Peanut has tried and failed two years in a row to win Worlds. Both these years, he came extremely close to winning the Summoner’s Cup. The first was in 2016 during which he was jungling for the Rox Tigers. The Rox Tigers were the most hyped up of all the teams, and we were certain that they’d end up championing over SKT, but they were unable to. This year, he joined SKT in order to gain a better chance at the cup, but was stopped dead in his tracks in the Finals by SSG.
Possible Reasons behind Peanut’s Decision
Peanut is the kind of guy who wants to carry games to victory, and loves to have fun while he’s at it. However, SKT is the kind of team that values victory over anything else. They have subs for this reason, and Huni and Peanut were subbed out by Blank and Untara more than just a few times. From Peanut’s perspective, he was made to do all the work while Blank could swoop in after analysing the opponent – securing a nearly perfect winrate for himself during LCK Summer 2017.
One major reason that may have forced Peanut’s in leaving SKT is the team’s playstyle. Peanut prefers playing champions with early game carry potential and high skill caps like Lee Sin, Rengar and Elise. However, the meta was sharply in favour of tank junglers this year. Owing to this, SKT’s gameplay was centred around late game teamfights rather than early game, contrary to Peanut’s style.
Peanut often struggled while playing tanky champions. Due to this, he couldn’t keep up with opponents who were doing well in the current meta. This didn’t deter SKT from forming team compositions that required Peanut to perform well on tank junglers. Other teams differed from this, most notably the Gigabyte Marines. Other LCK teams started shifting towards early game junglers during Worlds, but not SKT. Every time Peanut failed to do well, Blank would sub in.
Can Peanut Win Worlds This Year?
The seemingly perfect team for Peanut is kt Rolster because of their overly aggressive playstyle. I think Peanut would find himself right at home in that team. However, Longzhu isn’t far off – they play in a well-rounded style, and aren’t afraid to go aggressive. That’s one of the many reasons that LZ were able to defeat SKT repeatedly this year and win LCK 2017.
It may look like Peanut is breaking up the perfect team by moving away from SKT, but the truth is that he’s leaving a team in which he didn’t fully fit in. Longzhu already has some of his old teammates from the days of Rox Tigers in 2016 – PraY and GorillA, so he’s already got an understanding with a part of his team. Longzhu managed to defeat SKT in the KeSPA cup just now. Although they couldn’t win the tournament, the message sent to SKT is definitely a strong one.
Peanut definitely made the right decision by what I can see so far. Whether or not this new Longzhu can resume it’s onslaught in the LCK is yet to be seen this spring season. However, speculation suggests that Peanut is about to have a much better year than the last one. He’s probably got a better chance at the Worlds Cup than he’s ever had before.