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SK Telecom T1 are the third team to advance to the semifinals of the 2019 League of Legends World Championship. The Korean champions eliminated Splyce 3-1, although they didn’t play the free-win series analysts and fans expected.

SKT took a 2-0 lead in the series, but even in those games, Splyce showed teeth. Great early game secured several scrappy team fights for LEC’s third seed, despite the overwhelming odds against them. Tore “Norskeren” Eilertsen played a great Blitzcrank and Kasper “Kobbe” Kobberup was on top of his game as well, becoming one of the biggest hopes for Splyce.

Down two games and on match point, Splyce still managed to strike back at SK Telecom, playing a marvelous third game. Andrei “Xerxe” Dragomir was the star of the game, running a perfect 7/0/7 Rek’sai, helping Splyce stabilize their notoriously shaky mid-game. The tipping point was a Baron fight that aced SKT and gave Splyce one more game in this series.

For the first few minutes, it looked like Splyce might even push it to five games. While SKT decidedly won the top lane, playing Quinn against Renekton, their bot lane was getting pressured heavily and Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok was too quiet on his signature Ryze. When Splyce took down four SKT players at a Dragon fight, the fans in Madrid erupted in cheers.

Around the 20-minute mark, Splyce’s mid game flaws kicked in and once Faker got on the kill board, SKT began their snowball. Kim “Khan” Dong-ha was already fed on his Quinn, so SKT had a free side lane to work with. Despite the heavy pressure, Park “Teddy” Jin-seong’s Varus had also remained deathless, maintaining a significant CS lead over Kobbe. At 25-minute, a 3-for-1 team fight opened Baron for SKT and once they took with without contest, all that was left was to push for the Nexus.

SKT will now wait for the winner of G2 Esports and DAMWON Gaming for potentially the most exciting series of the tournament so far. If DAMWON eliminate the last LEC representatives next, it will also guarantee a Korea vs. China grand final.

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