Sports
Esports: The Possible Fall of the SKT Dynasty
Luis Sinco/Los Angeles Times/MCT
By
Opinion Editor
Thursday, November 2, 2017

With the League of Legends World Championship finals on Saturday, the world of Esports is holding its breath to see if SK telekom T1 (SKT) will win its third consecutive and fourth in total World Championship against Samsung Galaxy (SSG).

No matter what though, this will be the fifth consecutive win for a Korean team on the worlds stage.

While many in the West are trying to say the gap between the top tier teams (Korean/Chinese teams) and the lower tier (EU, NA, Wildcard) is closing, it’s obvious the gap still exists. But with three western teams in the top 8, the claim of the closing of the gap is true.

Fnatic and Misfits really disproved that the myth that Europeans aren’t world quality, definitely with Misfits series against SKT. Misfits were definitely the underdog coming in, but they showed some amazing macro and micro skills on the rift. But as usual, Faker and Bang carried SKT to the win and kept SKT in their road to dominate all opponents. No matter what, the Korean teams will win it seems.

While Faker is often hyped across the world for his play, Bangs performance has been on par with his godly team Faker. This enabled them to win 3-2 over Royal Never Gives Up (RNG) in the Semifinals. In game one, while SKT lost, Bang played just phenomenally in the loss in trying to pull them team back. Game two both Faker and Bang did massive damage, with the follow up from Huni it showed the real dominating nature of SKT.

At the same time, Faker is truly the best player in the world. There is a reason Riot ranked Faker the number one player at the tournament and he has shown that. Both in their group games and against RNG and Misfits. Faker played four different champions in the series against Misfits, only dying six times in five games. Then against RNG, Faker played Galio every match and while in some games he fed a little bit, his play was worldly.

But the further up SKT gets and the more prestige they acquire with their god -like status, the bigger the loss it’s going to be when they lose. The dynasty of SKT must fall one day, maybe the 2017 Worlds will be that day. They won 3-0 in 2013, 3-1 in 2015, 3-2 in 2016 (against SSG) and on Saturday, the world of Esports will either see the dynasty continue or fall.

And even better, this is the first rematch in Worlds Championships history. Many professionals and analysts are curious to see if SSG will get their revenge on SKT and show that they are better than the so-called gods of League of Legends.

Even though SKT beat SSG in 3-0 in the first round of playoffs for the Korean circuit July, SSG could beat SKT this time around. With how Ruler and CoreJJ have been playing in the bot lane, it doesn’t seem unlikely SKT will lose bot lane even with Bangs performance against RNG. If the RNG’s bot lane wins and if they can shut down Huni they will win. I don’t think Faker can truly carry the whole team, unless of course they continually give him Galio like RNG did.

SSG won’t win mid lane, they won’t shut down Faker, and they won’t win off of trying to beat SKT at their own game. They need to play their own style and they need to win top and bot. While Crown is an amazing midlaner, he won’t beat Faker. Unless it’s a 2 v the whole time mid lane. If SSG focuses on the immense shadow of Faker, they won’t be able to even compete with SKT at least.

The “gap” isn’t closing, rather it’s not closing between the East and West. It may be closing between SSG and SKT though. No matter what though, this will be the fifth year in a row Korea dominates the world of Esports.