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Articles:Season 3 World Championship - Semifinal Preview - NaJin Black Sword vs SK Telecom T1

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Season 3 World Championship Semifinal Preview - NaJin Black Sword vs. SK Telecom T1
Matchup Infograph


In the chats of Leaguepedia there have been many people torn on who they think will win the semi-final matches. So, we decided to show both sides of the story in our predictions, with one staff writing simply who they think will win and why. The first match we will look at is Najin Black Sword vs SK Telecom T1.


NaJin Black Sword
- by Darin

It’s an odd thing to say that a team has been “faltering” when they are competing in the World Championships. That’s what the record shows for NaJin Black Sword, though. A 1st place finish in OGN Winter was the last time Sword found any real tournament success, as an OGN Spring loss ushered out MaKNooN, a Season 2 World Championship favorite. After that, the team limped along to a number one seed finish in Korea, but still, the doubt had been placed. How has NaJin Sword made it this far?

Longevity.

The Korean scene is like a revolving door when it comes to players and teams. The culture there facilitates a high turnover rate due to their “first place or no place” mentality. Sword’s ability to remain relevant and (mostly) together worked heavily in their favor, allowing them to secure a 1st place seed out of Korea for the Season 3 World Championships.

Where am I going with this? Well, persistance is a powerful agent. Sword’s ability to survive in Korea translates well into their actual League of Legends play. Being counted out has happened before, and they’ve constructed glacial comebacks on the back of their AD Carry PraY. Simply put, they aren’t apt to quit.

Everyone will be going on about how Faker is going to stomp Sword’s midlane sub, Nagne, but you can’t be so sure after seeing how Nagne stepped up against Gambit Gaming. Alex Ich is no slouch; he’s a class act and world renowned midlaner. While Nagne is no Faker, he was able to put up great numbers against Gambit, including a combined 12/0/10 KDA in Game 2 and Game 3.

On top of this, SKT’s jungler, while dominant, focuses more on farm than ganks. Sword’s Watch, however, loves to place an emphasis on presence. We’ve seen him take up
Nunu
and
Elise
, both being early pressure junglers, so far in the Quarterfinals. While Bengi and Watch both love
Lee Sin
, Watch is all about the gank. Watch will be chucking snowballs and cocoons at Faker, and Bengi will be off in the jungle farming. This is a great jungle playstyle for an assassin-centric midlane meta that will allow Nagne to thrive.

Lastly, Sword has been scrimming against their sister team, NaJin White Shield. Where have they been doing this? Here in America. They were flown out specifically for the purpose of preparing Sword. What’s cooking behind those doors? Unconventional picks? Composition testing? Whatever they are doing, it’s working.

The knack for survival, a wildcard midlaner, a more influential jungler, and a top-notch practice squad. This is what Najin has over SK Telecom T1.

Prediction: Sword takes down SKT 3-1.



SK Telecom T1
- by William

Najin Black Sword would really have to pull off something incredible to beat the formidable SKTT1, the favorites of the Season 3 World Championships who only dropped one of fourteen games leading up to the OGN grand final. They eventually went on to win OGN Champions Summer 2013 and the Korean Regional Finals to secure their spot in the World Championships - and haven’t slowed down yet. The Korean gods destroyed group A with a 7-1 record and made quick work of the Gamania Bears in the quarterfinals. The only weakness SKTT1 is known to have is a lackluster performance in the beginning of a tournament or set, an issue for them that is currently nonexistent after the 10 matches they have played so far in this tournament. No single team has found a way to crack the code of SKTT1 so far in Season 3, and for good reason. All of their lanes are extremely mechanically skilled and their rotations work like clockwork.

While SKTT1 ascended to OGN glory, Najin didn’t make it past the group stage of OGN. This is because Najin has a few key weaknesses that SKT T1 can exploit. The first of which is the inexperienced mid lane Nagne. Next, Najin’s early game weakness in OGN and NLB games. This early game weakness plays right into SKT T1’s hands, as they love to snowball early leads and end games early, as we saw in the 13 minute inhibitor push. This contrast in playstyles can also be seen in their average game time, Najin averages a long game time of 37:55 (in NLB), while SKT has one of the shortest game times in the WC at 31:13.

