ICONIC Esports Moments: SKT T1 and The Dawn of Korean Dominance (Season 3 Worlds – LoL)
SK Telecom T1 are perennial favorites at Worlds. Each year they qualify, if they aren’t the front runners to lift the Summoners’ Cup they’re always in the mix. PapaSmithy: They may be second seed, but few would look past them as the big favourites for Worlds 2017. Since their first World’s appearance in 2013 that has always seemingly been the case.
[MonteCristo making train noises] MonteCristo: All aboard the Korean Hype train, SK Telecom T1 for the championship! But that’s not to say, they didn’t have their skeptics. Monte: Doublelift, I know you want to be on the Korean hype train let’s go!
Doublelift: Hmm, I’m thinking about it… Thanks coach, no thanks! While most panelists at Worlds 2013 failed to predict SKT’s triumph, even fewer could have expected just how hard the Korean hype train would run over the rest of the world.
[Doa and MonteCristo casting] And Impact behind enemy lines trying to get to Score the wither is down he’s under turret look at that! A double kill for Score! DoA: That is definitely it, there goes the nexus.
GG! But, SKT would not be swept aside. [Doa casting] DoA: A double kill again for Faker and it is an easy, easy ace for SK Telecom. A perfect ace.
In the do-or-die game 5, SKT would complete the reverse sweep, famously highlighted by Faker’s now legendary destruction of Ryu on Zed. [DoA casting] Oh, look at the cleanse! Look at the moves!
FAKER! WHAT WAS THAT!? The hardfought victory cemented SKT’s status as Korea’s top team and punched their first-ever ticket to Worlds.
And their rampage continued there. [DeMan casting] DeMan: And that is the ace for SK Telecom T1! [Quickshot casting] That’s a double kill for Piglet as he now flashes over the wall. Triple kill as he turns onto WildTurtle. This is going to be the quadra… does pick up the quadra kill! SKT ended up going 7 and 1 in the group stage, dropping just one game to Oh My God.
[Rivington casting] Rivington: The nexus is open! It’s over an eleven-thousand gold lead for OMG to take out SKT T1! But SKT quickly made up for it in their rematch, where they pulled off what is perhaps the most incredible online casino Ireland game play of all time. [Kobe and Rivington casting] Rivington: They are going to fall one after the other in the I think I can mentality.
And that hype train would not only go on to establish the greatest dynasty esports has ever seen, but usher in the dawn of Korean dominance in international league of legends. DeMan: Ladies and gentlemen the hype train is real. In the HotSix Summer Championship, SKT had dominated, securing a perfect record in the regional play-off group stage, only dropping a single game heading into the grand finals. In their showdown with the KT Rolster Bullets things did not go as smoothly. [DoA casting] DoA: Has SK held?! No!
But I think I can – they really can’t. Kobe: SKT can, they’re going three turrets in a row! And another kill! Rivington: I stopped at four and five, they’re going for six, seven, eight! Inhibitor turret at twelve minutes!
OMG could lose their first game here! The twelve minute inhibitor is one of the most dominant plays in League of Legends history and it set the tone for the rest of their tournament. But despite their displays of clear supremacy, SKT still had their doubters. Phreak: Look what happened last year.
The number one seed comes out and wins the World Championship and everyone underrates them because they came in from an unknown region. Of course [I’m] speaking about TPA and, of course, Bears are here in their stead. I’m just saying the exact same thing was here. Here’s the amazing Korean team, whether it’s Sword or Frost – if you want to count last year – and TPA wins it all. I think Bears can just retrace those steps. And again, SKT responded to their critics on the Rift.
[Phreak and Quickshot casting] Quickshot: And the Gama Bears are drowning under the pressure of SK Telecom! [Quickshot casting] [Phreak casting] Quickshot: Here comes Faker… he has just melted Steak! [Quickshot casting] Quickshot: A clean ace for SKT and they’re gonna close this game out. They’re onto the nexus turrets! Phreak: Gotta hand it to SKT, they definitely deserved this victory.
In the semi-finals a domestic rival awaited, Najin Black Sword. [Quickshot casting] [DeMan casting] DeMan: Nagne picks up the triple! They’re gonna keep chasing here, but do they have the damage? PrAy going over towards Bengi, Bengi will walk away for now… They chase down Impact, off to the side.
