It’s crazy to think that as a three-time League of Legends World Champion, SK Telecom T1’s Jungler, Bae “Bengi” Seong-ung is still perhaps the most underrated player of all time. After being written-off time and time again, subbed out in favour of rising talent on more than one occasion, Bengi is always on hand to carry the World Champions through their toughest tests. Facing elimination from the 2016 World Championship, SKT once again turned to Bengi to find a way to defeat an impressive ROX Tigers line up.
During Season 4 of the LCK, Bengi was suffering through a pitifully weak patch of form. The merciless Korean League of Legend community reacted with some incisive memes, claiming the SK Telecom T1 Jungler was holding back in his play – trying to prove a point by playing with only one hand, the other tied behind his back.
It was a cruel joke, but one that Bengi ultimately made his own, as he rose once more to stamp his authority on his jungling rivals in Korea’s LCK. As fans began to notice the SKT man’s rise back to the top, the hand behind the back meme evolved from mocking Bengi, into an appreciation of his ability to show up for SKT when it really mattered. Bengi is an invaluable member of the SK Telecom T1 roster, unleashing ‘his other hand’ to carry the World Champions when they need him most.
In many ways, Bae “Bengi” Seong-ung is SK Telecom T1’s very own pocket pick, team coach, Kim “KkOma” Jeong-gyun unleashes the Korean veteran whenever his squad have their backs to the wall. Bengi is the oldest player on the SKT roster, providing him a strong presence and a veteran status; an aura of experience that diffuses into the team.
Two games down against a formidable foe in the ROX Tigers, Korea’s regional champions, Kang “Blank” Sun-gu stepped aside to allow Bengi to reclaim his seat on stage. Then came the contentious Nidalee jungle pick – a champion mistakenly allowed to fall through the banning stage, with Bengi having not played a competitive game on the power pick in nearly two years:
“It was because of KkOma’s marvellous pick and ban – Coach KkOma apologised to the team just after the pick and ban phase for my Nidalee game.
“Coach said: ‘Sorry team, Nidalee is open’
“I think KkOma got nervous and made a small ban mistake. Although we usually set pick and bans one day before the match, I was not intended to play Nidalee – but Peanut is pretty good on Nidalee, so we can’t give him that champion, I had to pick it.
“I hadn’t practiced Nidalee much, but, she’s basically a good champion, so I decided to pick it and it went well with a bit of luck.”
Bae “Bengi” Seong-ung
Bengi saved his Nidalee pocket pick for years for this one game.
— MonteCristo (@MonteCristo) 22 October 2016
There’s a special synergy between Faker and Bengi – the veteran Jungler fights to the death for vision and puts pressure on the mid lane far more than his counterpart, Blank. Picking up a Nidalee, Bengi sparked the SKT revival with a convincing performance to lead the team into a Game 5 finale.
Within the SKT squad, Bengi is often overlooked because his mechanics have never been elite tier. But what Bengi brings to the rift is a wealth of experience, game knowledge, and the ability to hard-carry his team with a World Championship on the line – he’s a diehard competitor.
In a do-or-die situation, the biggest tournament of the year, for as long as his abilities are at their disposal, SKT will resurrect Bengi at the vital moment to maintain the team’s legacy.