The first Round Robin of the 2018 LCK Spring Split has almost hit its mid-point. Once this week is over, teams will have only half the time they had at the beginning of the split. The placements of the teams will begin to solidify. Their positions on the LCK ladder will start to take up a deeper meaning, and so far, things aren’t looking good for SKT T1.
It’s not the end of the world for them – yet. They still have a long way to go before Worlds, and whether they’ll make it there this year isn’t really a question to ask right now. What we need to focus on right now is whether SKT will make a comeback during this season. If they do, this week will be a good place to start.
We’ll make a few predictions for this week in the 2018 LCK Spring Split and analyze which teams will win big. The last few weeks have made it impossible to come up with solid predictions because weak teams destroyed stronger ones unexpectedly. Even in the games where high rated teams won, the weaker teams put up quite the fight.
SKT T1 vs. BBQ Olivers
Prediction: SKT win 2-1
Time: Wednesday 7/02, 17:00 KST
As of now, the BBQ Olivers are looking like a far more solid team than SKT T1. If someone had said this a month before the 2018 LCK Spring Split started, they would have been labelled as a heretic. Times have changed drastically since then, and the former Gods of League of Legends are now struggling to gain a single victory in the region they once owned.
This match is going to be important, because we’ll see if SKT are in the mood to change their strategy. The current one isn’t working too well. Their vision game is abysmal, and their overall macro isn’t doing great either.
For as long as we can remember, SKT knew how to play the late game better than everyone. Save for a few teams, no one could outwit them in terms of strategic plays. They could only be countered by wombo combos which not everyone could pull off.
Now, their jungle gets invaded without them even knowing, and their jungler doesn’t know what’s going on most of the time. Their top laner is the official worst in the region, and their mid laner gets picked off when he’s looking across the map.
If SKT want to turn their prospects in the 2018 LCK Spring Split around, they’re going to need a complete overhaul in their playstyle. Right now, not a single team is using early game comps, which could very well be something SKT can abuse.
kkOma, arguably one of the best coaches on earth, will surely be much ahead of us in terms of what SKT can do to make a turnaround. We’re guessing they might look different after today onwards.
BBQ Olivers have improved beyond what anyone could have expected. Their outlook and overall plays have earned them a place in the spotlight. Last year’s SKT could have thrashed them to a pulp, but currently BBQ will provide them with a good challenge.
We think SKT will know how to tackle BBQ this round. Their right at the bottom, and have no place left to go but up. We think they’re going to start here. It will likely be an uphill battle, and they might lose more matches after this one. However, we’re betting that this one will go over to SKT at a 2-1.
KT Rolster vs. Kingzone DragonX
Prediction: Kingzone win 2-1
Time: Wednesday 7/02, 20:00 KST
The match right after SKT’s mentioned above will have far more serious implications on the 2018 LCK Spring Split. These teams are among the most celebrated teams from last year. Kingzone was a favorite to win Worlds 2017 itself. Since then, both teams have remained consistent in their winrates. The main change was a major playstyle change on the side of KT Rolster. They went from a hyper aggressive team to one that’s reminiscent to last year’s SKT. Now they prefer playing in a calm and calculated manner, slowly gaining advantages across the map and waiting for the right opportunity to strike.
Both these team are right on top of the ladder right now, and both have a similar win-lose ratio of 5-1. This means that after this match, one of them will be neck-to-neck with KSV over gaining supremacy over the entire region. This is true only if KSV wins their match against ROX Tigers, which we’re assuming they will. On the off-chance that KSV lose, the subsequent winner of this KZ and KT match will become the best team in the LCK.
This is perhaps the most anticipated match we’ve had yet and will be a battle of the Korean gods. KZ has had a rough start to this season but climbed right up. They’re our favorites to win the season in our prediction before the season started, and we think they’ll win this match too. As much as we’re hoping that KT take this one away, logic dictates that KZ will win this match because they do everything KT do, but better. We’re predicting that KZ will win this match 2-1.
SKT T1 vs. KSV
Prediction: KSV win 2-1
Time: Sunday 11/02, 17:00 KST
A few months have passed since these two teams were on top of the world and had no parallel. Back then, it seemed like SKT T1 would win another round of the international stage and secure an unbreakable record to their name. Since then, SKT has absolutely fell from grace, while KSV, who were SSG then, have maintained their position. SKT T1 couldn’t even stand up to the worst performing team in the region. KSV is sharing the top position with KZ and KT Rolster.
This match could be an emotional one, because SKT can’t consider KSV as their rivals anymore even though they should. Regardless of how bad SKT is performing now, we’re certain they won’t let this slide as an easy KSV victory due to their history with this team. They’ve been rivals for years now, and once more, they’re coming face to face. You can rest assured that this won’t be a boring and one-sided match.
However, due to SKT’s performance, we don’t think they’ll be able to win this one. KSV simply have too much confidence at this point. This might work against them, allowing SKT to catch them off guard, but the most likely scenario is that KSV will win this one 2-1.
The future of the 2018 LCK Spring Split depends on what SKT do next. Whether they continue to lose like they are now, or start winning, they’ll be making history. If SKT T1 are no longer the number one team, and KSV somehow can’t keep up, there’ll be a much bigger power vacuum than the one in Korea right now. There will be a global race for the Worlds cup this year if this scenario should occur.