BLOG ARTICLE SKT T1 | 2 ARTICLE FOUND

  1. 2013.03.31 SKT T1 Team 1
  2. 2013.03.29 SKT T1 (2)

SKT T1 Team 1 – Do they have the offline magic?

Reapered (Top)

Beelzehan (Jungle)

SuNo (Mid)

Raven (AD)

StarLast (Supp)

-          1st IEM Cologne (W 2:1 Fnatic)

-          3rd ~4th IEM VII World Championships (L 0:2 CJ Entus Blaze)

-          7th ~ 12th SWL Season 2 (1W 4L)

Team Review

When Reapered left Blaze, there were many speculations that he would be forming a new team which was sponsored by a kespa organization. This team was the first SKT team  which composed of Reapered, H0ro, the former Xenics jungler, and three new comers StarLast, UandMe and MighTiLy. As their first tournament, this team attended IEM Cologne and they were able to make a grand entrance into the competitive LoL scene by winning the tournament led by their leader Reapered. Since that win, everything has been downhill for SKT1. The team seemingly could not win any match after their big victory in cologne. SKT1 almost every match in the SWL and they would lose online qualifiers for Katowice as well. The troubling thing was that in the SWL, they weren’t just losing but they were losing lopsidedly. By the time IEM world Championships came around, SKT1 changed their troubled mid laner MighTiLy for the former PSW Ares member SuNo and the team was able to finish in the top 4 for the tournament beating CJ Entus Frost in the process. While SKT1 have shown flashes of brilliance in their matches, they will need to show up with a completely different performance level to remain relevant for this year’s OGN Champions the Spring.

The main focus of SKT1 is of course its captain and famous shot caller Reapered. With his new team, Reapered still loves to utilize the tactics he used to employ on his former team Blaze. SKT1’s basic strategy involves around lane swapping for favourable lane match ups and aggressive tower pushing in all lanes. Unlike his old team however, SKT1 revolves around small skirmishes rather than full strength team fights with varying degrees of success. In the Spring Season, look for SKT 1 to put pressure all around the map at all times if they want to be successful.

 

Team Strengths

The double edged sword of the bottom lane

The most unique feature of this SKT1 team definitely comes from the bot lane duo. The ADC Rave excels in playing champions without an inherent escape mechanism such as Twitch and MF but even while playing these champs without an escape skill, he is unbelievably aggressive in his play. Raven is often not just content with farming in the lane, if given the chance he’ll even commit into a tower dive to secure a kill. This level of aggression can be troublesome for the opposition when StarLast is added into the equation. StarLast is a support player who mainly plays ranged supports and when given the opportunity, he can make top tier plays for his team (3 v 1 kill against SK was amazing) with his high level of mechanics. While the overly aggressive playstyle of Raven and StarLast can dominate a lane if they get ahead, they will also lose a lane miserably if they start to fall behind. It will be interesting how Reapered thinks of a way to best utilize this aggressive duo who can potentially carry their games on a given day or fall into the opponent’s trap and become the weak spot on a different day.

The carry potential of SuNo

SuNo has demonstrated in his short time with SKT1 that he is as much a carry potential as his friend and team 2 counter part Faker. Ever since joining SKT1, SuNo has only had 3 games where he was under deaths and he only had one game when he had 0 kills. Considering that SKT1’s win rate even with SuNo is about 50%, those stats show that SuNo could potentially be counted on to carry his team in every match. SuNo is a player who has the micro skills and the type of positioning in team fights in order to deal a high amount of damage without dying. These attributes will allow him to gain kills when given then opportunity and thus will provide the opportunity for SuNo to carry a game even if he’s set behind due to an unfavourable matchup

