This article is part of our Beyond the Game series.
The Chinese crowd inside the cavernous Wuhan stadium surged as Ming "Clearlove7" Kai's Rek'sai stalked his prey, waiting for the right moment to strike. Tunneling into mid lane from the river and flashing onto Lee "Faker" Sang-hyeok's Orianna for the knock-up, Scout collapsed and dived with Lucian, the mobile skirmishing marksman, perfectly juggling tower aggro to take First Blood on the Unkillable Demon King.
This set the stage for the entire early game of the No. 1 seed from the Chinese LPL, EDward Gaming, going against the undisputed World Champions SK Telecom T1. Despite a loss of direction in the middle of the Summer Split, SKT fought their way back to become the LCK's No. 2 seed for the World Championship. Now, facing off against EDG, it seemed like their reign of terror was going to be over, with an 0-9 deficit against one of the LPL's best.
EDG threw all their eggs in the mid-game basket, picking a Rumble/Lucian/Rek'sai/Xayah/Janna composition. SKT, on the other hand, went for late-game scaling, with Cho'gath/Jarvan IV/Orianna/Twitch/Rakan. Despite finding success with a great out-of-vision initiation from Wolf's Rakan into an epic Catacysm/Shockwave/Rupture Wombo while at a 10,000 gold deficit, EDG remained strongly in control of the game, and eventually took inhibitors with minions crashing on the Nexus turrets at 34 minutes.
However, it was not to be. EDG's composition had a time limit on its effectiveness, beyond which it was never going to be able to compete, that being 35 minutes. When they failed to capitalize on their advantage and end the game with a 5-vs-4 at 34:45, they had already lost the game, they just didn't know it yet. From that point onward, the 14-4 with 6,000 gold differential lead slowly evaporated.
Deciding to reset rather than siege cost them the game. The scaling power of Cho'gath/Orianna/Twitch pulled the game back to even, and eventually the damage output and tankiness of SKT could no longer be resisted. SKT took objective after objective, slowly closing the gold lead until gold no longer mattered. As the Baron'd up super-minions marched into the EDG base, the excited screams of the Wuhan crowd slowly morphed to pained mourning, as nothing could stop the march of time.
SKT's patience and ability to play from behind paid off with a win, pushing them to 2-0, and leaving EDG 0-2.