The kings are back, and they have built an army that can stand toe to toe with any team; nobody is taking their trophy away this year! The most successful organization in League of Legends history has a completely new roster this season, after a very disappointing end to the season beforehand. The SKT organization is an organization built on success and complete domination: both domestically and internationally. With the free agency period alive and well this offseason, SKT has made some moves that are looking very promising. With this article, we are going to look back at the history of SKT’s success, and the roster moves they have made to reassert themselves
The History of SKT
In season 3, SKT won their first world championship, and people began to know the name, Faker. The roster consisted of Impact, Bengi, Faker, Piglet, and PoohManDu. Although all of them were considered incredible players, only Faker remains on the SKT roster, and only Faker has been able to remain as one of the best players in the world. Not only did season 3 usher in the era of SKT dominance, but it also ushered in the era of Korean dominance in League of Legends. Ever since season 3, aside from this year when Invictus Gaming won, Korea has won every single worlds. In season 4, SKT saw some success with their victory at All-Star Paris, but their playoff loss 3-0 to Samsung and their inability to even qualify for worlds made people believe that SKT was a one and done team, just like all before them.
However, SKT set out to prove them all wrong. The team was reformed, and the roster that came together would be Marin, Impact, Bengi, Easyhoon, Faker, Bang, Wolf, and Piccaboo. SKT swept the KOO Tigers 3-0 in the playoffs and qualified for the Mid Season Invitational, where they were upset by EDG 3-2 in the final. In the summer split, they went nearly undefeated in the regular season and swept KT 3-0 in the finals to advance to Worlds. During Worlds, SKT went completely undefeated to the finals, where they only lost a single game and won their second world championship 3-1 vs. the KOO Tigers. After this season, people knew that SKT was for real. Faker was seen as the best player in the world, and everything was going SKT’s way. In season 6, Marin was replaced by Duke, and things were not looking good until they went to IEM Katowice as the 6th place LCK team. They took jungler Blank instead of veteran Bengi, and things improved massively for the team. They went on to win LCK 3-1 vs the KOO Tigers, and went on to sweep CLG 3-0 at MSI. However, after what seemed like forever, SKT did not finish first in the finals and finished 3rd after being reversed swept by KT. Despite the loss in the playoffs, SKT still made it to Worlds as the second-seeded team from Korea. At Worlds, they managed to make it to the playoffs as first seed, where they would play one of the best series of all time vs the KOO Tigers, which saw them win 3-2 in the semifinals. And finally, after another 3-2 hard fought series against Samsung Galaxy, SKT had won their 3rd World Championship.
What could go wrong right? In season 7, Duke and Bengi were replaced by Huni and Peanut respectively. They would win the Spring split 3-0, and win MSI 3-1 in the finals of each. However, the first signs of the fall started in Summer 2017. SKT finished 4th in the regular season and lost to Longzhu 3-1 in the finals. At the world championship, SKT looked weak after their group stage victories. They were taken to 5 games by Misfits, a team that wasn’t even expected to make it out of groups, and were also taken to 5 games by RNG. However, it all fell apart in the finals, where they were swept 3-0 by Samsung Galaxy. Moving forward, Huni and Peanut left and were replaced by 2 rookies, Thal and Blossom, and support Effort moved to start over Wolf. The regular season started out terribly, and once they replaced Blank with Blossom things only improved minorly. Despite barely making playoffs and beating KSV 2-1, they were crushed by KT 3-1 in the quarterfinals. Additionally, in the summer season, SKT finished 8-10 and failed to make playoffs for the first time in the history of their organization. SKT did not make it to Worlds, and it looked like the SKT empire was finished. But SKT doesn’t intend to quietly go into the darkness, they are coming back this season stronger than ever.
The New SKT
Khan was the top laner for KingZone before their roster broke up and now finds his home at SKT. Although he slumped a bit during summer, he was arguably the best player in the world during the spring split. Khan absolutely has the potential to regain his status as the best top laner in the world, and with the team he has by his side, he is most likely going to get there. In a team full of carries, Khan is probably going to be put onto tank duty. Khan on carries is a sight to behold, but he can hold his own on tanks.
Clid has played for JDG since May 2017. Despite not too many people knowing about Clid or JDG, the team actually saw success in the LPL. Although they were not very successful in 2017, they actually were a solid team in the 2018 season. Clid will probably be the backup to Haru, but I’m excited to see how Clid can perform against the best of Korea.
Haru played for Samsung last season and was very successful. After Ambition started to slump, Samsung began to play Haru, especially in the summer split. Haru specializes in aggressive style junglers like Camille, and his aggressive style should work very well on SKT, with Faker generating leads in the mid lane and Khan in the top lane.
I don’t think anything needs to be said about Faker. Best player of all time, 3-time world champion, and the leader of SKT until the end. Faker has proven that his champion pool is more like a champion ocean, and his mechanical skill is obviously out of this world. With Faker at the helm, SKT will always have a chance to win.
Teddy was the ADC for Jin Air, a struggling team and yet Teddy shone bright like a star. If the game got late enough, it was almost assured that Teddy would solo win the game for Jin Air. A late game team fighting god, Teddy is going to be SKT’s late-game insurance policy.
To top it off, you have possibly the second best player in the world, Mata. Mata has been with Deft for a long time, and is finally switching to a new ADC in Teddy. Like Faker, there isn’t a lot about Mata that hasn’t already been said. His vision control and playmaking ability makes him a useful support on any team, and watching him play with Faker is going to be a treat.
Yes, this is the SKT roster for the 2018 season. Yes, anyone facing this team should be very, very afraid. Every single one of these players is extremely good and will do whatever it takes to win another world championship.