What does it mean to be the metric for perfection? It means that you’re infallible. It means that you’re invincible. It means that you’re all-powerful. In League of Legends, it means that you’re the Unkillable Demon God. The World stage is where players must test their might, and defy all odds again, and again, and again. When you’re up against Faker, it means that you have only one option:
Transcend, or die.
Faker, and SKT, are entities who have become intertwined into the mythos of League of Legends itself. It takes a special kind of person to be the only player across all esports titles to be considered the undisputed GOAT in his game. It seems as if there is a separate class for all those who approach godhood, to be categorized in the Faker-class. Only one who can be the brightest star in the toughest moment again, and again, and again, can be considered to be approaching the mountain that is Faker.
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History is Made - 18th May, 2019
MSI saw a Korean dream-team assembled. Faker was no longer left to solo his way to the top as in 2017’s Worlds - his last international appearance. SKT had been blamed for leaning too heavily on the greatest player’s legacy for too long. His jungle had been controlled by Clid, one of the best junglers in the world. His bot lane was Teddy - the sole carry threat from Jin Air and Mata - one of the best supports ever seen. Rounding things out would be Khan - the final X factor.
With a five carry threat Korean super squad, history was made. SK Telecom was eliminated in the semifinals of an international tournament. This would be the first time in history where SKT was eliminated before the finals, the second time in history that it was to a non-Korean team, and the first time in history that a Western team would be the one to do it. It was the real final of MSI, with G2 Esports - Europe’s last hope - beating out SKT to go on and win the championship.
There have been players in the West who have been individually skilled enough to take on Korea and China since the inception of the World series. Even players like Doublelift, whose international presence - shy of one MSI - has never been seen deep in a tournament, are given credit and how individually skilled they are.
There has never before been a team which you look at and say that this a team of the best players in the world.
G2 Esports is the ultimate outlier. The concept of the clear, undisputed, unanimous favorite of Worlds being a European team without a single import is preposterous. Even last year’s Fnatic - who were dark horses to win the tournament - couldn’t come close to it. Player after player, talent after talent, everyone thinks that they’re the team to beat.
The past three World Championships, have seen Perkz matched up by one of the best teams of the tournament. In 2016, he was eliminated in the group stage by Rox Tigers - considered by most to be the only team that truly rivalled SKT, even on paper. In 2017, he was removed from the tournament in the group stage by the eventual champions: Samsung Galaxy. The theme of Perkz having to play the best to move forward didn’t stop there. After finally breaking out of groups, he now had to look Uzi in the eye in the year where it was finally meant to be RNG’s championship.
Pressure can turn a player into a peasant, or into a king.
2018 saw Perkz seize the pen of fate, and write his name into a list of royalty. Eliminating the best team in the tournament despite a severely handicapped team, Perkz catapulted his team forward into the semi-finals, where they were defeated by eventual champions Invictus Gaming.
With RNG, Perkz had tasted the blood of gods, and decided that he wanted even more. So began, the assembly of the true super-team. Every single role had to have the best of what Europe had to offer, and when bot lane was found wanting - Perkz extended his hand out to snatch Caps from Fnatic, and shift his presence to a completely different role.
So came to be, the bane of the East: Jankos, the first blood king. Wunder, the top lane miracle. Caps - baby Faker. MikyX - the one-handed swordsman. PromisQ - the international wrecking ball.
Perkz: Uma Jan.
Related: LoL Worlds 2019 semi-finals preview
Countdown to Battle - October 31st, 2019
The semifinal between SKT and G2 is the true grand finale for this World Championship. The ultimate clash of styles, philosophy and history. The ultimate Koreans, versus their once-bane. God versus god-eater. This is not the same as MSI. G2 is now going to find Faker, the ultimate champion, in his own backyard: the World championships.
This is where the journey has brought us. No Worlds seems truly complete without the final boss, and Faker cannot retain the crown of godhood until he defeats the only team to ever take him out of contention early on. Korea has answered the world, with their very best. They have heard the cries of the gap closing, they have heard the cries of “the next Faker”, and they have seen their own kin bleed.
This is no longer about East and West. To them, it is about the ultimate legacy. Faker’s dynasty will never be tarnished, but it can be ended. The true finale of Worlds is not going to be in Paris. It is going to be played out in Palacio Vistalegre, Madrid.
The Unkillable Demon God, versus Uma Jan.