PoohManDu and Piglet don’t only have the best summoner names of any bot lane, their playstyles are made for eachother. Pooh’s strong control of a lane with his famous
Nami
combined with Piglets sometimes overly aggressive play on picks like
Vayne
or
Corki
make for a seamless duo. Najin Sword will particularly struggle in this lane due to their history of a very weak early game. Once Pooh and Piglet get rolling, it’s pretty difficult to stop them.

Then, we talk about the man whose name strikes fear into the hearts of his opponents - Faker. SKTT1’s midlaner has a passive playstyle during the laning phase but brings the pain when it counts. With picks like
Ahri
and
Zed
, he will always burst any carry in his path and let his team steamroll through the enemy base. You can’t catch him, you can’t escape him and don’t even think about trying to kill him. The inexperienced Nagne will struggle to stay relevant versus Faker. If Najin does not find a way to keep Faker under control they will certainly fail to defeat SKTT1.

Overall, SKTT1 excels when it comes to Najin Black Sword’s greatest weakness, the early game. Each member of SKTT1 seems to win every lane they are in regardless of the circumstances. Najin Sword usually banks on a team to make a mistake in the mid to late game in order to use their strong teamfighting to take the lead, but they simply won’t be able to keep up with the unstoppable SKTT1.

Prediction: SKTT1 will win this match 3-0.



Written by Darin Kwilinski and William Turton
Edited by Jordan Spence


So, who do you think will win and why?


Anonymous user #1

340 days ago
Score -10+-
Darin is a fucking dumbass

Anonymous user #2

340 days ago
Score -2+-
I laughed out loud, thank you.

Anonymous user #3

339 days ago
Score 0+-
lol at being trolled to explain

Anonymous user #4

340 days ago
Score 0+-
did this analysis really call faker passive? faker is the most aggressive laner in the world, he only plays passive if theres jungle pressure or jungle gank timing.

Anonymous user #5

340 days ago
Score 4+-
To be fair, Faker has not shown *excessive* aggressiveness in lane. He has neither been predominately on the offense nor the defense, but has played adaptively to every single match-up, making plays when he can and getting lots of farm when the time isn't right. This means he can be passive some games, but that's only because he believes there are no plays to be made and he won't waste the time looking to make plays. That is actually good supporting evidence that Faker is a strong laner, because passive doesn't mean the lane can't exert pressure.

Anonymous user #6

339 days ago
Score 0+-
My guess is the only time they have even watched a non NA game is here at Worlds.

Anonymous user #7

339 days ago
Score 0+-
He's far from the most aggressive laner in the world. Bjergsen, for example, is way moer aggressive

Anonymous user #8

339 days ago
Score 0+-
Faker is not an aggressive laner. He is more of a smart, passive-aggressive laner. He puts pressure by poking but he emphasizes on farming more than excessive aggression to take advantage of his pokes unless there is 100% chance of kill or necessity of domination in lane.

Anonymous user #9

340 days ago
Score -2+-
^ LOL

Anonymous user #9

340 days ago
Score -4+-
^^ LOL at the darin is a fucking dumbass comment. i cant stop laughing.

Anonymous user #10

340 days ago
Score -6+-
Darin is, indeed, a fucking dumbass.

42Matteo

340 days ago
Score 0+-
My money's on Darin to win this Bo5 vs William.

Xavicon

340 days ago
Score 2+-
Definetely SKTT1 will win this 3-2!!!

Meristematic

340 days ago
Score 2+-

Really hyped for this match, love the infograph, as usual. The actual writing could be improved (but other comments being so negative).

I think it's SKT 3-1, in terms of actual prediction

Anonymous user #11

340 days ago
Score 0+-
I would like to mention that bengi IS NOT a farm jungler, he ganks for pressure.

Anonymous user #12

340 days ago
Score -1+-
1st comment made my day

Anonymous user #13

340 days ago
Score 0+-
Najin go win pls

Anonymous user #14

339 days ago
Score -2+-
honestly, this darin guy needs to learn about the players instead of writing nonsense.

