Will SKT Stay On Top?
Most top teams’ players wake up every day to practice with a trophy in sight. For some, a realistic outcome would be to win the regional playoffs, IEM Katowice or the MSI. For fewer, winning Worlds is more than a public relations statement. For SKT, never mind, there’s nothing new to prove and it starts to get unexciting. Since their flashy rise to ascendancy in s3, they certainly had ups and downs, but the natural laws of Faker and kkOma stabilized their roster in moments of need. Above all their feats lays a chilling reality–for those that want diversity–in which SKT will raise the cup for a third time.
Montecristo once said that when a league is strong, the best teams will inherently alternate split after split like in most American team sports. Then what’s the matter? Every analyst will affirm that Korea is the best region. In fact, it was supposed to be even better than last year, now that the exodus eased off. SKT has been the best team in the world since almost a year already. Regardless, the red hype train is still steaming forwards, one explosive team fight at a time.
There had been so many unexpected events in LCK’s last split. Iconic organizations such as Jin Air and KT remained fairly good despite losing key players. On the other hand, the new super-team Longzhu failed miserably.
To experts, watching the LCK is enough to clearly see the superiority of that region. But a lot of fans fall into the same trap every year. They underestimate Korea. The reason is simple: They are connected to LCS pros via streams and social medias, so they constantly nourish their biased point of views. Shockingly, most of them would rank their favorite team, whether it’s Fnatic, TL or TSM, right after SKT and ROX Tigers if they were playing in Korea. When they see how good their local players can be, they forget to think about their flaws. Western teams have countless major flaws! That’s why they always come short. Most of Korean teams aren’t filled with breathtaking prodigy players yet a lot of these teams like afreece Freecs could still massacre a lot of the ‘good’ western teams due to their superior cohesion.
That being said there should be no uncertainty towards the fact that LCK is stacked. However, is that enough to conceive the next team that will replace SKT? Well, the only team that should have had potentially surpassed them are the ROX Tigers. Despite having an amazing macro game and mechanics, they missed every single opportunity. Anyhow, both teams are maintaining a huge gap with the rest of the league over a year since they started their domination. Thus, it’s safe to say that SKT will remain on top for still quite a while.
One concerning point for SKT might be the return of the carry top meta, in which ROX Tigers looked better, at least during the regular season. That breach is way too small for a team to seriously bet on overtaking SKT and it won’t last for long. A lot of people didn’t foresee the narrative evolving this way. Not that long ago, SKT appeared far beneath ROX Tigers. And in a flick of the meta, a complete switch in leading teams occurred. This supremacy is worrying for the narrative of the game. it's unpleasant when the best teams in the world don’t alternate. It’s always better when there’s a new threat each year but amazingly SKT found a state of unparalleled consistency.