When it comes to competitive League of Legends, there’s no region that has come close when it comes to the achievement that the League of Legends Champions Korea has reached. There hasn’t been a World Championship series where LCK teams weren’t feared for their potential to win the Summoner’s Cup. Despite their dominance dropping in the previous years, the LCK continues to show the world that they are still one of the best regions in the world and arguably the most influential of them all.
The Rise of LCK Teams in the International Stage
The first ever World Finals took place during 2011 but wasn’t as big of an event as it is now. It was only mainly composed of North American and European teams and had no LCK teams present at the time. It was only during the 2012 championships that the LCK finally had a slot in the World Finals but didn’t manage to secure a championship just yet but earned 2nd place with Azubu Frost falling in the finals against the Taipei Assassins.
It was in 2013 that the Korean dominance would finally take place as the rise of SK Telecom T1 and a rookie named Faker would completely dominate the tournament in commanding fashion. The next year, Korea would win the tournament again with Samsung White taking the win. These two teams would clash against each other, the only ones who would win the championships each year and deny Royal Never Give Up each time.
Most Influential LCK Teams
We’ve already mentioned how the LCK has fully dominated the International Scene for the longest time. However, some of these teams are more prominent than the others not only because of their achievements but also because of the fandom that has grown around them. Here, we’ll be discussing which LCK teams are the all-time most influential teams in the world due to several factors surrounding them and their star players.
1. SK Telecom T1
SK Telecom T1 (SKT), or now simply known as T1, is arguably the most influential team in the world and for good reason. SKT was the first team to bring how the Championship Trophy to their region and is the only organization in history that has won the title 3-times. This team has become so famous that they have millions of fans all over the world. People from major regions would even root for SKT even if they have representatives competing for them.
- 3 World Championship Titles
- 2 Mid-Season Cup Titles
- 9 LCK Titles
SK Telecom T1 has brought so much impact towards the competitive scene that they might as well be the face of it. There has been no World Finals series where a League of Legends fan wouldn’t ask if SKT were in it. While they have missed a few chances to compete, those times that they were in it resulted in very good standings. However, there are players in the organization that helped this great team rise to its glory.
SKT Faker, the Unkillable Demon King (2012-Present)
There’s no need to explain who Faker is. Even non-League of Legends players know this names due to the sheer amount of times his name has been mentioned over and over again. He’s rightfully earned the title of “Greatest Player of All-Time” since no one has ever had as much success in the game as him. He is a prodigy in the game that even professional midlaners look up to him and aspire to reach his level.
SKT Bengi, The Right Hand of God (2012-2016)
This is a name that doesn’t resonate as loud as that of Faker’s but should be learned about nonetheless. He has earned the moniker “Right Hand of God” since he’s been present in all the times SKT has won in the World Championships. So much so that it makes you wonder why SKT has never won the trophy again after he left. He has retired from professional League of Legends but he will always remain as the person who helped SKT in its success.
SKT MaRin (2014-2015)
MaRin was considered to be one of the best players to have every joined SKT with mechanics that would rival that of Faker’s. He earned the MVP title in Worlds 2015 after his insane performance during the tournament. However, much like other SKT players, he wouldn’t to prove to the world that he was a great player by himself. He left SKT to get out of Faker’s shadow and make a name for himself in the LPL.
2. Samsung Galaxy
The only LCK team to rival the success of SKT was the Samsung Galaxy franchise. With Samsung White winning in 2014 and Samasung Galaxy winning in 2017, they are the only other team in League of Legends history to have more than 1 World Championship win. After losing to SKT T1 in 2016, which laned them in 2nd place, Samsung would come back next year and defeat SKT to land them their second championship.
- 2 World Championship Titles (1 SSW, 1 SSG)
- 1 World Championship Runner-up (SSG)
- 2 LCK Titles (1 MVP Ozone, 1 Samsung Galaxy Ozone)
Unfortunately for the organization, their parent company – Samsung announced that they would no longer sponsor any League of Legends teams so they were acquired by KSV but the team would simply go downhill from there. Now known as Gen. G, the team is aiming on reclaiming their former glory and bring back the times when they would be top competitors in the world. In 2020, they are one of 4 teams favored to compete at Worlds.
SSG Ambition (2016-2018)
Unlike SKT, there wasn’t one single player who contributed to the success of Samsung in both of their championships. However, the story of Ambition was one that earned him a spot in the RISE music video. Once a great midlaner who was outshined by Faker, he switched to the Jungle role where he would once again face his greatest enemy. Once fallen, he would finally defeat Faker in the World Finals in 2017 to regain his honor.
