The Formation of the Team:
Seven months ago, no one would have expected the newly created SK Telecom T1 #2 to become the successful team that they are known to be today. Back in February 2013, SK Telecom T1 called the former Starcraft II pro and StarTale jungler, kkOma, to recruit rising Korean players for SK Telecom T1’s 2nd squad to accompany the already established SK Telecom T1 team led by the legendary top laner Reapered.
kkOma first picks up ManDu from the old GSG team (anyone remember the jungle Heimerdinger?) to play support and Impact from Xenics Storm to play top lane for much needed experience in this new team. kkOma then goes on to recruit bengi from the Korean amateur team BBT as the jungler who has some experience in NLB. Finally, with two remaining spots on the team, kkOma finds Piglet, an AD carry who has made a big name for himself in the Korean ranked solo queue ladder and Faker, the high school senior prodigy and the hottest free agent at the time in Korea because of his long-time #1 spot on the Korean ranked solo queue ladder.
There was no guarantee to how well this experimental team would do. Despite the team having some competitive experience in ManDu and Impact, the biggest question everyone asked was whether their ranked solo queue mentality would fly in the professional scene — especially with their rookie mid laner, Faker, who was known for his cocky attitude.
From left to right: PoohManDu, Piglet, Faker, Bengi, Impact
SK Telecom T1 #2 made their debut in the OGN Champions Spring 2013 season. No one expected this team nicknamed “Judgement Day” by Doa and MonteCristo to put on an absolute show in the group stage games taking 1st place in their group topping CJ Entus Blaze, MVP Ozone, KT Rolster A, Najin Sword, and even ManDu’s old GSG team (now MVP Blue). Faker lived up to the hype and just crushed every mid lane opponent he faced. Even though Judgement Day did not have the best coordination and team fighting as the other more established Korean teams, their laning phase and mechanics were so solid that it was able to just snowball games completely to their favor thus hiding their weaknesses.
However, their Royal Road to Victory was cut short by MVP Ozone in the Spring semifinals who would go on to win OGN Spring 2013. MVP Ozone intelligently executed a plan that essentially dismantled Judgement Day by completely ignoring Faker allowing him to farm as much as he would like, but instead Ozone turned towards dismantling the other members of the team. Even though this was a hard loss for this new rookie team, it was actually the best thing that could have ever happened for them because it forced every team member to face their problems as a team such as relying too much on Faker to carry and letting their obvious mistakes slide and become habitual. It ultimately made them not only train even harder during the off-season, but also come up with new strategies and most importantly to come together as a team.
When OGN Summer 2013 rolled around, this team became the main squad to represent SK Telecom T1 after the organization dropped Reapered’s squad for a disappointing performance in the Spring season. Every player on this team demonstrated their skills and hard work once again without dropping a single game from the start of group stages all the way up to the semifinals knocking down their opponents with ease one by one in dominating fashion.
In the semifinals, they faced their rivals MVP Ozone who defeated them last season. This time however, despite dropping Game 1 to the reigning champions for their first loss of the season, SK Telecom T1 came back with a surge to take 3 consecutive games off of Ozone to finish off the semifinals with a 3-1 victory to advance to the Grand Finals to face KT Rolster Bullets to renew the long-standing e-sports and business rivalry between SK Telecom and KT Rolster.
In the Grand Finals, the KT Rolster Bullets got off to a great start by taking the first two games off of SK Telecom T1 putting themselves one game away from securing a spot in the Season 3 World Championships. However, SK Telecom T1 demonstrates their ability to adapt to their opponents once again and were able to pull of an unbelievable comeback by winning the next 3 games in the Best of 5 series consecutively to win the OGN Summer 2013 Championship title.
