SKT’s void in the jungle
Who would’ve thought that SKT T1 could fall so low? The 2018 LCK Spring Split turned on its head, as the best LoL team in the world struggled to stand up to the rising level of competition. We take a look at the problem that plagued SKT for the entirety of their regular season. The void in the jungle.
A shaky foundation
SKT have always had a clear idea of how to use their jungler. It didn’t matter who the jungler in question was either, as they never assigned much meaning to name value. So whether they fielded someone as low-key as Bengi or someone as flashy as Peanut, SKT always demanded the same thing.
This created a unique dynamic where SKT was one of the few teams to use a sixth man—a substitute jungler that could come through in a pinch. They needed a foundation for their starters to lean on. And they didn’t care which player provided it.
For the longest time, this plan went without a hitch. After all, there’s only so much a jungler needs to do when he’s playing with some of the best laners in the world. But now that the cracks began to show, SKT had to turn to the position they long since neglected. They had to turn to the jungle.
Blank vs Blossom
From their very first 2018 games, it was clear that something was wrong. SKT, a team with two actual junglers, was playing with Wolf in the jungle. The fans laughed it off at the time, but the following games revealed the actual reason behind the move: Blank looked utterly lost on stage. And he seemed ill-prepared for his transition to the starting position.
SKT’s other lanes also took a hit. Thal and Untara were struggling to hold their ground in the top lane while Bang and Wolf were trying to recover from their 2017 Worlds slump. With that, SKT needed to get the most out of their jungler. But they couldn’t get it from Blank.
This is where Blossom came in. The rookie jungler displayed relentless aggression, which was akin to a breath of fresh air for SKT fans. Suddenly, the struggling lineup had a confident playmaker that was eager to initiate teamfights and invade the enemy jungle. Perhaps too eager, as his plays erred on the side of recklessness. Still, Blossom’s plays were vital to SKT picking up some much-needed wins in their fight for the playoffs.
And then, he just… disappeared. With Blank taking his place, this was a sign of SKT T1 going back to their old line of thinking. In their eyes, a stable starter was better than a hectic playmaker. However, this would only hold true if they were still top-tier team. And considering the current state of SKT T1, Blossom’s wild energy might’ve the only thing that could bring them success.