Faker renewing with SKT. Probably the best decision he could've made. Legends must always stay with legendary teams, and they will for sure have a better run in 2019.— Rube4r (@Rube4r) November 20, 2018
As the most competitive regions, Korea has long since been regarded as the Olympus of the competitive League of Legends scene. A large number of players have emerged from the region as some of the most talented in the world. Time and time again, Korea out-performed others from around the globe, demonstrating the high performance level of the region.
This year was much different. Teams adopted their own play styles in a unique meta and took advantage of the recent changes in the game to make a name for themselves. Korea’s final hopes in worlds fell to the likes of Invictus Gaming and Cloud9, and the region failed to make it to the semifinals for the first time in League of Legends history.
Even the former world champions SKT experienced difficulty in maintaining its position of strength within the region. Faker became the face of SK Telecom T1 after he joined the organization in 2013 and has been a part of the team in each of their victories at the World Championship over the years. Season 8 introduced a newfound challenge in the team’s legacy, as it struggled throughout the regular season and eventually reached an all-time low for the organization when it found itself at seventh place in the region’s standings.
The team failed to make it to the World Championship as a result. Even before that, the three-time World Champion fell to Samsung Galaxy in 2017, where the vivid image of Faker shedding tears on stage became etched into fans’ memories.
China’s usurpation of Korea's throne should have come as a wake-up call for the region. With Faker remaining in the region to play for SK Telecom T1 next year, the mid laner should be able to find the motivation to help both his team and his home region return to their legacies once more.
Cover photo courtesy of Riot Games