KT B – The best team in Korea?
- 3rd OGN Champions Winter (W 3:0 Blaze)
- 1st MLG Dallas International Exhibit (W 2:1 GG)
The KT Rolster team B was formed after the team A was formed. With the recommendations of Vitamin, the former core of StarTale players Ryu, Score and Mafa formed the basis of a team that would quickly become one of the most feared teams in the scene. Since their successful debut at Champions Winter, the line-up has since then undergone some changes. KakaO was moved to Team A in order to make room for inSec and Ragan was released to make room for ssumday. With these additions, the consensus opinion around the scene was that KT B became extremely stronger as a result and they may be thed best team in the scene right now in-terms of skill and form. This season of Champions will show us if KTB is indeed befitting of the title “Best team in Korea” and they will look to live up to the expectations by being the last ones standing come Summer time.
Generally speaking, KT B was a team that’s loved to play a mid to long game against all opponents during the last season of Champions. This was due to the fact that only the top lane would play extremely aggressive so that there would be either a kill for or a kill given to the opposition. The bot lane of Score and Mafa would serve as the epitome of passivism often being content with just farming and only grabbing kills when there would be a perfect opportunity. Thus generally, the early emphasis for the jungler is given to the top lane and if the top lane is able to get first blood, then the top lane is basically left alone for KT B while the jungler goes to gain other advantages. With the addition of inSec and ssumday, this style has still remained but the level of aggression seen from the team generally has increased in order to accommodate for inSec’s level of aggression. This season, it will be interesting to observe the team colours of KTB, whether they would become an aggressive team or remain the same as before remains to be seen.
Strong tank line
The strength of KT B is usually generated by their tank line of ssumday and inSec. Unlike other teams however, inSec is usually the one playing the role of the off-tank damage dealer and ssumday is usually assigned the role of pure tanker. Regardless of their given roles, these two players excel at what they do and they serve as the engines of KT B going forward in the game. Both of the players are highly skilled and highly aggressive which suits them perfectly for the role of tank. In a team fight situation or even during laning, you can often see ssumday or inSec going in aggressively to initiate or trade. Often cases, this works for the better of the team as the high level of aggression causes the opposing team to try and peel the tanks off their carries. Situations like these is also a testament to the ability of inSec and ssumday to farm or get enough kills during the laning phase that they can become significant threats once the mid game arrives. Having a solid tank line also helps out a carry like Score who is usually not in the position to do the most amount of damage but given the room to free farm by the tanks, Score can do a decent amount of damage for the team to come out ahead. Going into the new season of Champions look for the dynamic inSec and ssumday top/jungle duo to carry KT B’s matches and look for this dynamic duo to also make the highlight reel on a weekly basis.
Strong mid game
If Sword was the team who excelled at the early game and Frost was the team who excelled at the late game, KT B is a team that excels at during the mid game. What KT B do exceptionally well after the outer towers go down is roam in order to find kills on the maps which can lead to objectives. The center of attention during this period is none other than the mid player Ryu. When Ryu plays a high mobility champion like Evelyn, Khazix or Diana he will aggressively look for kills once laning phase has ended. This aggressive roaming added to the incredible skill combination usually displayed from players like Mafa, allows this team to have strong skirmishes and engages. If it does get to the point that a strong mid game can translate into a decent lead it is not often that KT B squanders the lead rest of the way usually playing a slow methodical game until they can finish the game. This is why it’s crucial for the KT B team not to have a disastrous early game so that they can take advantage of their great mid game once the power spike hits with levels and items. The addition of ssumday and inSec will only strengthen KT B’s dominance in the mid game and should teams not be able to find an answer to deal with this dominance, they will have a tough game ahead of them.
