eSports

Worlds 2017: SK telecom T1 Sets Eyes On Fourth Title

SK telecom T1 strikes fear into the heart of opposing teams, as they’ve won every World Championship they’ve ever participated in. Though a loss to Longzhu Gaming in the LCK Finals dropped them to Korea’s #2 seed, SKT is still the most experienced and most talented team than any other lineup at Worlds 2017. The data supports this statement. Three-time World Champions, two-time Mid-Season Invitational Champions, three time LCK Champions, and undoubtedly the strongest team in League of Legends history returns to the World Stage to defend their title and win the Summoner’s Cup for the third time in a row.

This is their current roster:

Seonghoon “Huni” Heo – Top Laner
Wangho “Peanut” Han – Jungler
Sanghyeok “Faker” Lee – Mid Laner
Junsik “Bang” Bae – ADC
Jaewan “Wolf” Lee – Support
Sungu “Blank” Kang – Jungler
Coach: Jeonggyun “kkOma” Kim

GROUP STAGE

SK telecom T1 came out on top as expected, but looked really awkward climbing their way to first place of Group A, losing one game to the inferior AHQ, and came out weak during early game phases. Their wins almost all came off of critical mistakes from their opponents and some considered these victories to be nothing but mere flukes. This should serve as a wake up call for the team that they need to bring their A-game if they want to defend their World Championship title and win the Summoner’s Cup for the third time in a row.

QUARTERFINALS

The matches between SKT and Misfits in the quarterfinals went down in Worlds 2017 history as one of the most epic series in the entire tournament. Both teams dominated and bombed a few games. Nobody expected the European underdogs, Misfits, to last an incredible five games against the defending world champions. Despite their loss, Misfits were able to put up one of the best performances in the history of Worlds against SKT, proving themselves worthy of being a top-tier team. At one point in the series, Faker admitted that he felt his team was going to lose to MSF due to issues in the mid and bottom lanes. He attributed their difficulties to lack of drive and passion to win, two things that were the cornerstone of their advancements in previous years.

What’s next for SK Telecom T1? They will go up against Royal Never Give Up in the semifinals. The popular narrative is that SKT is slowly losing their momentum and is currently under-performing, given their World Champion status. Perhaps, SKT is becoming complacent as Faker even stated that “they’re not as desperate as they once were”. In order to win against RNG, they have to play like they did in previous World Championships, with their former hunger and drive. Fans around the world still believe SKT is the strongest team in the tournament, but that could all change during the semifinals.

photos courtesy of lolesports