SKT sign Thal and Blossom

SKT T1 continue their long-standing tradition of fielding substitutes by signing Thal and Blossom! What does this duo bring to the table?

by Daniil Volkov

Yeap, SKT T1 have made two more additions to their roster!

The news that top laner Park “Thal” Kwonhyuk and jungler Park “Blossom” Beomchan have joined the Korean powerhouse surfaced in an official Twitter post. The two will likely share play time with Park “Untara” Ui-jin and Kang “Blank” Sun-gu in the upcoming 2018 LCK Spring Split. 

What does this move mean for the legendary organization?

Road to Worlds

It’s hard to deny that LCK is about to enter one of its most competitive seasons. With teams like KSV, Kingzone, and KT Rolster battling for their place at the top of the LCK ladder, SKT were hard-pressed to make changes. And yet, their only roster move was the removal of their previous starters, Huni and Peanut. 

Enter the newcomers.

Thal is a promising top laner that’s already made his presence known in the European Challenger scene. He took over the region with strong performances on carry champions like Jayce and Camille. And while his team—Red Bulls—couldn’t qualify for the 2017 EU CS Summer Split, Thal is still a force to be reckoned with and proved as much throughout. Our only concern is that he seems to be a rookie version of Huni. Naturally, we won’t go as far as claiming that Huni is a bad player, but it was very clear that his approach to the top lane didn’t mesh with SKT’s playstyle. It will be interesting how the team molds a less experienced carry top laner to fit its philosophy.

This move also indicates that SKT don’t have full confidence in their current starter. Obviously, Untara had a few shaky games last split, so having to fight for his spot with another top laner might facilitate some much-needed changes. 

As for Blossom, he’s a complete unknown. Of course, there’s always a risk in bringing in a rookie to play for a top-tier team. But if there’s one organization that’s proven it can scout talent, it’s SKT T1. And considering that Blossom is going to be learning under Blank and Bengi, we expect him to put all doubts to rest in the 2018 LCK season. 

That being said, we can’t help being worried about Blank. He spent a huge chunk of his career as SKT’s substitute, which gave him plenty of time to analyze games and study jungle pathing. Now, he’s going to have to perform with less prep time, and we’re not sure he’s up for the task. 

Regardless of how the roster develops, it has the biggest name in League of Legends on its shoulders to represent. We’ll soon see how the legacy holds.

What do you think about SKT signing Thal and Blossom as their substitutes? Share your opinion in the comments below!

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Daniil Volkov

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