With the 2018 KeSPA Cup set to start shortly in less than a week, most teams have finally locked in their rosters. Now it’s time to take a look at some players that are favorites to win the first tournament of the season for Korea. Will these teams be able to set the tone going into the start of the LCK season? Will we get to find the early favorites to win Worlds? Let’s find out.
SK Telecom T1
Was there any doubt that SKT would be one of the favorites to win the KeSPA Cup? There is simply too much talent on this team for them to fail. From Kim “Khan” Dong-ha in the top all the way to Park “Teddy” Jin-seong and Cho “Mata” Se-hyeong. Even if all that fails the team can always fall back on Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok to carry the team over the finish line. Along with a young and talented jungle duo in Kim “Clid” Tae-min and Kang “Haru” Min-seung, this team will be the overwhelming favorites to win KeSPA Cup and the LCK going forward. But for this team to cement themselves as the early favorites to win Worlds, they can’t just have a solid performance – they need to be absolutely dominating the region.
The defending champion of both LCK and the KeSPA Cup, KT Rolster comes into this year with a very different roster. There are some questions surrounding this team that may affect how well they do. For starters, will jungler Go “Score” Dong-bin be able to keep up against the top junglers of the region, or will this be the season he begins to underperform? And if he does begin to underperform, how much?
On top of that, how will their new ADC Byun “Gango” Se-hoon (formerly of Unsold Stuff Gaming in Japan) perform against other Korean ADCs? Will he be able to stand up against the likes of former KT ADC Kim “Deft” Hyuk-kyu and SKT’s Teddy? In general how will their bot lane perform considering both Gango and No “SnowFlower” Hoi-jong are just making their return to Korea after fairly successful results in other regions.
As long as their bot lane is able to hold their own against the other top bot lanes of the region, expect KT to put up a fight to defend their title.
Griffin was one of the bigger winners in the offseason simply through the fact that their roster stayed intact, despite all the promising young players that would’ve been an upgrade to any team. As such, Griffin will be able to continue to dominate the region and improve on their results from last season. They did make one roster change by adding Jeong “Kabbie” Sang-hyeon as a substitute support. This will provide them with some insurance incase the small champion pool of Son “Lehends” Si-woo becomes an issue during any particular meta. By fixing one of their key weaknesses on paper from the previous season, Griffin will look to make worlds this season. For the time being, though, a domestic title will be their key target.
Dark Horse: Kingzone DragonX
Kingzone has an interesting roster on paper. If everything works out, they could be a dark horse to win KeSPA Cup. But for this team, there are quite a few aspects that need to work out. While their bot lane pairing of Kim “Deft” Hyuk-kyu and Park “TusiN” Jong-ik will easily be one of the best in the league, their top half of the map will be the deciding factor as to how far this team can go. Will Kim “Rascal” Kwang-hee and Moon “Cuzz” Woo-chan be able to maintain their solid performances from limited playtime in a full season? Will Heo “PawN” Won-seok have a return of form? Or will he disappoint and turn out to be a bottom-tier mid laner? These are some fairly important questions that face the team. But if it works out, don’t be surprised to see this team make a run for the title.
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Featured image courtesy of KeSPA.
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