Can SK Telecom T1 Make It Three In A Row At LoL Worlds?

SK Telecom T1
Last year, after a trip around the United States to participate in the initial stages of the competition, the South Korean super-team SK Telecom T1 became the first to win three League of Legends World Championships.

That victory was their third such win in four years, one of the most dominant streaks in esports history. This is leading some experts to already install them as the odds-on favorites for this fall’s World Championships in Beijing. It is worth pointing out no team will even qualify for this event until the end of the Summer Splits.

Before we look at SK Telecom T1’s chances of success in Beijing, let’s learn a little more about the team an its incredible story of success.

SK Telecom T1 profile

Date founded – Dec. 13, 2012

Although the League of Legends team was founded in 2012, the original SK Telecom T1 was a StarCraft Brood War team founded in 2002. SK Telecom T1 run teams in StarCraft as well as League of Legends, though it is the latter that enjoys the most recognition worldwide.

Current roster

  • Top Laner – Huni (Heo Seung-hoon)
  • Jungler – Peanut (Han Wang-ho)
  • Mid Laner – Faker (Lee Sang-hyeok)
  • AD Carry – Bang (Bae Jun-sik)
  • Support – Wolf (Lee Jae-wan)
  • Sub Top Laner – Untara (Park Ui-jin)
  • Sub Jungler – Blank (Kang Sun-gu)
  • Sub Mid Laner – Sky (Kim Ha-neul)

Coaching staff

  • CEO – Kim Sun-joong
  • Head Coach – Choi Byeong-hoon
  • Coach – Kim Jeong-gyun
  • Coach – Jung Min-sung

SK Telecom T1’s biggest achievements since 2015

2015

  • 2015 LoL KeSPA Cup – 3rd/4th
  • 2015 Lol World Championships – 1st
  • 2015 LCK Summer Playoffs – 1st
  • 2015 Mid Season Invitational – 2nd
  • 2015 LCK Spring Playoffs – 1st

2016

  • 2016 LoL KeSPA Cup – 3rd/4th
  • 2016 Lol World Championships – 1st
  • LCK Summer Playoffs – 3rd
  • 2016 Mid Season Invitational – 1st
  • 2016 LCK Spring Playoffs – 1st
  • 2016 IEM X World Championship – 1st

2017

  • 2017 Mid Season Invitational – 1st
  • 2017 LCK Spring Playoffs – 1st

Additionally, back in 2013, they were the Season 3 World Champions.

Current performance

SK Telecom T1 are taking part in the 2017 LCK Summer Split right now, where they are 9-4 and in fourth place behind Longzhu Gaming in third, KT Rolster in second, and Samsung Galaxy in first.

Why are SK Telecom T1 the favorites to win Worlds again?

A huge part of their historic success has been their relatively consistent roster, but that does not mean there haven’t been changes. Indeed, from last year’s title-winning team, Duke, bengi and, PoohManDu have been replaced by Peanut, Huni, and Sky respectively.

The team also has strong backing from a wealthy and supportive sponsor, as well as topflight coaches for developing talent and a cogent team strategy.

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Perhaps most of all, SK Telecom T1 have the benefit of being feared by almost all their opponents. While their performances in this Summer Split are not on a par with those in the prior years, they could well be saving their best for the bigger stages.

Can anybody realistically challenge SK Telecom T1 this year?

Believe the bookmakers and it would seem this year’s Worlds is a shoe-in for the all-conquering South Korean side. However, recent results are suggesting their aura of invincibility may be be diminishing.

At the recent Rift Rivals tournament, SK Telecom T1 were shockingly defeated by China’s World Elite Team.

SK also hit the skids in the LCK Summer Splits, after entering Week Six with a 9-2 record but then losing their next two games. Losing 2-0 to Samsung Galaxy in a top-of-the-table clash is one thing, but a 2-0 loss to Jin Air Green Wings has them in an unexpected fourth place.

The number of teams that can realistically challenge SK Telecom T1 is growing. In Korea, Samsung Galaxy, Longzhu Gaming, and KT Rolster are ahead in the table, and even afreeca Freecs and Jin Air Green Wings have closed the gap. Add to that the emerging challenge from the Chinese LPL once again, not to mention quickly improving teams from North America, Europe, Southeast Asia, and many other parts of the world, and the World Championship suddenly looks a lot trickier for SK Telecom to win again.

Just don’t bet against SK Telecom T1 rising to the challenge at the right time.

Ian John

About

A lifelong poker fan, Ian is also well-versed in the world of sports betting, casino gaming, and has written extensively on the online gambling industry. Based in the UK, Ian brings fresh insight into all facets of gaming.

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