Well rounded players
When you think of KT B, the first thing that comes to mind is how well rounded their team is. I’ve already mentioned the strength of their top and jungler but the rest of the team is not too shabby as well. If you listed the top 3 players in each position, it’ll be hard to argue with inserting each member of KT B in the top 3. This means that KT B is probably the only team in the KR scene not to have a player who really falls behind his colleagues in terms of relative skill level. This of course doesn’t mean that each player is equally skilled but it does mean that the players can rely on each other and play as a true team. This is also one of the reasons why KT B is good. If a player like ssumday goes with a pure tank build, he will obviously lack the damage to impact the game but because he understands that if he does he job by initiating and taking aggro, he can trust his teammates to deal all the necessary damage for them to win. Same goes for inSec who usually tends to build more damage oriented items compared to tank items knowing that ssumday would be able tank. The philosophy applies to the damage dealers as well while they will build items according to need, they will tend to build as much damage as they can in order to complement their front line. And all the members of the team are supported by Mafawho can definitely make great plays and shine as bright as the rest of the team with great CCs and great saves.
The question marks
Even a team who’s known to be without a weak link definitely has several question marks going in. Ssumday is definitely an impressive player and has risen as one of the best top laners in a short amount of time but he makes many little mistakes which haven’t been highlighted too much yet. Ssumday generally is not a great cser and he does have a tendency to miss out on some cs. In addition, he has moments of misplay when he does a wall flash or a wall dash and if he does this during high leverage situations, it could very well signal a loss for KT B. InSec also has his hsare of issues to iron out. Sometimes when you watch inSec, he seems to be so caught up on making a play that he over commits and that gets him into a bad situation. This is definitely the result of playing on a team like CJ where he was expected to carry every game but on a team like KT B, he must learn to tone down on his over committing and aggressive play style in order to meet the rest of the team at a happy medium. Ryu is usually a consistent player every night out but as it was seen during last Champion’s Winter semis, Ryu can have moments when he has a mental breakdown. It was clear by the emotion displayed on his face that he really didn’t have a way to deal with this mental breakdown after getting dominated by Ssong and this was one of the reasons why he played so poorly in both sets. Scorer is a player praised for not dying and having a godlike KDA but as it stands, he should never be in the discussion for the best ADC because he simply doesn’t do enough damage during team fights. Score has the opposite play style of someone like PraY who will not mind dying if he can pour out the most amount of damage he could for his team. Recently, Score has shown that he’s willing to get into fights but without the impeccable positioning of PraY or the mechanical skills of other top level Ads, it will be interesting to see if Score can adapt to a new playing style. As for Mafa, he doesn’t have a glaring question mark about him but you can usually notice that in lane, the bot duo doesn’t really get ahead of the other duo. While this is mostly due to Score’s tendency to just farm, Mafa also has to share the blame for being the lane partner.
Team fight ability
One of the worries that a KT B fan can have while watching this team is their team fighting ability. As it was displayed during their match against GG, KT B can struggle in even fight situations or even when they are just slightly ahead if they face a team like GG. This was observed in their loss to Frost when a bad team fight at mid lost them the whole game. Granted these two teams are probably the best in the world when it comes to team fighting but the fact that KT B is behind them by a decent margin makes it difficult for the team to play for a true late game where the game would be even for a long period of time. If KT B wants to win the whole tournament this time around, they will definitely need to beat a team who will be better than them in team fights. Time will tell if they have remedied this problem but if KT B really wants to live up to their namesake of being the best team in Korea, then they better show us that they can be good at every aspect of the game.
Key Player: ssumday (Top)
As mentioned previously, the KT B team’s strength really originates from the top lane and it trickles down to the other lanes in a butter fly effect style. If ssumday can continue to play as he has been playing, then there is no doubt that he’ll be a force in the top lane and that in turn will help all the other lanes but should teams figure out how to play against him and exploit his little mistakes, KT B may look a lot more vulnerable then they may seem.
KT B is definitely one of the favourites going into the tournament and they should easily place top 4. However, anything can happen during the course of a tournament and should KT B run into a team like Blaze in the knock out rounds, they may have to wait until they can be crowned the champions of Korea.