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A Story of Dynasties: The LCK and Its Rise To Glory

Perhaps the most infamous League of Legends region in the world, the League of Legends Championship Korea (LCK) have shaken fear into every international competition. Its teams, led by superstars in every position, have won nearly half of the World Championships in the past decade. While the rest of the world has begun to seriously fight back, Korea still proves itself a dominant force.

A Story of Dynasties: The LCK and Its Rise To Glory
SK Telecom T1 at the 2017 World Championship in Beijing, China. Photo courtesy of Daily Esports

SKT: The Kings of the World

When most players think of Korea, one team (and specifically one player) is first to appear in the mind. SK Telecom T1 (later renamed to T1) has been considered the strongest league dynasty in the world, and one player, Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok, has been with the organization every step of the way. SKT has won three world titles, made the finals four times, made at least top four five times, and made two Mid Season Invitational titles and countless appearances in the LCK Finals. The players on SKT have been some of the most accomplished of all time. Players like Jang “MaRin” Gyeong-hwan, Bae “Bang” Jun-sik and Heo “Huni” Seung-hoon all cycled through the roster of SKT and asserted themselves as the best in their respective roles. Whenever an international event is held and SKT is present, there is no doubt that they are one of the favorites.

The Samsung Era – Samsung Blue, White and Galaxy

Imagine watching SKT in the Grand Finals. The victory is close in grasp for a player like Faker – and then this happens.

Samsung Galaxy (SSG) did the unthinkable, taking down SKT 3 to 0 in the 2017 World Championship. With one Varus ultimate, Faker became undefeated at worlds and a new champion was crowned. With their win, Samsung cemented themselves as a true dynasty.

Even before this iteration of Samsung Galaxy took root, SSG was dominant in LCK History. Just the year before, SSG went to the finals against SKT and took the juggernauts to five games. Even before that, two of the most iconic rosters in Samsung Blue and Samsung White taught clinics of League by dominating the competition across the 2014 World Championships; the latter roster even won the World Championship that exact year. And even before that, rosters like Samsung Ozone were making waves competing with NaJin White Sword and SKT to even qualify for worlds. Now, under the GenG banner, they aim to do so again in 2020. But will they? 

The Young Bloods: ROX Tigers and Griffin

Arguably, two of the strongest LCK teams came into inception in the later half of the past decade. The ROX Tigers and Griffin, while varying in roster strength, were young organizations that had a lot to prove on an international stage. ROX were previous world finalists (as usual, losing to SKT) and Griffin arose from Challenger to maintain top two finishes nearly every split since inception (ignoring 2020 Spring). In 2016 and 2019 respectively, ROX and Griffin proved their might on the World Stage. Whether it was Pray’s legendary Ashe arrow at Madison Square Garden or Viper’s Pentakill against Invictus Gaming, the newest teams to the Worlds stage were often the strongest and most exciting to watch.

With the 2020 World Championship around the corner, we’ll have to wait and see whether the region of champions once more flaunts their might to the rest of the world.

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