SK Gaming eliminate top-seeded Vitality, reach LEC’s top 4 for first time in 8 years

SK Gaming lock in the LEC Winter Split playoffs.

SK Gaming took down the first seed of the LEC regular season once again and advanced to the Playoff stage of the 2023 Winter Split. For the first time in eight years, they locked down a top four spot in the European region after defeating Team Vitality 2-0 in a do-or-die match.

SK already proved to be able to cut through Vitality during the regular season, when they inflicted their first loss of the season on them. Now they did it again, with a Winter Split playoff spot at stake. Although the first game of the series began with Vitality taking the lead, SK were able to bounce back off the back of acing Vitality after a Baron fight.

Vitality had the game in the palm of their hands, having reached the Soul point, taking down all SKs towers outside of their base, and widening their gold lead to over 5,000. But not even Vitalitys extended field of vision could help them foresee SK’s perfect positioning during crucial teamfights that ultimately turned the tide of the game. After securing another Baron buff for the team, SK marched towards Vitalitys base and took down their Nexus in one quick sweep.

Moving to the second and final game in the lead, SK drafted an aggressive lineup that focused on obtaining a significant lead in the early stage of the game as their winning conditionand they succeeded. Conquering the first blood, obtaining the first herald and drake of the game, as well as taking down multiple members of Vitality without losing a single member, SK dominated from the start.

Within the first twenty minutes of the game, SK generated an insurmountable amount of advantages that put Vitality with the back against the wall, leading the favorites of the match to commit several mistakes. Obtaining the Baron buff after acing the enemy team, SK moved to close the game and the match by closing in over Vitalitys base.

With this win, SK secured themselves a place in the playoffs stage of the 2023 LEC Winter Split, thus also reaching the top four of the competition for the first time since 2015. Their first opponents of the next stage are already being decided as MAD Lions are facing Astralis right after SKs win against Vitality. 

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