With a lot of focus on NA and EU LCS lately, we figured you guys would appreciate a run down at the Titans of Korea. After all they have been dominating the game since the beginning and have also given birth to some of the greatest moments. This years LCK has been rather interesting with ROX Tigers finally overcoming all their problems and establishing themselves as a dominant force, they even overcame SKT T1, who left a bad taste in their mouth at last year’s Worlds finals. After 4 weeks of intense action, this is how we rank the giants up against each other.
#1 ROX Tigers
Not much surprise here we guess, ROX Tigers stand head and shoulders above everyone right now. Not just in terms of LCK ranking but globally. Their core is functioning as strong as ever and even their one weak showing against Afreeca Freecs was more due to overconfidence and less due to being outplayed. The duo of Peanut and Gorilla are unmatched when it comes to invading the enemy jungle and that has given them a big advantage over everyone else, there simply aren’t many who can compete with them in so many areas and win at the moment it seems. Which coupled with their consistently good laning phase and amazing synergy makes them a scary monster to go up against. Their only weakness if any is the fact that now they have a target on their back and during the upcoming Meta changes everyone will have a counter prepared.
#2 SKTelecom T1
didn’t see this one coming now did you guys? The obvious question is why we decided to place SKT1 over the likes of KT Rolster and Jin Air, who have shown some great potential and have better score lines so far, whereas Faker and co have shown signs of struggle. The answer is simple, KT Rolster despite their impressive score at 4-1 are yet to overcome any of the favorites. They lost to ROX tigers in convincing fashion and are still in line to go against both SKT1 and Jin Air, making their true potential look slightly doubtful. Therefore till that happens, SKT1 despite their struggle have the higher skill ceiling and the ability to beat any other team in the game during their peak. Obviously we are not giving SKT1 a free ticket here, they are still in a much worse situation that most people expected and it is clear that this lineup’s synergy pales in comparison to the older one. Depending on what happens between the big three, SKT1 can either remain at second place or go down all the way to fourth. Hard times await the legends.
#3 KO Rolster
As stated before, KT Rolster seem like the obvious pick for second place, but their wins over the likes of e-mFire are hardly impressive given the raw talent level. It is fairly obvious that Arrow and Score are some of the finest Korea has ever produced and Ssumday is slowly reaching a scary level that builds around his amazing ability to stay in the game despite the chaos going around. On paper this is a squad that can become the best team in the world when playing at their peak, whether they can bring it against the other giants in their upcoming matches, we will have to wait see. For now they will have to settle for 3rd place.
#4 Jin Air Green Wings
Jin air would have looked much better without their messy defeat at the hands of Samsung, however their previous showings were still enough to keep them high enough. More than anything else their current problem seem to be the lack of adaptation on the fly where they don’t plan out the match ups during the pick and ban phase. Even when they do, the composition fails to function effectively, which is surprising for a team of this caliber to be honest. Regardless Trace has still kept up an unreal level when it comes to mechanical skills and in game decisions. Simply put, he is the fire that empowers the green wings on this squad, unfortunately the inconsistency on Curvee and others didn’t allow the full flight to take place.
#5 Samsung Galaxy
SG were originally planned to be much lower in the list, but their grinding victory against Jin Air catapulted them to 5th place. After starting out the season in poor fashion, they are now once again back to being that weird mid-tier team that can at any time show up and take on top teams. Curvee and Lee has key to their journey on getting back on the black horse so to speak, while Stitch still shows signs of shakiness here and there when it comes to team fights and adaptation. Depending on how Jin Air performing in the coming week, it is possible that Samsung Galaxy might find themselves in an even better position.
#6 CJ Entus
From a studying point of view it is interesting to see the growth of CJ Entus, obviously Madlife’s individual skill has been a big part of that, but it is only natural that an up and coming team will have a viable star level player. Their showing against LongZhu gaming was fairly impressive and it proved that this team is willing to think like a top dog that can build off momentums and take the risks when necessary without giving it all away. This is a squad that has improved constantly over the weeks and while Bubbling is still a weak point, it is evident that they can cover him enough to make him work in the mid – late game. Earning them the 6th place in our rankings.
#7 LongZhu Gaming
One of the harder teams to analyze, LG has been a very up & down team and their score fully reflects the situation. The biggest issue has been their lack of synergy, it is clear that the coaching side of things are yet to fully blossom and there is a visible confusion on how to use the subs at this point. As a result we see a lot of hesitation in the squad during team fight and they fail to play off of each other’s strength and cover the weaknesses. That would explain a lot of the things during their match against CJ now that you think about it. Couple that with Chaser’s really disappointing level of play so far and you see a team far below their peak level. Hopefully things improve for LongZhu gaming, otherwise this is going to be a really rough week for them.
#8 Afreeca Freecs
Yes the reddit “Africa” jokes are fun and all, but that gives them no leeway when it comes to overall ranking in the LCK. The squad’s greatest showing so far has been taking off a map of Rox Tigers and while that may sounds impressive, there are doubts on whether their opponents really took it seriously enough. That being said Freecs have definite improved over the course of the weekend and they are a squad that function much better as a team than some of the others who possess better individual talent. Couple that with their ability to ride the momentum over any top team and you have a potential dark horse that can really do some damage when stabilized. Expect to see much better results from the AF squad in the coming weeks.
Oh boy, this has been a really hard journey for these guys so far. Losing 4 games in a row can’t be a fun experience for any team in the world, especially when a lot of them were winnable. The squad’s biggest problem right now seem to be the lack of confidence. They often panic during team fights and end up drawing the short end of the stick, HIPO just feeding the enemy team till their hearts content doesn’t help either. Long story short E-mFire have shown great signs here and there , but they still have a lot to work on
#10 Sbenu Sonicboom
At this point, people are not even surprised to see Sbenu Sonicboom get destroyed week in and week out. Nuclear and Co has struggled from the very start of LCK and it does not look like that is about to change any time soon. Their lanes do not interact anywhere near enough to what we are used to seeing from Korean teams and the team fight synergy is by far the weakest this season. Naturally the last place couldn’t possibly go to anyone else right now, but who knows maybe they will surprise us in the coming weeks and overtake E-mFire and Afreeca, after all the gap in score isn’t that high. That is about the only good thing they have going for them right now