2 didn't close it out cleanly though. DWG fought back tooth and nail, finding G2 members out of positioning multiple times and taking their kill gold. Because of this, G2 did lose some of their momentum, but not all of it, as G2 found kills of their own. G2 got their footing again at 24 minutes when G2 won a middle lane team fight three-for-zero and claimed the Baron immediately afterward. After this, the game was quite chaotic, with DWG chasing members out of their base while G2 moved around the map to knock down towers.
It all culminated into one last bang at 29 minutes, and here, G2 cut down all DWG champions to get the Ace. This was their chance- G2 rushed into DWG's base with unparalleled speed and smashed their third Nexus, punching their ticket to the match against SKT in the Semifinal.
- Time: 30:17
- Kills: 18-13
- Turrets: 9-4
- Gold: 62.5k-52.7k
- Dragons: 3-1
- Barons: 1-0
Watch the 2019 World Championship here at ESTNN TV. For more information on the tournament, teams, standings, and players, visit www.lolesports.com. Stay tuned here at ESTNN and follow us on Twitter and Facebook for more League of Legends news, articles, opinions and more.
Images via LoL Esports.
Featured image via LoL Esports Flickr.