Meta– (Prefix): Higher than, overarching, dealing with the most fundamental matters of.

Founded in 2016, The Meta publishes the best of long and short-form writing about esports and its cultures. We don’t just report the news – we profile emerging personalities, uncover new competitive scenes, and examine major narratives in order to bring esports into its critical and cultural context. We believe that the future of esports lies in spectatorship and fandom, and that a sharp culture of esports writing will be an essential ingredient for creating these communities.

Sounds like something you want to be a part of? Drop us a line at info@killscreen.com. We’d love to hear from you.

We're always hiring and looking for new writers! For details, click here.

The Meta is made possible by a partnership with Twitch Inc.

Kill Screen Versions The Meta

Cower and flee! The Korean Superteams are coming

Cower and flee! The Korean Superteams are coming

It’s the free agency period for competitive League of Legends, and that means we’re seeing roster shuffles too numerous to name. In North America, Kim “Reignover” Yeu-jin has departed from the Immortals and recently signed to Team Liquid. In EU, Konstantinos “FORG1VEN” Tzortziou still can’t seem to tamp down that wanderlust; he’s left H2K after making it all the way to the semifinals of Worlds, and is accepting new offers.

But none of that matters compared to what’s going on in Korea. In the cradle of League champions, two vast shapes have begun to circle each other, preparing for a titanic struggle the likes of which we have never seen before. Their collective skill is great and terrible; the weight of their experience, crushing. In Korea, two superteams assemble, and their struggle will tear our Earth asunder.

Two factors have made the emergence of two superteams possible. First, two consecutive World Championships by SK Telecom have left Korean expatriates disenchanted with their foreign teams. Higher salaries be damned: players like Kim “Deft” Hyuk-kyu, Cho “Mata” Se-hyeong and Heo “PawN” Won-seok want to take home a trophy, and this year seems to have convinced them (quite reasonably) that their best path to doing that is coming home to Korea.

The second factor is the dissolution of the ROX Tigers, the second most formidable team in their region—right behind our reigning champions, SKT. After struggling to the last match in a best of five against SK Telecom, the sponsor-less, karaoke-singing Mighty Ducks of League couldn’t pull off the happy ending, and decided to go their separate ways. This freed up some of the most individually skilled players in the world, including jungle prodigy Han “Peanut” Wang-ho and comeback kid Song “Smeb” Kyung-ho.

Smeb looks like he’ll be gunning for a second chance against SKT. As of today, the star top laner has officially signed onto KT Rolster. PawN has been confirmed as mid laner, and Go “Score” Dong-bin—the only member of KT to be re-signed—will be their jungler. That leaves their bottom lane open, and right now, two of the best bottom laners in the world are free agents.

Peanut looking cute as a button. Image
Peanut looking cute as a button. Image courtesy of Riot Games

A KT Rolster lineup featuring Smeb, PawN, Deft and Mata would be an unholy terror, but SK Telecom has read the tea leaves and they’re shoring up their defenses as well. So far, that means re-signing Faker (duh) and releasing Duke, arguably the team’s weak link.  Bae “Bengi” Seong-ung won’t be returning to the team either next year, but if the rumors are true, his replacement will be none other than Peanut, the very player who almost cost SKT their shot at the World Championship. It’s worth mentioning that Blank, SKT’s other jungler, has re-signed as well, but they’ve never flinched from having two junglers in the past. With Peanut’s high-tempo style, he could shore up SK Telecom’s early game, the only area where they’ve ever shown real vulnerability.

Granted, a lot of this is rampant speculation. Peanut isn’t confirmed for SKT, and Deft and Mata haven’t announced where they’re landing yet. But if these rumors prove true, we could be looking at the two strongest teams in the history of the game.

Join our Newsletter
Sign up for Watchlist, The Meta’s once-a-week guide to the best of esports