Anonymous user #15

339 days ago
Score 1+-
I don't think NaJin B Sword will win. Yes, they will put up a good fight, but NaJin Sword didn't even go through group stages in the OGN Summer-split. They earned 400 of their total circut points during OLYMPUS Champions Winter 2012-2013, which was a long time ago. They won over Gambit as GMB never played them. SKT T1 knows how NaJin B Sword plays, they can easily win over them.

Anonymous user #16

339 days ago
Score 1+-
Something is wrong with you...

Anonymous user #17

339 days ago
Score -1+-
mark twain?

Anonymous user #18

339 days ago
Score 0+-
njs has weak early games? lol. i laughed too hard. it obviously tells him that he doesn't know much about njs. Korean ppl gave NJS the nickname "20 mins" because NJS is really strong in lane phase and first 20 mins, and they start throwing after 20 mins.

Anonymous user #19

339 days ago
Score 0+-
Faker is overrated..

Anonymous user #20

339 days ago
Score 0+-
wat

Anonymous user #21

339 days ago
Score 1+-
Lol Darin is drunk

Anonymous user #22

339 days ago
Score 0+-
skt will win. may 3-0 or 3-1

Anonymous user #23

339 days ago
Score 0+-
Idk what Darin is even arguing. He basically said Sword will win because they are scrimming Shield which Pray said isn't even true. It's like there was no real research.

Anonymous user #24

339 days ago
Score 0+-
Darin mentioned that Bengi does not focus on presence but if you look at the recent Gama Bears game, he actually bought homeguard boots of mobility on vi. Imo, Bengi is very versatile in the jungle.

Anonymous user #25

339 days ago
Score 0+-
I think he did it since he was fed with 3 kills. At one point he brought out an oracle for map control.

CEbbesen

339 days ago
Score 1+-
SKT T1 hype train! gogo!

SugiStlye

339 days ago
Score 0+-
I think both teams have good chance at each other.

Anonymous user #26

339 days ago
Score 0+-
go home darin, your drunk

KitKatAlpha

339 days ago
Score 1+-
  • You're

NeoPhobos

339 days ago
Score 0+-
  • you're, not capitalized.

Anonymous user #8

339 days ago
Score 1+-
As a Korean following the Korean scene, I must say SKT T1 is at an incredible advantage. For one, they are at the highest peak as a team, and secondly their champ pools are all so great that there really can't be specific ban picks to shut SKT down. However, one problem I must admit in SKT's team is that Pray-Cain lane is not only extremely strong but could possibly be the best duo in the world. In a meta where you don't see extreme aggression in the 2v2 bot or even much 2v2 due to 2v1, Pray-Cain duo always wants to have those 2v2s and comes out on top almost always. As PoohManDu hasn't really been on point with his supporting until the last 2 matches against GamaBears (who seemed to be really weak) we really have to see how much pressure Pray-Cain can put on the team to let them have an edge. There might be a necessity for Bengi to constantly come bot while Watch has free reign to take objective control and help out other lanes to relieve pressure for them, which could change the tides of the games.

Anonymous user #27

339 days ago
Score 0+-
While I somewhat agree with darin I feel he hasn't properly researched the players. NJBS have a pretty good early game, and begin "throwing" the later the game goes, only winning when they capitalize on a mistake from the enemy. Also bengi isnt really a farm jungle, he ganks for pressure. Also I don't think pray can carry with twitch, nor will nami be a contested pick. It isn't ogn, fotm has changed and nerfs have been received. Really need to research/update your info.

Gandalf45435

339 days ago
Score 0+-

Not sure who to vote for...I like both teams but I think NaJin Black Sword takes my vote.

Best of luck to both teams.

Anonymous user #28

339 days ago
Score 0+-
Go Faker

Anonymous user #29

339 days ago
Score 0+-

i can't empathize with u william Najin is Best Lane fighter on the World When u see OGN Najin Bottom Lane always get Kill and Watch is Gank like beast Then he can Free all Lane

But SKT have God-Faker , Najin mid Lane Going destroy

NeoPhobos

339 days ago
Score 0+-

"Lastly, Sword has been scrimming against their sister team, NaJin White Shield. Where have they been doing this? Here in America. They were flown out specifically for the purpose of preparing Sword."

