Top League of Legends Team Is Having A Rough Start To The Season

Illustration for article titled Top iLeague of Legends/i Team Is Having A Rough Start To The Seasonem/em

Last night’s League Champions Korea matches were punctuated by another loss for SKT T1. A team known for multiple world championship titles tacked another game into the loss column, and this one was particularly humbling.

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SKT’s opponent, the Afreeca Freecs, have historically upset SKT across several seasons. For some reason, the Freecs have SKT’s number. But a 1-4 SKT needed a win to close out week 3, and the Freecs would not accomodate them.

Across two games, the Freecs shut down SKT in almost all aspects. Game 1 had at least something of a back-and-forth, but game 2 was a complete shutdown. Only three kills total for SKT, with Freecs’ marksman Ha “Kramer” Jong-hun putting up six kills and zero deaths. SKT looked scattered and lacking confidence.

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The real twist of the knife was the game 2 post-game stats screen, showing Kang “Blank” Sun-gu’s Jax as having done only 612 damage to other players throughout the entire 38-minute match. For non-League of Legends players, that is painfully low. The match left SKT T1 at the bottom of the standings at 1-5.

Now, this isn’t the first time SKT has had to climb back out of a hole. In 2016, they were at 5-4 before bringing on Blank, where a massive run across six weeks pushed them into the playoffs. This roster has often times put up odd results in group stages or early matches of the season, only to bounce back to the top of the standings.

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But this time, it may be some cause for concern. SKT lost a lot of talent in the post-Worlds shuffle, including Peanut, Huni, and Bengi. The lanes aren’t clicking like they used to. Despite star player Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok’s best attempts to carry the team (he had 100 percent kill participation in both games against the Freecs), this SKT squad needs more than one hero. And it has not yet found one.

Next week SKT faces the bbq Olivers and a strong KSV roster, so they will need to figure out where the wheels are falling off the wagon fast. If you’d like to watch the SKT-Freecs match in full, you can find the VOD in the LCK’s Twitch archives.

Freelance writer, Dota enthusiast, Texan.

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DISCUSSION

braziliambedlam
BrazilianBedlam

SKT really messed up by not completely overhauling the roster in the offseason. Bang’s time is up as an elite ADC, he’s not been the same since Rift Rivals and that absurd controversy surrounding him, Wolf transitioning to jungle makes no sense, Untara is still useless in the top lane, Blank is showing he can’t handle starting jungle duties...

They needed to dump everyone but Faker and start rebuilding with a combo of rookies and vets.

Thal and Blossom might have promise but they don’t currently have a veteran supporting cast in place to keep the team near the top in the meantime.

The biggest mistake they made last year was letting Profit go too early. Huni’s inconsistency and Untara’s general uselessness really kneecapped them when the Bang/Wolf combo started going into the toilet. If they had had a strong top lane to counterbalance their weakened bottom lane they still might have brought home the world championship again.