SK Telecom T1 Wins The 2017 Mid-Season Invitational

by James Bates

skt t1 neon by xcloud zerox-d9p0tq9
(Photo: SKT T1)

Everyone beats everyone, but SK Telecom win in the end.

For the last two years, this adage has defined competitive League of Legends. Amongst the other teams in the world "the gap" might be getting greater or smaller as time goes one, but one fact seems immutable. SK Telecom is the best team in the world. SKT Telecom T1 hasn't lost an international match since the stunning upset that EDward Gaming managed at the end of the 2015 Mid-Season Invitational, and only lost a single elimination series in the time to KT Rolster in the semi-finals of the 2016 LCK Summer Playoffs. Over the course of 2016 SK Telecom took every title there was to take. They were the 2016 LCK SPring Split champions. They trounced Counter Logic Gaming at the end of the 2016 Mid-Season Invitational and earned the only trophy that their case was lacking in the process. Finally, when the time came for the best teams in the world to compete at Worlds 2016 they once again proved themselves to be the implacable overlords of the League of Legends scene when they shot down both Samsung Galaxy and the ROX Tigers, their two only true rivals in the tournament. 

Today SK Telecom extended their legacy even further. At the end of four games, SK Telecom T1 took down G2 Esports and once against earned the Mid-Season Invitational trophy. The full credit belongs to the G2 Esports squad for making it a hard fight, as they likely should have won the first game of the series and did smash SK Telecom in the second one, which is more than can be said for any other team that SK Telecom faced in the elimination rounds. In the end, though, even G2 Esports, who'd had their sights trained on SK Telecom since the day the Spring Split started, couldn't topple the Korean juggernauts. 

The only question that remains is whether or not SKT T1 will finally complete the greatest possible challenge and take the title in every possible competition in a single year. Last year their upset at the hands of KT Rolster denied them the chance to call themselves the 2016 LCK Summer Split Champions, and it will be up to either Samsung Galaxy or KT Rolster to stop them from taking that title this split. If they do, then there's nothing stopping from SKT T1 from becoming the back-to-back champions of the LCK, as well as the champions of World 2017 and the 2017 Mid-Season Invitational. If there ever was a combination of titles that would secure the legacy of a team as legendary as SK Telecom T1, that is it. The coming months will certainly be interesting as the rest of the world returns to the drawing board and asks themselves the same question that they've been asking for the last two years.

Who will finally be the team that topples SK Telecom?

By James Bates

A wanna-be novelist turned coach turned journalist, James is living proof that you never know where you'll end up. He's in love with narrative-heavy games, which he proves by spending his days writing about a game with less lore than Doom. His greatest regret in life is not having his name in the credits of Life is Strange, and it's galvanized him to truly pursue developing games that don't begin in packed taverns and use D20s.