The game calling of Reapered

In an AMA, Toyz had stated before that Blaze with Reapered was the scariest tam to face. That’s not only a testament to Blaze’s overall team strength, but the fact that Toyz pecifically mentions with Reapered is testament to Reapered’s game calling abilities. Reapered’s game calling was on full display in their first tournament at cologne when the audio for the team chat was being streamed. Since Cologne, SKT1 did have mixed results as mentioned but when you look at games they won, especially SKT1’s game against Najin Shield and CJ Entus Frost, you can see that Reapered’s game calling is still a weapon to be feared. The hall mark for a Reapered game call is that when a game is close to even and there’s a moment where the other team surrenders their slight advantage, his team is able to seize that opportunity and snowball the game through. What you notice in these games is that Reapered calls for team fights and team fight situations as soon as he realizes that his team has an advantage in some way (position, items, summoners, ults) and during team fights he calls for the priority targets in order for the fight to be successful. Teams facing SKT1 will have to be mindful of this fact and realize that they need to prevent situations where they can potentially throw a game

 

Team weaknesses

Laning of Reapered // The stubbornness of Reapered

Reapered is a player who himself has admitted that he’s not a top tier laner. This sometimes becomes an immense issue for the team because when he does extremely poorly, his overall judgment tends to falter and his calls become poorer in quality. The one that suffers the most from this is Beelzehan. When you watch SKT1 games, you can often see that Beelzehan would trying to be giving an advantage to Reapered even when there could be better situations elsewhere. Even when Reapered falls behind by a lot, you can often observe that Beelzehan is moved to Reapered’s position in order to provide presence for him however, when facing higher tier teams, this led to the other team going straight for dragon or other objectives available on the map. In the Spring season, we can assume that Reapoered will definitely utilize the lane swap in almost every game but if he gets into 1 v 1 situations, it will be important for him to hold his own against the likes of ssumday and Shy else his whole team will suffer.

The second potential weakness stemming from Reapered is that he can be very stubborn in his playing. In terms of lane matches, if he has it set in his mind that a particular lane match is essential for the team to have, then he will make his team swap each time the other team swaps their lanes regardless of the current situation in the lane. In terms of his lane playing, if he has the idea that his lane should be a winnable lane but he’s not winning that lane due to a gank, outplay etc. he will try to force plays to try to get ahead but these attempts usually tend to end badly for Reapered. For his team to succeed, Reapered will have to let go of the idea that he has to be the star of his team (either strategically or carry wise) and act accordingly to the best interests of his team.

The weak points of SuNo

Even though SuNo has shown that he has the potential to carry his team, he has his share of issues to work out. In his competitive matches with SKT1, SuNo has shown that he will mainly play Karthus, Lux and TF (Jayce to a degree). We don’t know if this is a tactical decision or not but until he shows that he can play more champions at a high level, his shallow champion pool will be a disadvantage for his team. In addition, SuNo tends to have a selfish playstyle, what this means is that he will save his skills in order to last hit enemies. While this nets him kills and could be an important factor in him carrying a game, there were situations where if he did more damage  during the team fight by throwing out Lux ults at the beginning of a fight, it could have worked out much better for the team as a whole (Game 1 vs LG-IM 2 for example). If SuNo learns to trust his teammates a bit more and trust them to deal more damage, SKT1 will grow as whole to become a better team.

 

Key Player: Beelzehan (Jungle)

Without a doubt, this is Reapered’s team and how he performs as a laner and the team captain will determine the fate of SKT1 in this upcoming Season. That is why it will be important for Beelzehan to take special care for Reapered in the top lane to mask some of Reapered`s weak laning tendencies. If Beelzehan can successfully get Reapered going, then SKT1 will play better as a whole. In addition, Beelzehan will be asked to sacrifice the most for his team and it will be important for him to remain relavant in the game especially compared to the other team’s jungler by gaining all the exp and gold that he can get. How well Beelzehan can execute his role will definitely have a direct effect on the outcome the SKT1’s games.

 

Team expectations

Being in a weak group, I don’t see a scenario where SKT1 doesn’t finish in the top 4 of their group. However, it’s also hard to imagine SKT1 being in the top 2 of the group with their inconsistent performances and should they finish 3rd or 4th, they will most likely only be able to advance to the BO8

 

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SKT T1 Team 2 – The KTB of this tournament?

 

Impact (Top)

 

Bengi (Jungle)

 

Faker (Mid)

 

Piglet (ADC)

 

PoohManDu (Supp)

 

Team Review 

The famous e-sports organization SK Telecom T1 gained their fame through their strong showings in the StarCraft scene. Led by the legendary Boxer, SKT T1 has always been known for their strong Terran players and they made their mark in the e-sports scene by winning many tournaments. With the announcement that SC1 would hold its last proleague, the SKT organization looked at the possibility of jumping into the ever-expanding LoL scene. They started off by acquiring Reapered who mutually terminated his contract with Blaze just before the Winter season and also acquiring the former StarTale jungler kkoma as their coach. If SKT T1’s first team was built by Reapered, the second team was built by the two coaches kkoma and L.i.e.S. Through many hours and days spent on recruiting, SKT T1’s second team was able to assemble one of the most talented rosters in the scene.

The SKT2 line-up is headlined by the former number one ranker in Korea, Faker. Faker was definitely a commodity in the off-season and there were many rumours of Faker being picked up by teams who were looking for a mid laner. Fortunately for SKT, kkoma was quick to act and contact Faker who was trying to get a sponsor with his amateur team. The other highly talent individual on this roster who has never seen competitive play is Piglet. Piglet is a player who was cited by many pro players (such as imp) to be a good ADC player and he was a consistent top 50 ranked player ever since season 2. The 3 remaining members of the roster have had some competitive exposure. Impact the top laner is the most well-known player on the team being a former member of Xenics Storm. PoohManDu is the other well-known player on this team and he used to be the support player for GSG and he also used to be a famous player in the Chaos scene with the former RoMG team (WC3 DOTA variant). Finally bengi was a member of BBT (the former MVP Red) before he joined SKT2.

 

Team Strengths

 Talent of the new generation players

People normally refer to players who were high ranked players on the NA server as the first generation pro players. Now with the Korean server being in service for just over a year, the popularity of LoL in Korea has skyrocketed and this has led to many talented young individuals being discovered by the pro teams. If a team like CJ Frost is an assembly of talent first gen players, this new SKT2 team is a showcase of the talented second gen players who gained fame inside the KR server.

There are 3 members of the team who can be described in this fashion and it is Faker, Piglet and bengi. Not surprisingly all 3 of these players have very noticeable features in their playing. All of these players were cited by many as the top 3 amateurs in their respective positions who’ve reached the pro playing level. All 3 of these individuals also show top tier level mechanics and amazing game sense which allows them to make flashy plays. Finally, all these individuals have shown to have a large champion pool in their arsenal.

While the ADC role is quite limited in their choice of champions, you can see that in ranked Piglet actually only plays AD 60% of the time (with Lee being his third(!) most played) showing his flexibility for other roles. When he gets to play the ADC roles, what strikes me most about Piglet is that his laning phase is quite balanced meaning that he knows when to harass and when to farm.

Bengi the jungler is probably best known for his Shen, but aside from Shen he definitely loves the high mobility, high skill cap champions who can carry the game out of the jungle (lee, zed, shaco). The most impressive thing to note about bengi’s playing style is that he is very fearless in his plays and as a jungler this could be a good asset since a moment of indecision could be a huge difference between a successful dive or a failed attempt.

Finally, Faker the midlaner is known for playing anything and everything in the mid lane. He can bring out a traditional AP such as Ryze or a rarely used AP such as Syndra. He can also play the traditional AD mages like Kha or play an unconventional character like AP Ezreal and carry the game. When you watch Faker play, what you can notice is the high accuracy on his skill shots. The other thing to note about Faker is that even if he’s doing bad in the lane, you can always count on him to rack up the kill count, especially in a team fight situation.  

 Perhaps the final reason that people do have so much anticipation for this trio is that other members of this so called “new generation”, such as ssumday, Kakao and Loray have all shown that their high individual skill level can translate into success at the highest level.

 

The Unknown

Being a completely new team has down sides to it but it also has various good sides. One good thing about being an unknown team is that the team’s playing style remains unknown.  It’s probably fair to say that SKT2 has had the least amount of exposure competitively out of the twelve teams and with this advantage they may just gain enough leverage to gain draws in their tough group.

 The other advantage that this team has as I mentioned is the inherent versatility in the team in terms of picks and bans. Due to the fact that all of their players can play a variety of champions at a high level, you can never know what kind of a team comp this SKT2 team will throw your way. Especially in the current format if the SKT2 team prepares a surprise tactic for one of their two matches then the opposing team can easily be caught out for the first game which would put them under a huge strategic and mental disadvantage. The other notable thing to mention is that during an interview, the SKT coach mentioned that in a blind pick setting the  5 mid strategy of GSG may seem *normal* compared to what the SKT2 team could potentially showcase.

 

Team Weaknesses

How will this the cast of players play as a team?

 From what we’ve seen so far, the SKT2 team did not exhibit many fatal flaws in their line-up but their matches were against amateur opponents thus it was unclear how the team would fare as a whole against a strong opponent. It could happen to be that the team wins out the laning phase due to their individual abilities but without the proper game managing skills, these advantages could be all for naught.  In addition, due to the fact that their team consists of two main damage dealers who are competing in the highest level for the first time, it remains to be seen if they can shy away from their soloq habits in such a short time span to make the appropriate sacrifices for the team and follow the team calls instead of going to farm. The other suspect of their game is their team fight ability when the teams are even in ability. It's unclear if the tanks (especially bengi) will be able to decide exactly when to peel and when to go in for the opposite carries instead of always just charging in for the opposite carries. Another interesting thing to note is the bot lane synergy. ManDu has been known to play unconventional supports like Leblanc but other than that he rarely plays normal supports like Sona or Taric. We’ll have to see if Piglet can synergize well with the unconventional ManDu.

Are the kids really alright?

We know that the young players on this team have great individual skills and confidence in their abilities but could that potentially backfire on them? Countless times, you could see players making impossible looking plays which end up being disadvantageous but they do it anyways simply because it’s “worth”.  The SKT2 team better hope that their young players don’t feel like they’re superheroes and can pull off plays that they imagine in their heads. The other important aspect of the being a professional LoL player is the mental aspect of the game. Everything will be all good and well when they`re winning but what will happen when they lose and worse if they get completely outplayed by the opposition. Will the young players have what it takes to recuperate in a high pressure environment to perform well after devastating losses or will they crumble under the lime light and never live up to expectations? All these question marks remain to with this team.

What about the older members of the team

 It’s true that Impact along with Daydream was the best player on a weak Xenics Storm team but it’s unclear if that will translate into Impact being relevant in higher level play. Impact has always been a professional player ever since his support days and he was always a consistent performer. Last season in the NLB, he showed that he could be a consistent force in the top lane as well. What is worrisome is that Impact is probably the player who will be asked to sacrifice (in terms of choosing champs, farming, etc.) most for the team since he along with the support have the least carry potential on this team. This could potentially be a dangerous proposition for Impact. If he is sacrificed for the greater good of the team, he could be walking the fine line between staying relevant or irrelevant in every game.

The other elder member of the team ManDu is probably the biggest question mark on the team. Aside from the well documented fact that he does not play conventional supports, his supporting ability is average from what he’s shown us. In the old GSG team, he demonstrated that on a good day he can play a decent Blitz and make plays for the team (which should bode well for him considering Thresh is OP) and generally speaking he prefers to play the aggressive kill lane type of champs. Other than the kill lane champs however, it still remains to be seen how he fares on normal support champs.

 

Key Player Faker (Mid)

If Faker wanted to test his skills against the best mids in Korea, he got his wish when the groups were drawn. In his group he will have to go against Ssong, Ambiton, Zero, Easyhoon and dade. All of those players are experienced, highly skilled and they all possess the ability to carry their team to victory at any given opportunity. If Faker can prove that he can be in their league every game then SKT2 will have a good chance of surviving their group ahead of the MVP teams and KTA but should he look like if he’s out of their league, this year’s SKT2 team will not avoid being in the cellars of group A. SKT2’s season depends on the shoulders of their super rookie.

 

Season expectations

While they look tremendously talented and ready to cause an uproar in the scene, their group is extremely difficult to compete in. Should they get into the playoffs however, they can potentially win against the opponents from the weaker group B and become this year’s KTB.

 

 

 

 

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