DWG KIA arrived to the game in scintillating form, finishing undefeated in both the group stage and the quarterfinals, seeking to further burnish their title as the best team in the world.
T1 reached the semifinals by advancing first in their group with a 5-1 record, while in the first round of the playoffs, they had no difficulty in finishing off Hanwha Life and securing their duel against the world champions.
A rematch of the most recent finals of the LCK, this game didn't disappoint, from the first minute both squads threw everything at each other as they pushed for a place in the grand final.
DWG KIA began the more aggressively, succeeding in a series of ambushes in the bot lane that allowed them to take control of the map and then the objectives of the jungle. T1 didn't know how to respond, sending the first point DWG KIA's way.
However, the Unkillable Demon King’s squad came out strong for their second match, focusing on denying Heo “ShowMaker” Su with the help of Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok's Lissandra, who took advantage of his team’s composition to control the mid lane, and after a great climb in gold and kills in their favour, T1 balanced the score.
For the third game, T1 focused on controlling the early game once more, this time guided by their bot laners. Lee “Gumayusi” Min-hyeong’s Jhin was impressive but it was Ryu “Keria” Min-seok, and his use of Zilean, that caught the eye. It was a performance that put T1 at the cusp of victory as they won the match to make the score 2-1 in T1's favour.
Demonstrating his conviction to maintain his status as the no.1 player in the world, ShowMaker put in a captain's performance for DWG KIA in the fourth match, wherefrom the start, the reigning champions gained the upper hand thanks to a series of ambushes aimed at Faker, who couldn't handle the pressure and together with T1, falling to the champions for the second time.
With both teams fighting for a ticket to the finals, the decisive fifth game proved to be both close and stressful, but heading into the mid-game, DWG KIA managed to have most of the control in the jungle, taking every dragon in the match.
T1 tried to respond by taking Baron Nashor's buff, and although they managed to snatch the bonus, DWG KIA ended up responding with an ace, forcing their opponents to fight for the Elder Dragon and thus, after another teamfight, they ended T1's dreams of the final.
Now, the reigning champions will have to wait for their opponent to be defined in the semifinal between Gen.G and Cloud9 tomorrow, for what will be a date with history live from the frozen lands of Iceland.
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Featured image courtesy of Riot Games and Getty Images.