For the last 3 years the champions of League of Legends have been Korean teams. The two best teams in the world are Korean, and SK Telecom T1 (SKT), the world’s number one team, are considered to be one of the best League of Legends teams of all time. So why do Korean teams tend to dominate the sport? Here we look at some of the most important reasons why Korea produces so much esport talent particularly for League of Legends.
The Korean Professionals Are Prepared For The International Set Up
In Korea the elite leagues are familiar with playing “best of three” in knockout stages of completion, whereas in Europe, for example, we play one single game to settle the tie. The elite Korean games are longer and stretched out over two or three games. This matches the setup for international tournaments. So not only are they more used to the layout of the exchanges, but also purely in terms of time, Korean players are more experienced dealing with very high levels of pressure over longer stints of gameplay. This is the format they play constantly.
Korean Culture Breeds Esports Superstars
Two things happen when your culture embraces a sport:
- Many more people play the game, which means there is a much higher level of competition.
- Fans and audiences come in much greater numbers.Both of these factors create stronger “athletes”. The competition forces players to train harder and concentrate more on their “career”, and the audience brings with it fame and money which helps motivation. Professional gaming in Korea is far more recognized as a career than it is here in the west.League of Legends revolves around brain power and rapid mathematical ability to a certain degree. In Korea the pursuit of Mathematical education is a very highly rated occupation, so the game actually ties in well with many Korean parents’ ambitions for their children. Imagine how much better a gamer you would be if your parents encouraged you to play as much as possible as soon as you could count and press buttons!
Recruitment Of Talent In Korea Is More Effective
The route into becoming a League of Legends gamer is actually quite simple. That does not mean it is easy. Anyone can go out and buy the game for their PC, and participate in online games against other people. Beat enough people and you will climb the rankings. Climb high enough with good enough stats and you will be noticed by esports’ headhunters. The difference is that in Korea the process is very organized, with serious players able to have games against only other serious players. In Europe, however, the online scene is far less efficient and full of much less serious players. So working your way through the ranks in Korea is much harder than doing it here. This breads much finer talent.
It’s Hard to Catch Up In League Of Legends
Due to the nature of the game, the more you win, the more your strategies are concealed. When you win, you don’t have to pull any new tactics or change things around, so effectively when you win you keep your cards close to your chest. This will be a factor that makes it a mountain to climb for western teams to close the gap!