SSG Ruler (2016-Present)
One of the most memorable moments in eSports is SSG Ruler’s incredible Varus ultimate against the Unkillable Demon King himself which secured them the game-winning teamfight. This moment has been highlighted time and again as one of the greatest plays in eSports history. Ruler would remain in Gen.G until today as their starting AD Carry in hopes of someday becoming the centerpiece to the team’s success.
3. ROX Tigers
The ROX Tigers which were previously known as KOO Tigers and now known as Hanwha Life Esports, are one of the teams which were known to be one of the more dominant teams to have ever competed in the LCK. More specifically, the ROX Tigers was considered a super team that was incredibly amusing to watch. Despite only having Top 4 placements on the international stage, they were truly a team to be remembered.
- 1 World Championship Runner-up (KOO Tigers)
- 1 World Championship Top 4 (ROX Tigers)
- 1 LCK Title (ROX Tiger)
ROX PraY and ROX GorillA (2014-2016)
The bottom lane duo of PraY and GorillA was one that was to be feared. With an unparalleled synergy in the bottom lane, they would dominate every other LCK duo lane easily. Not to mention the incredible Ashe Arrow moment that would make history as another one on the greatest plays of all time. ROX would eventually lose that series against SKT but they proved that they were a team that could compete.
ROX Peanut (2016)
Peanut was considered to be one of the best junglers in the world. ROX’s success was largely due to his contributions to the team. While he wasn’t present in the KOO Tigers era unlike PraY and GorillA, he definitely brought life to the team after joining the team. He now plays for the LPL’s LGD gaming and aims to carry the team to new heights as their starting jungler once more. One of the top junglers in history for sure.
4. KT Rolster
Considered to be SKT’s greatest rivals which dates back even before League of Legends was created. KT Rolster would challenge SKT’s dominance in what was dubbed as the “Telecom Wars” where each year they would bring something new to the table. While this LCK team would fail to bring something to the international stage each year, they are still extremely famous for being one of the oldest organizations in the league.
- 2 LCK Titles
KT Ryu (2012-2014)
Ryu’s contributions to the team doesn’t come in the form of his success as a player. Don’t get us wrong, Ryu has been considered as one of the best midlaners in Korea before Faker arrive. However, it all went horribly for Ryu after the rookie, Faker beat him in a Zed vs Zed 1v1 that would drag his name through the mud for decades to come. While Ryu is no longer actively playing as a professional, you’ll always see his face in Faker montages.
KT Score (2012-2019)
KT Score has been the face of KT Rolster for the longest time but recently retired from the team. His contributions to KT’s success were extremely abundant. He was a great teammate and an excellent leader to the KT lineup. Unfortunately, he didn’t have as much for him to be remembered by unlike other plays in this list. Nonetheless, the great jungler will forever be KT’s star player even if he chooses not to play with them anymore.
Special Mention: Griffin
Griffin’s presence as an influential team doesn’t come positively. This team has had a heavy impact to the LCK though because of their controversial mishaps in the league. Reports of player abuse, management problems, and issues with player contracts would attract the attention of even the Korean Senate themselves. Griffin has been one of the biggest antagonists of the league since but has been relegated after the team’s star players left.
Current Top LCK Teams
LCK may not be as dominant as they were before, new teams are looking like they might be the hope for the region to get the might it has lost before. In the upcoming World Finals 2020, they surely can bring much competition the the stage. Unfortunately, LCK will only have 3 representatives but surely these 3 will perform better than those in the previous years. Here are the 2020 top 4 LCK teams:
- T1 (Formerly SKT T1)
- Damwon Gaming
The LCK Era Will Continue
The great thing about LCK teams is that they are unrelenting and have the support of millions of people all over the world. In the current LPL era, LCK continues to be a threat that looms over in the distance. The only challenge left for the Korean teams is if they are able to adapt themselves with the more aggressive meta. While Damwon tries to imitate the playstyle of Invictus Gaming, they will need to build their own identity to succeed.
If you’re a fan of the LCK, you should be optimistic of the LCK’s chances for the future. With the rise of new kings on the rift, the old gods of League of Legends still lie in wait. Right now, it’s only a matter of time until the world will once again see the dominance of the LCK teams on the world stage. The World Finals are fast approaching so make sure to watch and support your favorite teams and you might be rewarded for your loyalty as a fan.
How many times has the LCK won Worlds?
The LCK has won the World Championships 5 times in total. SKT T1 has won the championships 3 times and Samsung won 2 times. The LCK won owns the Summoner’s Cup from 2013 to 2017 which was called the Great Korean Era in League of Legends.
Who is the most famous team in the LCK?
The most recognized team in the LCK is SKT, currently T1 with fans in almost every part of the world. They are always being rooted by people from around the world even if the teams they are playing against is the fan’s home team.
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