Is it just me, or is this statement completely counter-intuitive? So Sword has been practicing against Shield, a team that wasn't good enough to make the top 6 in Korea, much less make it to Worlds. Meanwhile, SKT has not only been practicing against, but actually playing AND defeating teams that DID make it to Worlds.

Sword has a top-notch practice squad? Please... SKT is the team that's been beating the tougher teams (i.e. OMG)

Sword takes game 2 to avoid the sweep, but that's it. SKT 3-1

Anonymous user #30

339 days ago
Score 0+-

This is what happens when comments are anonymous.

We get a bunch of fucking dumbasses.

Anonymous user #31

339 days ago
Score 0+-
Kind of wished he took stats within the last 4 months or something instead of currently in the tournament. I mean, you're comparing 10 games to 3 for stats. Plus, each of these teams know each other so well. He writes like NJBS is just going into a tournament without doing research on their opponents. Both of these teams will come ready to face each other. They will try to adapt their play style to triumph their opponent.

Anonymous user #31

339 days ago
Score 0+-
Watch has not been impressive as a jungler. I don't think him chucking snowballs at Faker is going to matter too much. Plus, it's hard to gank SKT1's mid lane.

Anonymous user #32

339 days ago
Score 0+-
its a bit unfair to judge a match between skt and najin if you include the group stage winning he should of just made a graph of the quarter finals for both teams not just one its literally dumb to count the previous matches if one team didnt play them, also cait as a priority pick da fuck, it will be either ez or corki but they are usually banned. cait will only be a priority if ez, corki and vayne are picked/banned

DastardlyChipmunk

339 days ago
Score -1+-
Despite the downvotes on past comments, I've got to say, Darin really is a bit retarded. Predicting a team that has come 5th in two seasons of Champions straight will beat a team that has come 1st and 3rd in those same seasons is somewhat nonsensical.

Anonymous user #33

339 days ago
Score 0+-
I think everyone here is suffering from a case of severe personal bias. In truth it is a very even matchup. It's true we have seen Skt1 dominate the group stages and quarterfinals, but we have seen very little of Sword so far. In fact, although sword was in the 2nd division of the Korean league for the better part of the year, their entire practice regime for the last couple of months has been for worlds as they knew they were already in it far in advance due to the circuit points they accumulated. In this sense they have an advantage over Skt1 as they have been practicing in the dark outside of the public eye (not just in US) for so long; and Skt1 only have games from quite a while ago to judge Sword's play, whereas, Sword has had the opportunity to study many of Skt1s recent games. Now we can't forget how mechanically gifted and gelled Skt1 is. Their ability to adapt to any style of play in a short amount of time gives them an edge over Sword in this area. Not sure how well Nagne will do against faker as we have seen very little of Nagne. He has been practicing for this matchup for the better part of 2 months, so it will be interesting to watch. however I still think faker will come out on top in the matchup. I feel it will be a very close game and either team will take it 3-2, not sure which one though. After the first 3 games we should be able to tell who will come out on top, but till then it's anyone's guess. I feel all 4 teams in the semifinals are equally matched and any one of them can take the trophy at the end.

Anonymous user #33

339 days ago
Score 0+-
Although I feel any team can take it, I'm supporting Royal as I enjoy their style of play the most. And as i main ADC gotta go with my home boy Uzi. Can't say if they will win it, but still supportin them :)

Anonymous user #33

339 days ago
Score 0+-
As the support for Royal Club said, "We can't say one style of play is better than another as all styles of play have their own strengths and weaknesses and all styles of play have won games." It will all come down to who makes the better decisions in game regardless of play style.

Anonymous user #34

338 days ago
Score 0+-
HA! I was right (Anonymous user #14). one of them will win 3-2 :P

Anonymous user #34

338 days ago
Score 0+-
Told you not to underestimate Najin Black Sword. Didn't I say they practiced for several months ;)
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