Last weekend marked the final week of playoffs for every region in the League Championship Series, and in South Korea, a classic rivalry played out in grandiose fashion. KT Rolster and SK Telecom T1 have been locked in a heated rivalry for years -- their parent companies even feuded prior to League's competitive inception -- and the production of their final spring match paid homage to that legacy.
Both team's sponsors, KT Corporation and SK Telecom, have been longtime supporters of Korean esports dating back to the golden age of Brood War, and the rivalry has thus been dubbed the "Telecom Wars". In modern League, world-elite teams KT Rolster and SKT T1 have frequently clashed for the top spot in Korea and carried on the historic tug-of-war.
To start the event, an intro video showed the two teams assembling to fight in what looks like a dystopian wasteland.
Then, a series of video interviews with each team's players kicked off, where some (like SKT's Bae "Bang" Jun-sik) had some choice words for the other team.
To top it all off, star mid laner Lee "Faker" Sang-hyeok made his entrance on a real, actual throne. The three-time world champion often heralded as the best player in the game, this is the sort of intro only Faker could receive.
With this level of production, the audience was surely in for an epic clash of two top-level Korean teams playing League at the height of their powers. While both squads inarguably brought it, SKT demonstrated in three matches that their best League is definitively better than anyone else's.
To put it bluntly, SKT put on a clinic. Though Faker and Bang both performed admirably, the star of the finals and series MVP was Han "Peanut" Wang-ho, whose jungle play in games two and three crushed the lanes of KT Rolster. The clip below highlights the teamwork SKT exhibited, punishing rash aggression from KT Rolster with swift rotations.
SKT functioned like a well-oiled League machine, and took the finals 3-0, maintaining its reign over South Korea and making every team headed to the international Mid-Season Invitational sweat a little more. Though KT Rolster is certainly a strong team in its own right, SKT is clearly the dominant League squad right now.
I couldn’t leave Korea without KT letting me down one last time. pic.twitter.com/qW0NK81qgE
— MonteCristo (@MonteCristo) April 22, 2017
Skt are going to win worlds again aren't they?
— scarra (@scarra) October 15, 2016
As for KT Rolster, there's always the Summer Split to get a second shot at the champ.