No matter how strong a lineup may look on paper, new teams will always need time to grow together. Even with an incredible lineup like SKT T1’s, their plethora of superstars will definitely need time to adjust to their teammates. A great example of this would be SKT’s matchup against DAMWON Gaming in the KeSPA Cup’s quarterfinals.
오늘 #KeSPACup 2라운드 8강 경기에서 1대2로 패하여 아쉽게 탈락하였습니다. 늦은 시간까지 현장과 댁에서 응원해주신 팬 여러분 감사합니다.
We lost tonight's match by a score of 1 to 2, and couldn't make it next. Thank you for cheering us till midnight. pic.twitter.com/PNDcro0WwX
— SK telecom T1 (@sktelecom_t1) December 27, 2018
Surprisingly yet unsurprisingly, SKT lost to DAMWON Gaming in the quarterfinals by a 2-1 scoreline. Their performance was a stark difference to how the superstar team fared last time they were on the Rift. Beforehand, the Korean powerhouse took down both APK Prince and bbq Olivers, in pretty convincing fashion. However, some of the wrinkles in SKT’s gameplan were exposed in their match against DAMWON.
There are a few players’ performances to look at from this past day. For example, legendary Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok finally played a champion that wasn’t Lissandra today, to the relief of League fans. However, in both instances, the team ended up losing. He did not play as well as many expected, but we hope to see more unlocked Faker in the upcoming LCK season. Another player to look out for is the team’s new ADC, Park “Teddy” Jin-seong.
Teddy was probably the best player on the team today, playing great even in a loss. Many people are rightly saying that Teddy was almost 1v9 throughout the two losing games. Hopefully, he will not have to put too much stress on his shoulders, especially with the amount of talent on the roster. He ended up with the best Kill-Death Ratio of the team, and was a silver lining for what was a pretty uninspiring day from SKT.
One of the biggest negatives to pull from this game was the play of star support, Cho “Mata” Se-hyeong. He was critiziced for his lackluster play and horrible engages that ended up costing SKT games. There is no doubting the shotcalling and leadership abilities of the LCK veteran. However, there were moments where his aggressiveness became reasons for their downfall. I do not see Mata regressing as a player, but there are still some holes to fill in terms of picks, bans, and strategy.
Although disappointing, this is probably a simple bump in the road to greatness for SKT. This team had only weeks to practice together and with such a starstudded lineup, it is understandable that they have some difficulty gelling. In their past two games, Faker was stuck on Lissandra duty, which is good for SKT. Hiding Faker’s flexibility as a player in this meta will only make SKT that much more scary to face off against. Teddy is already showing flashes of the brilliance we saw back when he was with the Jin Air Green Wings.
Kim “Clid” Tae-min and Kim “Khan” Dong-ha were also playing quite well heading into today’s games. We’ve seen how aggressive and fast-paced SKT can play when the gas is running. With head coach Kim “kkOma” Jeong-gyun at the helm, it’s only a matter of time before SKT locks down their gameplan. Also, we aren’t even addressing the entire substitue lineup that SKT has at their disposal. With the amount of players they can switch in and out, every team in the LCK must be prepared for whatever Kkoma plans to throw at them.
There is an off chance that SKT does fall through. It isn’t impossible that another Korean superteam fails, behind the likes of Kingzone DragonX and KT Rolster. However, I do think that with a revamped coaching staff and a tough coach in Kkoma, SKT will not fall behind at all. This isn’t an organization that you want to let down.
What are your thoughts on SKT losing to DAMWON at the KeSPA Cup? Let us know what you think in the comments below! If you want more League of Legends coverage, check us out here!
Born and raised in Toronto. Sometimes a writer. Sometimes a creative director. Sometimes bored. Catch me with hundreds of unplayed games in my Steam library.