Earlier this week, I wrote about the strong possibility that we could be witnessing the formation of two Korean superteams, whose titanic struggle would damage the very fabric of reality. KT Rolster had already signed Song “Smeb” Kyung-ho and Heo “PawN” Won-seok, and was supposedly considering Kim “Deft” Hyuk-kyu and Cho “Mata” Se-hyeong for bottom lane; meanwhile, SK Telecom re-signed Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok, and was rumored to be in talks with Wang Ho “Peanut” Han, the young jungle prodigy from the ROX Tigers.
Over the last few days, in a series of tweets, all but one of those rumors have been confirmed. KT Rolster has officially signed Deft, who might be the best ADC player in the world. As for Peanut, you know what they say: if you can’t beat the best League of Legends team in the world, join the best League of Legends team in the world. But which of these is the more valuable pickup?
— 김혁규 Deft (@KTDefT1) December 1, 2016
The answer to that question comes down not to individual skill—Peanut and Deft occupy different roles anyway, and who’s to say which of these insanely talented players is better—but to team identity. KT Rolster has assembled an ungodly roster, but it remains to be seen whether or not those all-stars will find a common path to victory. Will Smeb tone back his aggression to play around the cautious and calculating Deft? Will Deft turn on the nitrous oxide and follow Smeb into the jaws of hell? There’s no way to know until we see them in action.
SKT, though, knows their game plan. Between Faker, Bae “Bang” Jun-sik and Lee “Wolf” Jae-wan, they’re counter-punchers of the highest order, and when they take an early lead they’re one of the most difficult teams to stage a comeback against. People like comparing them to one big boa constrictor, choking the life out of opponents slowly but surely, punishing every breath with a tighter hold.
SKT T1의 새로운 정글러를 소개합니다.
Peanut 한왕호 선수와 계약을 체결했습니다.
Peanut 선수 환영해 주시고, 2017 SKT T1 많은 응원 부탁드립니다. 감사합니다. pic.twitter.com/2bFWOa3fRf
— SK telecom T1 (@sktelecom_t1) December 1, 2016
Historically, the only avenue to victory against SK Telecom has been through their early game. That’s how ROX Tigers took the second and third games off of them during the Worlds semifinals. Now, a key player in securing that early lead will be helping SKT do the same against future opponents. This begs the question: if a Peanut-stocked SK Telecom is no longer vulnerable to early aggression, how the hell are you supposed to beat them?
Surely, SK Telecom will face a serious contender in the new super-charged KT Rolster lineup, especially if the final rumor in this roster shuffle—Mata as their new support—is confirmed. But with Peanut’s signing, SKT looks more indestructible than ever.