The SKT T1 vs DAMWON Gaming series kicks off on January 27—and it’s our match of week 2 of the 2019 Spring Split! SK Telecom T1 still stand at the top of the LCK food chain. Their synergy might not be there yet, but they make up for it with overwhelming amounts of firepower. They’re also the most experienced roster in the league, so they always seem to have a good idea of what—and when—they need to do on the map.
Their opponents—DAMWON Gaming—may be the new blood of the league, but they’ve already put many veterans to shame. Much like SKT, they have no shortage of individual talent, and many of their players have made solid claims to being in the top-3 of their respective positions. On top of that, they already have a good grasp of the macro game, making them a very tough foe to face on the Rift.
SKT vs DAMWON LCK Match Breakdown
Top Lane Matchup
This might come as a surprise, but SKT Khan is likely the weakest link in his team. His 4.2 KDA and 10.5 CS per minute might seem impressive, but his overly aggressive approach to the laning phase often makes him a sitting duck for the enemy jungler. If that wasn’t enough, Khan has a very one-dimensional carry playstyle, so he is bound to fall off if SKT happen to put him on tanks.
DAMWON’s Nuguri has also made a name for himself as a carry player. The main difference is, though, that he might be the best carry player in the LCK, as evidenced by his 13.0 KDA and 10.3 CS per minute. Nuguri excels at outmuscling his opponents in straight-up duels, but he’s just as good at splitpushing and carrying teamfights. Sorry, Khan, but you’re outmatched here.
VERDICT: DAM Nuguri takes control of the top lane matchup.
The SKT vs DAMWON battles takes a different turn in the jungle. With an 8.5 KDA and 5.3 CS per minute, Clid has emerged as the driving force behind SKT’s early game, and his explosive showings on Lee Sin and Xin Zhao have already made him a contender for the title of the best jungler in South Korea. He also has solid synergy with SKT’s ace—Faker—which puts him into a great position to dominate mid/jungle skirmishes.
On DAMWON Gaming’s side, Canyon has also been making his presence known. Sporting a 3.9 KDA and 5.3 CS per minute, he’s a hungry up-and-comer that overwhelms his enemies with relentless aggression on assassins like Kha’Zix and Nocturne. That said, his talent isn’t reinforced by experience, putting him at a natural disadvantage to Clid.
VERDICT: SKT Clid runs away with the jungle matchup.
Mid Lane Matchup
The mid lane is tough to evaluate. Holding a 6.5 KDA and 9.3 CS per minute, Faker has definitely been pulling his weight on SK Telecom T1, but he’s also been committing an uncharacteristic amount of mistakes. It seems like he’s still uncertain about his role on the 2019 version of SKT T1, so he’s spreading himself too thin and trying to do too many things at once.
Meanwhile, ShowMaker suffers from none of these issues. With a massive 44.0 KDA and 9.1 CS per minute, DAMWON Gaming’s mid laner started his LCK career with a bang by dismantling his opponents in lane and out of it. He’s one of the few players that can makea utility pick like Galio look like a dominant carry, and as blasphemous as this might be, we’re going to give him an edge in the SKT vs DAMWON matchup.
VERDICT: DAM ShowMaker secures a small lead in the mid lane.
Bot Lane Matchup
It’s hard to find a bot lane as stacked as that of SKT T1. Holding a 13.5 KDA and 10.7 CS per minute, Teddy is a confident carry with the perfect combination of razor-sharp mechanics and instinctual game sense. Moreover, he’s fighting alongside Mata (30.0 KDA), a seasoned veteran that’s renowned for his shot calling talents and natural knack for kick-starting teamfights.
DAMWON’s Nuclear and Chei aren’t exactly pushovers either. With a 5.1 KDA and 9.5 CS per minute, Nuclear has grown a lot since his H2K days and became an excellent teamfighting marksman. And even though his support Hoit (8.5 KDA) doesn’t have a ton of experience, he’s already cemented himself as a powerful playmaker. Unfortunately for them, they just don’t have what it takes to oppose the force of nature that is SKT’s bot lane.
VERDICT: SKT’s Teddy and Mata win the bot lane standoff.
SKT vs DAMWON LCK Match Prediction
DAMWON Gaming may be good, but they’re still a cut below their opponents. Granted, they might be able to keep up in the laning phase, but SKT have years of competitive experience on their side which gives a significant advantage in the later stages of the game. And even though DAMWON might be able to steal a game by playing around Nuguri, our prediction is a 2-1 victory for SK Telecom T1!
You can be on SKT winning the series with a 2-1 score for odds of 2.80 at Betway.