The more things change, the more they stay the same. For the first time ever, we will have a rematch in the World Championships Grand Final. Last year, SK Telecom T1 won a thriller over Samsung Galaxy. Although SKT was a -450 favorite, Samsung pushed them to a decisive fifth game and nearly won. This time around, Samsung is looking to turn the tables.
League of Legends World Championships Semifinals Betting Odds
SK Telecom T1 -223
Samsung Galaxy +165
These are two most storied teams in League of Legends history.
There’s no denying the credentials of SKT. SKT is looking to three-peat as World Champs and has won three of the last four Summoner’s Cup. They have the best player in League of Legends history in Faker, and the greatest coach of all-time in kkOma.
Faker and Wolf have been with the team since the beginning and are considered the best players at their respective positions. Wolf doesn’t get the same attention and recognition as Faker, but is almost as important to the team’s success.
The last team other than SKT to win it all was Samsung Galaxy White back in 2014. That team was hailed as one of the most dominant teams ever and its sister team Samsung Galaxy Blue was considered the second-best team in the world that year. Those teams had stalwarts like Deft, Spirit, Mata, Looper, and Pawn, all players that are still considered elite even today.
All those members left following the title, and that meant the team had to rebuild from scratch. It signed its current roster back in 2015 and has slowly rebuilt into another juggernaut.
HOW THEY GOT HERE
These teams have had different routes to the Grand Final.
SKT looked like one of the teams to beat during the Group Stage. Thanks to their amazing come from behind victory over Edward Gaming in their first meeting, they were able to finish 5-1 in Group A and won the group. However, they were pushed to the brink by both Misfits in the Quarterfinals and Royal Never Give Up in the Semifinals. In both series, they fell behind 2-1 and had to win two straight games in order to win the series and advance.
As for Samsung, they looked very vulnerable in the Group Stage. Samsung was beaten by Royal Never Give Up in both of their meetings and G2 almost knocked them off too. Once the knockout rounds started though, Samsung found their form. They routed their Korean cohorts Longzhu Gaming 3-0 in the Quarterfinals and didn’t have too much trouble in a 3-1 victory over Team World Elite in the Semifinals.
Samsung knocked off SKT in three of their four regular season series this year, but did not fare as well when these two teams met in the Summer Split Playoffs. SKT routed Samsung 3-0 and sent Samsung into the Korean qualifier where they had to knock off KT Rolster in order to make it.
That series wasn’t even close as Faker dominated Crown in the mid lane and CuVee had a very underwhelming series in the top lane. The sweep seemed to shake Samsung to their core as multiple members of the team looked disheveled at the end of the series.
Samsung has re-discovered the formula that made them such a tough team to knock off last year. After using Haru in the jungle for much of the season, the team made the switch to Ambition and has flourished since that point. His leadership has given the team the steady hand it needed in order to win late game team fights and he has kept the team from falling apart.
SKT has had a lot of problems this season, and is not the unstoppable behemoth it was last year. The jungle play has been inconsistent and the team has had to put top laner Huni on carries as he has struggled with tank champions. Even the bottom lane of Bang and Wolf has had some ups and downs. Fortunately, Faker has continued to do his part and more.
There’s a lot of anticipation for this matchup that will take place at the Bird’s Nest in China. At the end of the day, SKT will be too much for Samsung in a thrilling five-game series, and cement its status as the greatest team of all-time.
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