SK Telecom T1 Changes

South Korean super-team SK Telecom T1 have worked hard to establish themselves as the leading light in League of Legends (LoL) tournament gaming. They sealed back-to-back LoL World Championship titles earlier this year, becoming the first team to successfully defend their world championship trophy in LoL history.

The undoubted key to SK Telecoms unbridled supremacy has been consistency and teamwork – traits which become much easier to replicate when they boast some of the best gamers in the world, sitting side-by-side for the majority of their recent wins. Faker was named MVP for the second world championships in a row. His unbreakable partnership with Benji gave SK Telecom the perfect base from which to build their strategies around, allowing them to dominate LoL like no-one else could.

To the dismay of SKT fans – and the delight of all the other teams vying for the 2017 title – this dominance looked like it was about to be ended, after it was announce Benji and other SKT stalwarts, Duke and ManDu were all leaving the reigning champions. The all-conquering Faker also seemed on the verge of leaving, but to the relief of all the SKT fans around the world, contract negotiations were successful and the team’s lynchpin signed on for another campaign.

However, the departure of three integral cogs in SK Telecoms LoL machine will hit the team hard. Management have moved swiftly and effectively to fill the gap, making former Fnatic and Immortals top laner Huni the latest member of SKT. Jungle specialist Peanut has also been poached from South Korean rivals ROX Tigers, after impressing against SKT in his former team’s defeat to the eventual champions at the semi-final stage.

These two major signings have gone a long way to appease fans worries, as competition starts to build towards what is bound to be a historic LoL World Championships in 2017. ESports have never been so current, with their popularity around the world growing exponentially over the past few years. Pro-gaming tournaments are now offering huge prize pots and pulling in viewing figures that even more conventional sports struggle to match.

BWIN recently published an article, looking at eSports betting markets and found that LoL enjoys an overwhelming strangle-hold on the field, with over 69% of all bets placed on pro-gaming action being laid on LoL competitions. But it’s not just popular for spectators. Riot recently revealed that League of Legends has 100 million monthly players. Attention around eSports is at an all-time high and coverage and circulation levels have never been so widespread. Next year’s League of Legends World Championship will be the most lucrative the game has ever seen, so SK Telecom T1 will be hoping their new recruits can gel together from the get-go, as they search for an unprecedented third straight world title.

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