The 2017 Mid-Season Invitational concluded last week and SK Telecom T1 continues to dominate the League of Legends eSports scene. We are reaching a point where fans respect SKT but want to see them lose simply to create more interest and intrigue in the scene. Whether someone has the ability to take down SKT or not, we will continue watching to see if that will indeed happen. With that being said here are the takeaways and winners of this year’s MSI event.
Wolf has cemented himself as the best support in the World
On an SKT team full of stars and aggressive players, Lee “Wolf” Jae-wan is often ignored or not mentioned. Despite being on SKT for ages and winning two world championships with them, he is often not in the conversation for best support in the world. While players like Cho “Mata” Se-hyeong or Kang “GorillA” Beom-hyeon receive constant praise throughout the world for their strengths, Wolf doesn’t get the same recognition. But the fact of the matter is that neither of those two players share Wolf’s best quality, which is consistency. Despite how great of a player Mata is, he has dips in his performance which are quite easy to see. Whenever Mata is trying to take up too much responsibility or he’s struggling to impact the game, he tends to die a lot in lane and outside of it. It could be said that GorillA shares the same issue of underperforming when he hits a rut.
Wolf isn’t the victim of this issue. He is consistently good and continues to play at a very high level at all times despite not being flashy or being known for any specific quality. Ever since he was accused of being the weakest member of SKT and one of the reasons why they lost the 2015 MSI Finals to Edward Gaming, Wolf has stepped up and has not looked back. He remains one of the most consistent players on SKT along with Bae “Bang” Jun-sik and Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok. His performance was awarded at this MSI when he won the MVP of the tournament award. Very well deserved and we can only admire Wolf’s consistency and ability to perform at such a high level in all of SKT’s games.
SKT continues to dominate
The obvious takeaway from this year’s MSI is SKT’s domination of the League scene. Winning at international events has become the standard for SKT and any losses they receive are shocking at this point. Although the players may change, the core of Kim “kkOma” Jung-gyun and Faker remains and SKT continues to be the best team in the world. The addition of Bang and Wolf in the 2015 Season was the start of SKT’s resurgence as the best team in the world. Now the question is, who can stop them? Edward Gaming was able to briefly topple SKT at the 2015 Mid-Season Invitational but ever since then, no team has been able to take down SKT off their throne. Even in the summer of 2016 when the ROX Tigers were able to dethrone them as LCK champions, SKT bounced back big time and won their third Worlds title. This kind of dominance is unprecedented in the League scene and if any team manages to take down SKT, it will be quite the amazing story.
The redemption of G2 Esports is complete
After constantly failing at international events, G2 have finally redeemed themselves. Not only did they take down Team WE 3-1 in the semifinals after being expected to lose, but they also took a game off of SKT and made the finals way more competitive than people expected them to be. Kim “Trick” Gang-Yun and Ki “Expect” Dae-Han really showed up in the knockout stage of MSI, making up for their poor performances in the group stage. With the meme of G2 being a weak international team dying, the team has a lot to look forward to. Winning the EU LCS Summer Split is obviously the first step. However their ultimate goal will be to perform at a high level at the 2017 World Championship in China. The future is bright for G2 and the EU LCS.
PerkZ has established himself as a star mid laner
No other player except maybe Wolf was able to showcase his worth as much as Luka “PerkZ” Perković. After being laughed at for his outspoken attitude and inability to show up internationally, PerkZ has finally proved his critics wrong by having the tournament of his life. Not only did he perform well in the group stage and semifinals, he was also able to go toe to toe with Faker, even solo killing him in lane. His stats throughout the event were insane and were at the top for his position. Not to mention his team fighting and laning were consistently good even against the best mid laners in the world. PerkZ has definitely showcased how good of a player he is and the best part for him is that he is only 18 and still has so much room for improvement.
The gap between Korea and the other regions is still there
The most obvious takeaway from MSI is that Korea is still by far the strongest region in the World. Although SKT sustained some losses at MSI, it is clear that they were far above the other teams and even when they made uncharacteristic mistakes in the finals, they still won 3-1 against G2. The rest of the World still has a lot of catching up to do and it’s unclear how long it’ll take until Korea as a region is challenged. However G2 have given us some hope that with enough hard work and dedication, the rest of the world can slowly catch up and make the League scene even more interesting than it already is.
With MSI concluding the Summer Split of every league is upon us. A new international event called Rift Rivals was announced, which should be exciting and fun. It is a great time to be a League of Legends fan and the future looks bright for the scene!