Nagne gonna keep track of him here. Is he going to be able to hold it off? There’s the belly slam and the barrel, Nagne, cleaning up! Najin pushed SKT to their limit, leading to the tournament’s only five game series.
With everything on the line, SKT rose to the occasion and smashed their Korean compatriot. [Kobe casting] [Quickshot casting] [Joe Miller casting] Joe Miller: There is the ace for SKT! This is at least an inhib here. Quickshot: They’re onto the nexus, ladies and gentlemen, SKT have done it!
Joe Miller: This is the victory here, this is the final for SK Telecom T1! They will be representing Korea at the Staples Center in the World Finals. Awaiting them there, was Royal Club.
Joe Miller: Who’s going to win it? Crumbz: 3-2 Royal. Deficio: 3-1 Royal. Snoopeh: 3-1 Royal.
ZionSpartan: 3-0 Royal. Doublelift: Thanks coach, no thanks. I’m going with Royal. Krepo: Thank you Monte, I appreciate your SKT favorite, but I think it’s time for a Royal-lution. [crowd cheers] Kobe: I’m gonna have to go ahead and choose Royal as well.
The hype surrounding the Chinese juggernaut was justified, they had unquestionably been one of the most impressive teams at the tournament. [Joe Miller casting] Joe Miller: They’re still chasing here as well. LoveLin, can he get away from this one? Tumble comes down, and that’s a triple kill for the Vayne. Jatt: Five for zero, a clean ace! Royal’s Jian “Uzi” Jihao was a killing machine and was revered as one of the best AD Carries in the world for his super aggressive and technical play style.
[Joe Miller casting] Joe Miller: Uzi, is coming in from the back side. Surprise, here comes the Vayne! Kill for Wh1t3zZ, San’s not gonna escape this one. They focus down Uzi, but look at him, he’s still alive! He’s still surviving! He stays alive!
Ace for Royal Club! What an amazing fight coming out of them! Jatt: Oh, Uzi! Surely the Chinese favorite would ascend their throne and truly become League of Legends royalty.
But it wasn’t to be. [Jatt and DeMan casting] DeMan: It’s going to be two for SKT! [Jatt casting] Jatt: And Faker destroying Wh1t3zZ! Rivington: There it is again, one after the other… [DeMan casting] DeMan: Godlike’s in trouble, Piglet’s gonna find Lucky.
There we go. And look what’s happening in that top lane. Bam!
There’s another turret. [Rivington casting] [DeMan casting] DeMan: They are just dropping like flies! [DeMan casting] Rivington: Looks like Uzi may make it out, he forces the flash! Jatt: Can he live!? Rivington: Oh, he puts down the barrier, no Impact gets the leap strike!
[Rivington, Jatt and DeMan casting] DeMan: Lucky’s just in all sorts of trouble. He’s like “What do I do? What do I do?” I’ll give a triple kill to Piglet.
Jatt: A five-for-one by SKT. Jatt: Faker is going for more. Rivington: Faker gets the kill. Uzi backs the hell away from that one, doesn’t want a part of that. [Jatt casting] [Rivington casting] Rivington: Uzi on the outside trying to do what he can, but it’s not going to be enough. Uzi’s chased into the base.
And SKT… Jatt: Is that a penta!? Rivington: …wipes them for the ace! The quadra for Piglet. [DeMan casting] [Rivington casting] Rivington: Can he finish it!? Is this it!?
Where’s Wh1t3zZ!? Oh, Impact comes in to save the day! And not even Wh1t3zZ can believe it. Jatt: Wh1t3zZ took both hands and put them into his face after that play.
Jatt: Because that could very well be the last mistake they get to make. DeMan: SK Telecom, they are already etching their name on that cup. Jatt: They can smell it right now. They’re gonna be going for this second inhibitor turret, there’s already one down. Royal doesn’t even have five people here!
[Rivington casting] Rivington: This does not look good for Royal. [DeMan casting] DeMan: SK Telecom are just rolling through, the nexus turrets are potentially gonna go down. This could be a twenty-minute game for SK Telecom! They will be the Season 3 World Champions, here at the Staples Center! SKT didn’t just beat Royal – they annihilated them 3-0 to make history. DeMan: We have to take our hats off, that was an impressive performance by SK Telecom.