Today's editorial cartoon is about how SKT won the MSI 2017...but at a cost.
Held in Brazil, the 2017 Mid-Season Invitational was a slugfest between the best of different regions. In the end though, it ended with indomitable SKT holding the cup once again. However, what we want to talk about is how the SKT had to shed blood throughout the tournament.
The fact that SKT lost against Flash Wolves and Team WE in the Group Stage was an upset on its own. Even so, nobody could have seen what was going to happen in the finals of the MSI. In fact, nobody could have predicted that G2 Esports would be the team that faces SKT in the finals.
Europe hasn't been a stronger contender in the international stage for years. G2's way to semifinals and defeating Team WE in the said semifinals looked like a good fortune for G2 - and perhaps also for SKT who'll be facing the team that they defeated twice in the Group Stage.
Everything changed when Faker's Cassiopeia crumbled into pebbles five minutes into the first game.
With well-executed drafts and impressive macro plays, G2 kept SKT on their toes and even took off Game 2 from SKT. It was a 'feat' that hasn't been seen on the finals of an international League of Legends tournament for a while by a western team.
While the finals ended 3-1 in SKT's favor, don't be fooled by the numbers; it was certainly not a one-sided match. What the fans saw in the match was not another SKT victory. They saw the possibility that other regions can truly catch up and be a strong contender for SKT's crown.
What other regions could do better is not a secret at all. The language barrier between imports and locals was emphasized well enough; one-dimensional drafts based on a single star player was another problem; some even suggested they simply needed to practice more. What G2 showed that match were good teamwork with import players, sophisticated drafts and well-practiced plays. At least for that match, G2 had to key to the crown, but just fell short before they could reach it.
"The gap is closing" has often been used as a sarcastic phrase. It's now a meme that pokes fun at the 'false' hope that other regions have against Korean teams. For once, however, we might have truly seen the gap closing for G2. Only time will tell if this is true, but we are going to watch G2 and other teams with a newfound hope: We will see if they can become worthy contenders of the crown that the LCK teams hoarded away for a long time.
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