Even with such a huge comeback for the OGN Summer 2013 championship title victory, SK Telecom T1 has not yet secured the 3rd spot to represent Korea at the Season 3 World Championships. They will have to play one more best of 5 series at the end of the S3 Korean Qualifier against the winner between Frost vs Blaze/Bullets. We have yet to see whether this team or either CJ Frost, CJ Blaze, or KT Bullets will take the 3rd spot to represent Korea, but a lot of expectations and hopes are set for this team to be the one to emerge victorious and be the final representative for Korea at Riot’s Season 3 World Championships in Los Angeles.
The Team Members:
Impact (Top Lane):
Impact, the top laner, is a very versatile player in that he will happily play whatever his team needs him to play whether it would be utility initiation tanks, high damage carry top lane champions, or even bring out his signature proxy Singed and happily run across the map laughing maniacally. He is a huge source of utility for SK Telecom T1 in the mid/late stages of the game. He is currently the only professional player that still brings out Singed in the current Season 3 meta and happily dirty-farms and split pushes to be a constant pain for his opponents. His other strong champions include Shen, Zac, Vladimir, and Kennen.
Bengi, the jungler, achieved the highest KDA in the jungle for both OGN Spring and Summer 2013. He is a crucial part of SK Telecom T1’s solid early game laning phase by always making his presence known across the map giving opportunities for his teammates to make plays to secure kills and objectives throughout the game. There were multiple games when Bengi’s final KDA would be something like 0/0/15 with him solely racking up tons of assists but no kills or deaths which shows that he is a very calculating jungler who will humbly give the kill spotlight to his teammates. This season, Bengi has brought out very strong performances on Jarvan IV, Vi, Nunu, Elise, and Rammus.
Faker (Mid Lane):
Faker, the star MVP mid lane and King of Korean ranked solo queue, is known for his immense champion pool. During the entire OGN Summer 2013 season alone, Faker has played 9 different mid lane champions over the course of 18 games:
His strength comes from his insane farming and laning mechanics and he is a very strong roaming mid laner and will always be there in time to cleanup fights that happen in the top and bottom lanes to help SK Telecom T1 obtain objectives. Faker first grabbed the attention of the world with his insane 11-0-2 Leblanc play that forced a 20 minute surrender from MVP Blue. Since then, Doa and MonteCristo have coined the term #things FakerDoes on their Twitters. Faker continues to make heads turn in awe with his astounding plays with various champions in his games with his most recent big play being the Zed vs Zed duel in the crucial Game 5 of the OGN Summer Grand Finals.
Breakdown of the Zed vs Zed play: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=da09LgzA0sY
Piglet and PoohManDu (AD Carry and Support):
Piglet and PoohManDu, the so-called “Hundred Acre Wood” AD Carry/Support duo lane, plays very aggressively in lane with the goal to push down towers as fast as possible and then rotating to the other lanes to help get more objectives along the way.
Piglet is gifted with very strong farming and kiting mechanics. He has gone from being a promising but inconsistent rookie in the Spring season to being one of the best AD carries in the world. His favorite AD carry is Caitlyn (13-1 all time competitive record) who is perfect for SK Telecom T1’s old favorite fast turret push strategy and he is a master at using her long range to his advantage in team fights with great positioning and target selection. He has also to a certain extent knocked Imp off of the title “Best Vayne KR” with his consistently phenomenal Vayne play. His other AD carries include Twitch and Varus.
PoohManDu, the support player, is known for making huge plays in the bottom lane to get his lane buddy Piglet fed. He is the eyes of SK Telecom T1 in that he will make sure that the map is littered with wards to spot out the enemy team and in the mid/late game it is a common sight to see him with two full stacks of vision wards in his item inventory and just litter them in every conceivable choke point around Baron Nashor. He was known for bringing out some of the most unconventional supports such as Fiddlesticks back in the day, support Leblanc with Teleport, and support Mordekaiser. He has hinted of wanting to bring out support Aatrox, Zac, and Veigar in the near future in interviews. He is arguably one of the best if not the best Nami player in Korea consistently getting two, three, and even four-man Aqua Prisons and having game-changing Tidal Waves in team fights. His other strong supports include Zyra, Sona, Lulu, and Thresh.