Monkeys' Musings: "2017, Year of the West"
Before I begin, as with all the musings, these articles are generally opinionated. My views are my own and GAMURS does not share them.
In 2017, the LCK is expected to dominate again with the KT Rolster and SK Telecom T1 super teams being formed on the back of multiple roster changes. I still find myself being pulled towards the NA and EU LCS regions, both of which make a strong contention for the second best region in international play.
Korean dominance has been a thing as of late, especially SK Telecom T1 who have won half of the overall World Championships out there since Worlds began. I still have hopes that a Western team can and will pick up a title themselves this coming split or at least give the LCK a run for their money.
The EU LCS, in particular, is about to become a more competitive environment with the long overdue implementation of the best-of-three formats as well as more game time over the course of three to four days. The amount of game time plus more days to play will only benefit both the NA and EU in the international scene, but only if they get more tournaments to play in like the LCK and LPL's KeSpa and Demacia Cup respectfully.
Why NA and EU can challenge LCK
NA and EU the past few years have been unable to take domestic success and put it into international success. Case in point, Fnatic in 2015 and Team SoloMid in 2016, two teams who everyone felt would make the final failed at the first hurdles or didn't live up to expectations.
There are no real excuses, but I feel sometimes Western teams get too cocky off their domestic success and go into games too overconfident - players, managers and owners alike.
Just landed in Korea and saw the group draw. We're gonna take 1st in our group. #TSMWIN— Andy Dinh (@TSMReginald) September 11, 2016
Not to say it's a bad thing and I use Reginald as a small example to represent the bigger picture. However, it is in our nature to be confident after success, not to say we don't train and try our best beforehand. But it can lead to an easier tilt when things don't go as planned.
I also feel there is no regional identity in our play - we always try to copy the Korean style. We boot camp in Korea to try and improve our game instead of coming into the Worlds tournament with something unexpected. There is only a certain pool of champions you can use at World Championships to be able to win games, but having a wildcard, something which defines our region is always a nice thing to have as a back-up.
How many of us expected a Miss Fortune support at Worlds 2016? No one, not even SKT, but it happened. it threw off their opponent and it WON games, why can we not do something similar instead of being fearful that it does not work for us the first time?
Why EU and NA can Win Worlds in 2017
This is more towards EU than NA as I still feel NA has a bit more to go before they can challenge for the crown. EU has been consistently the second best region to go the distance at Worlds the past two years and I feel that experience is only going to develop more and more as the region becomes more competitive.
When I look at teams like G2 Esports, H2K and most of the region I can only see the hunger in the eyes of the pro players wanting to do more. With most of the region being players from EU with a scattering of Korean imports in places, but not as many as there are in NA.
It is my utter belief, that it is only a matter of time until we see another Western team other than FNC in Season 1 lift the World Championship belt.
Until then, all we can do is just wait and see how things play out.
There is no more time for vacations once the season begins again this January.
Thanks for reading. My name is Adam Newell and this article is one of many in a series called "Monkey's Musings." Let me know what you think if it's something you would like to see more of, and which esports scene or game you would like me to look at next week.
Adam Newell is a writer for @ and can be contacted in ways displayed below: