SKT have become the first defending team to qualify for the LOL World Championships.
It’s unbelievable to think really, no team has ever even qualified for the right to defend their title.
It shows as much about the real depth of talent, within League of Legends, as it does the unpredictability of the sport.
Firstly, lets have a look at the previous winners attempts:
- Season 1 Winner: Fnatic
- Lost in the qualifiers to CLG, leaving them in fourth place.
- Season 2 Winner: Taipei Assassins
- Lost to AHQ in the 2013 GPL Championships
- Season 3 Winner: SK Telecom T1
- Lost to Ninja White Shield in the regional finals
- Season 4 Winner: Samsung Galaxy
- Seventh place finish
SKT are a tournament team, they seem to excel in the high pressure situations.
Their league form can be a little precarious.
They had a unthinkably poor start to the spring split, many of us thought that the curse of defending champions had hit again.
To their credit they picked up at the half way point and surged to an impressive second place.
This secured their place in the playoffs, which they went on to win, and in-turn the Mid Season Invitational (MSI).
They secured another tournament-win at the MSI, in which they looked imperious.
SKT finished second in the Summer Split but again, haven’t shown the form we’ve seen in tournament play.
SKT were beaten by KT Rolster in the semifinals of the playoffs. This left ROX and KT to battle it out in the final, which ROX won.
ROX Tigers have outclassed SKT all season, optimised with their Summer Split first place and subsequent playoff win.
SKT qualify as number 2 Korean seeds by virtue of their accumulated Spring and Summer Split points.
I wouldn’t let their form deter you though, they will undoubtedly be favourites to retain their title.
We can’t wait!