1.) Najin Black Sword
2.) Samsung Galaxy Ozone
3.) SK Telecom T1
SK Telecom T1:
Bae "Bengi" Seong-ung - Jungle
Lee "Faker" Sang-hyeok - Mid
Chae "Piglet" Gwang-jin - AD
Lee "PoohManDu" Jeong-hyeon - Support
“The hidden blade is the deadliest”. Undoubtedly, the team harbouring the biggest potential is SK Telecom Judgement day. Funny as it may sound, they were picked as a sister team to Reapered’s squad who went on to become Eat, Sleep, Game. This was due to the fact that Bengi, Faker and Piglet, despite having a lot of potential, were seen as amateurs and had a lot to prove.
More than humble beginnings
Formed in late-February 2013, SK Telecom Judgement day made swift work of most Korean teams, sending out a warning to everyone who had the nerve to underestimate them. In just under two editions of Korea’s most competitive tournament, the team rose to prominence and enters the stage of the World Championship as one of the main favourites for the first place. This is the journey of SK Telecom 1 to Los Angeles.
Judgement day made a name for themselves ever since they entered the Champions Spring 2013. There they won three games, including their debut against the unstoppable CJ Entus Blaze, drew once against Najin Sword and lost versus MVP Ozone, the future winners the tournament. Topping the group was unexpected for a new team. This was the time when Faker entered the limelight. His LeBlanc performance against MVP Blue is still regarded as one of the best plays of the season. Finishing 10-0-1 by 18 minutes and forcing a surrender vote from the much more experienced opponent, Faker earned praise for his world class mechanics and prowess in the mid-lane.
In the first playoff stage, they faced the much more experienced line-up of Najin Shield. The latter had a pretty disappoint group stage affair where they drew four times and lost once, to barely make it out. Faker made quick work of Locodoco’s team by sweeping them 3-0 and creating the “New versus Old” semi-finals.
The two dark horses of the Champions, MVP Ozone and SK Telecom T1 2 had to face each other to determine who goes onto the Grand Finals and face the “old” clash between CJ Entus Blaze and CJ Entus Frost. Ozone let their opponents take one game off before finishing them for good. Regardless, SK Telecom had a pretty good debut season which ended on a high note as they dispatched CJ Entus Frost with a clean 3-0 in the 3rd/4th place match, completely shutting down CloutTemplar in the process.
Walking towards their destiny
The post-Spring period spelled changes for the SK Telecom League of Legends team structure. Reapered’s team was released, making Judgement day the one and only SK Telecom 1 representative. Receiving the full trust of the management, the now main team did not disappoint.
Reapered post SK Telecom.
Expectations were high at The Champions Summer – Faker was a superstar, the line-up had a great debut season and everyone’s opinion was that a title was simply a matter of time. Their conquest began with a clean 3-0 during the group stage against Najin Shield, MVP Blue and LG-IM 2.
Once the playoffs hit, SK Telecom 1 had to face their former brethren now Jin Air Greenwings Falcons, led by Reapered. What was expected to be an interesting grudge-match was actually a 3-0 stomp by Faker and co who did not even break a sweat.
Every season, The Champions always gives us incredible stories in the bracket stage and this edition was no different as we had the same semi-final as last season – MVP Ozone against SK Telecom 1. The featured match-ups were all over the place, but the highlight was definitely pointed at Zed maestros’ dade and Faker along with AD Carry aces imp versus Piglet. This time, SK Telecom overcame their opponents, sending them to the 3rd/4th place decider. What is interesting to note was that MVP were the first ones to take a map from Faker’s team thus far in the entire tournament.
The final step
Heads high, the eSports stadium in Seoul awaited both challengers – the two best teams in Korea, KT Rolster Bullets and SK Telecom 1 to determine the ultimate champion. The first two games were a shocking one-sided affair by KT Rolster as Faker was always one-step behind and never had the chance to shine. Ryu was impeccable when it came to finishing off his targets with Fizz, while Score earned the nickname Scoreki. However, it was not meant to be.
Refusing to give up, SK Telecom’s pillar was Impact, the top laner who in both losses stood seemingly unaffected and never lost hope. His play and a good discussion with coach Kk0ma proved enough to turn the tides of battle. The team rose up and played incredibly to equalise and force the series into a legendary blind pick match. Then the world witnessed how strong Faker actually is. Picking a double Zed match-up, it was clear that Faker and Ryu had the fate of their respective teams in their hands. Faker, however, was absolutely brilliant and took home the much anticipated Champions title.
