“Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them.”
At the start of the 2015 World Championship, casters and fans said this tournament was different because there was no clear cut favorite like last year when Samsung White eviscerated the competition. SK Telecom T1 has been challenging that opinion with their stellar performance thus far.
There is an inherent fallacy in this argument though. It’s the same one that keeps us from comparing great athletes like Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant or Tom Brady and Joe Montana. They can never go head to head because they were at their peaks in different eras. Although only a year apart, League of Legends has undergone massive changes much like the aggressive NBA in the 1990’s versus the heavy foul-calling NBA today. However that never stops us from trying.
(Looper, PawN, Mata, Imp, DanDy)
On June 11th, 2014 MVP Ozone was renamed to Samsung White. Some will say the greatest esports team ever assembled. Having at least 3 players being the best in their role globally gave them the skill cap to defeat anyone. It wasn’t the players pure mechanical skill that lead them to victories but their team cohesion that had never been seen before in League of Legends. Lead by the vision control of Dandy and Mata, Samsung White dismantled every team put in front of them by never losing more than one game in any series at the world finals.
To get to the world finals, they swept the reigning champions SK Telecom T1 at the Korean Regional Finals 3-0. They never skipped a beat on the world stage and advanced through their group 6-0. Winning 3-1 against Team SoloMid in the quarter finals and destroying their sister team Samsung Blue in the semi-finals. Finally they took on the worlds best ADC in Uzi. They breezed through this final winning 3-1 and claiming World Champions of 2014.
SK Telecom T1
(Bang, MaRin, T0M, Faker, Bengi, Easyhoon, Wolf)
With the new rule banning sister teams, SKT T1 said goodbye to Impact, Piglet, and PoohManDu from their season 3 championship team. Their new roster added Bang, Wolf, MaRin, T0M, and Easyhoon. This is one of the first rosters to successfully use a substitute player to their advantage leaving their opponents guessing on who they will use.
With their revamped roster, SKT T1 dropped only one series all year to CJ Entus and earned the first seed from Korea for the 2015 World Championship. Making swift work of groups and the quarterfinals versus ahq e-Sports Club, SKT T1 is currently 9-0 about to square off against Origen. At the Mid-Season Invitational, SKT T1 scraped a victory away from the European fan favorite Fnatic 3-2 making this an exciting rematch on the world stage.
By the numbers
Below is the KDA of both teams until the semifinals.
Samsung White 2014
SK Telecom T1 2015
Before heading into semi-finals, SSW was 9-1 with their loss at the hands of the Bjergsen lead Team Solomid in the quarterfinals. Currently SKT T1 has yet to drop a game at 9-0 and isn’t looking to slow down against Origen.
At this point in the tournament, SSW was outperforming SKT T1 in all positions except the bottom lane where Bang is the shining star with an amazing 27.3 KDA.
KDA isn’t always the tell tale factor for success so lets take a look at the objective approach.
Samsung White 2014
SK Telecom T1 2015
SSW was clearly the better scrapping team obtaining almost 50 more kills than SKT at this point. However you see more towers and dragons being taken by SKT which leads you to believe they play a more measured and methodical game. Also keep in mind that at this point in the tournament, Samsung White played one more game than SK Telecom in the quarterfinals which yielded an extra 26 kills, 10 towers, 4 dragons, and 2 barons while giving up 8 towers and 1 dragon.
SSW had an average of 29 minutes and 44 seconds per game versus SKT’s 31 minutes and 7 seconds. It took Samsung White 4 hours, 23 minutes, and 37 seconds of game time to defeat their 10 opponents (games 9/10 were averaged to adjust for the extra game). SK Telecom took 4 hours, 40 minutes, and 4 seconds to finish their opponents.
Statistics will only take you so far. It’s very clear that both of these teams have something special but we can only make comparisons of these titans. All of these statistics are only up until the quarterfinals which means for SKT to even be considered on the same level as Samsung White, they must win the 2015 World Championship in convincing fashion.
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