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LPL teams eliminate LCK teams on first day of Mid-Season Cup

Both LCK teams, T1 and DWG, failed to qualify for MSC semifinals on Thursday while DRX and Gen.G will play to keep LCK hopes alive on Friday. (Riot Games)
Both LCK teams, T1 and DWG, failed to qualify for MSC semifinals on Thursday while DRX and Gen.G will play to keep LCK hopes alive on Friday. (Riot Games)

League of Legends Champions of Korea (LCK) teams T1 and Damwon Gaming (DWG), failed to qualify for the semifinals of Mid-Season Cup (MSC) on Thursday, ceding the qualifying ticket to League of Legends Pro League (LPL) teams, FunPlus Pheonix (FPX) and Top Esports (TES).

The four teams played a best of 1 round robin on Thursday.

The day started with a win for T1 in the opening match against FPX, in which T1 dismantled FPX with a poke composition featuring Canna’s Jayce and Faker’s Corki. Although FPX hoped to turn the game around in the late game with Khan’s Vladmir, the game ended before 28 minutes as T1 secured four dragons early and took down baron.

However, in the second match between DWG and TES, knight, mid-laner for TES, showed off his mechanical skill with his LeBlanc to go legendary with his Mejai’s Soulstealer. Although DWG managed to cut off TES’ marksman position JackeyLove’s Varus and his support Yuumi in a teamfight near 29 minutes, the decision to go to baron proved fatal, ceding three kills and baron to TES.

The next two matches were within regions as LCK teams DWG and T1 played each other while LPL teams TES and FPX battled. DWG and FPX went out on top, making each team tied at 1:1 after the first four games.

The two remaining games, T1 vs. TES and DWG vs. FPX, decided who advances to the semifinals.

Ultimately, the LCK teams could not prevail against the might of LPL.

In game 5 pitting DWG against FPX, the back and forth game ended when DWG decided to push for the nexus after taking two inhibitors with baron buff at 35 minutes into the game, resulting in all of DWG’s members dying while all TES members survived.

T1, the first seed of LCK in the spring season, hoped to prevail in the last match of the day, but LPL’s TES showed no mercy. Knight, once again, put on a stellar performance on his Ekko, singlehandedly carrying the last team fight near 35 minutes by killing Faker’s Azir.

Other points to note during the day was that T1’s use of Yasuo and Gragas in the bottom lane failed both times and LPL team’s use of Wukong in the top lane was undefeated, bringing to question the LCK team’s read on the meta.

The results were clear despite the back and forth within the games. The first seed and fourth seed teams of LCK lost to the second and third seed teams of LPL.

“I say this again, but LCK is in the position of challengers to LPL. LPL is undeniably strong,” said castor CloudTempler after the games were over on Monday.

“We should have nothing to say as we played fair and square and lost,” said castor Jeon Yong-joon.

LCK’s Gen.G Esports (GEN) and DragonX (DRX) face LPL’s JD Gaming and Invictus Gaming starting at 4 p.m. on Friday. The hope of LCK lies with GEN and DRX as they attempt to represent LCK in the semifinals.

By Lim Jang-won (ljw@heraldcorp.com)\
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