Meet your new overlords
Due to the bizarre scenario, they were not qualified for Worlds yet. SK Telecom assumed the role of “the final boss” in the Korean gauntlet. Once KT Bullets defeated the other challengers, they faced their makers once again this time for a prize greater than the Champions title itself. SK, however, dropped only one map before closing the series 3-1. The Bullets were not match for the level of aggression that their opponents enforced.
What awaits SK Telecom T1 at L.A.?
Let us not delude ourselves; here we have the absolute main favourite to win the Season 3 World Championship. Given their recent performances, I believe that they can easily pass the group stage. Hopefully Lemondogs and OMG will give Faker and his gang a run for their money. The playoffs are still an enigma, but one thing remains – all eyes are on SK Telecom T1.
All opinions expressed are solely those of the author. The images used in the article are copyright of their respective owners.
Former lead editor and interviewer for SK Gaming
Follow me on twitter - @Adddler or LINK
iNNERFiRE - multi-game journalist and Editor-in-Chief: 2012
onGamers - League of Legends Feature Producer: 01.2014 - 02.2015
SK-Gaming - League of Legends Lead Editor: 11.2012 - 08.2015
My journey into eSports started in 2004 when I accidentally caught a small video on TV from the WarCraft 3 WCG 2004 final. I opened up the SK Gaming website from my father's laptop and never stopped reading to this day. In early 2010 I started writing at a Bulgarian news website simply because I disliked how the current editor was handling his job and with time, I got to be Editor-In-Chief. My main writing interests back then were StarCraft 2, QuakeLive and League of Legends.
Fast-forward to 2012, after a small hiatus and moving to England to attend university, I decided to start writing news posts again, inspired by a couple of industry figures who have taken their turns taking eSports writing to a new level. With the beginning of IPL5, I was given a trial with SK Gaming which was successful and I never looked back.
In early 2014, onGamers presented me with an incredible opportunity to join their ranks which I took. Although I believe my 2014 was rather poor (in terms of work ethic and results), I have made changes during the winter break to ensure that sufficient effort will be made to repair that. Unfortunately, due to the collapse of the team, the project was at a stand still which marked the end of my stint with the oG crew.
I continued producing 1 on 1 interviews with SK members until July 2015. After that, other commitments arose and I figured I could not provide the flow of content I promised my superiors and took a step back, leaving SK.
If you are an eSports fan who is looking to get into writing or simply want to chat about eSports across the years, you can always find me on my twitter - @Adddler . Below you can find some trivia about me.
BroodWar / StarCraft 2
BW pro: sAvi0r and Flash (for different reasons)
BW race: Terran
BW series: Hana Daetoo MSL
SC2 pro: Creator and Stephano (different reasons)
SC2 race: Terran
SC2 series: ThorZain vs Polt at DreamHack Open 2012 and any big final played by King MvP
StarCraft related article: God of the Battlefield
Pro: Alexey 'Cypher' Yanushevski
Map: Aerowalk, BloodRun (100% Eastern European choices)
Series: Cooller vs Cypher. Especially the brilliant defensive Cypher game on Aero (game 4).
Rivalry: Rapha vs Cypher
Quake related articled: The Quadra Interview and the one and only Cypher PoV
League of Legends
Pro(s): FORG1VEN, Faker, WeiXiao, NaMei and Mata.
Position: AD Carry
Series: All the World Elite games at IPL5, KT Bullets versus SK Telecom T1 K OGN Summer 2013 Final and LPL Summer Final between StarHorn Royal Club and EDG (The perfect Jinx game by Namei).
League related article: Most of TeamLiquid.net's takes on the 2012 and 2013 OGN tournaments.
Team: Fnatic (2008-2009)
Series: AGAiN vs Fnatic at WCG 2009. Literally broke a cup after the game. One of the most emotional series for me as a spectator.
Gfinity League of Legends - August 2013 (SK Gaming)
EU LCS Week 5 London - June 2014 (SK Gaming / onGamers)
GamesCom 2014 Cologne - August 2014 (SK Gaming / onGamers)
EU LCS 2015 Week 7 Spring Split - March 2015 (SK Gaming)
Intel Extreme Masters Season IX Katowice - March 2015 (SK-Gaming)
ESL Meisterschaft Winter Season 2018 Playoffs This Sunday
Throwback Thursday: SK.LoL Kicks Off the EU LCS
Summoner's Inn League Season 1 Playoffs Live Coverage
SK.LoL Finish Second in ESL Meisterschaft Regular Season
Summoner's Inn Season 1 - Regular Season Recap
THE NEW JERSEY