LCK put an exclamation mark on professionals League of Legends last season by sending three of his teams to the semi-finals of the World Championship. And while neither of those reps won the Summoner’s Cup, the LCK’s overwhelming presence as a league was hard to ignore.
Despite a league representative having won only one Summoner’s Cup in the past four seasons (DAMWON Gaming in 2020), the LCK has remained a constant threat at the top of the international stage throughout pro games. of the league the story. And now, on the cusp of 2022, Korea has once again assembled a host of teams capable of claiming international glory.
Yet before the Summoner’s Cup even gets into the conversation, there’s a full season of domestic play to go through. The LCK has always been one of the of the league deepest and most competitive regions, and 2022 is shaping up to be another fierce season for the historic league. As Spring Split approaches, here’s how the Korean teams stack up.
|ten)||Hanwha Life Esports||–|
Lots to prove: Liiv Sandbox, Fredit Brion, Hanwha Life Esports
The offseason reshuffle has left the LCK relatively heavy, with teams like Liiv SANDBOX, Fredit Brion and Hanwha Life Esports battling for the remnants of free agency. Hanwha Life lost two of its most important and most successful players to Chovy and Deft, while Liiv SANDBOX replaced four of its five starters on last season’s playoff qualifying squad. Fredit Brion, who finished last and penultimate in spring and summer respectively, will bring back four-fifths of his 2021 starting lineup, adding depth to the top lane with the signings of former top laner from Hanwha Life Morgan and the former top laner of Griffin Sw0rd.
For each of these three teams, a year of rebuilding and growth is very likely on the horizon. Still, the LCK is known to have hosted underdog-led chaos in the past, with teams like Fredit Brion and others securing shocking shattering victories throughout the past year. In fact, six of Fredit’s 10 wins last season came against playoff teams. If all three of these teams can harness some giant slaughter magic again, they have serious potential to play the spoiler role again in 2022.
On the fence: KT Rolster, Kwangdong Freecs
KT Rolster and Kwangdong (formerly Afreeca) Freecs aren’t strong enough on paper to place in our top five, but they still don’t have enough glaring weaknesses to place them in our bottom three.
The top five teams in our table look solid in terms of talent, but if KT and the Freecs can find ways to hang around, win a few games they aren’t meant to win and turn out to be pesky playoff contenders as they go. ‘have been throughout 2021, any of those underlying threats can shatter the top half of our rankings. Even though established players like Life, Kiin, Teddy, Aria and others don’t have the same star power behind their names as some of the LCK’s top talent, they’re still strong enough to make noise. The teams at the top of our rankings just have more depth compared to those two. Teams like Gen.G and T1, in particular, have proven superstar-level talent in every position, while KT and the Freecs only have a few respectable names at best. While these two teams won’t be as easy to fit into the deeper sections of playoff support, they won’t necessarily be pushovers either.
Real threats: Nongshim RedForce, DRX
While these two teams don’t have enough front-to-back star power to solidify their places in the league’s top echelon right from the jump, DRX and Nongshim RedForce are littered with impressive players in their rosters for them. keep in the playoff conversation throughout the year.
For DRX, a seasoned combination of Deft and BeryL, two professional game veterans with a combined tenure of 13 competitive seasons, constitutes one of the most intriguing player combinations of the 2022 season. These league pillars are teaming up to create one of the most experienced lower aisle duos in the world. As of 2018, Deft and BeryL are two of the most successful LCK players in their positions in the international game. Deft has won 21 international matches in the past four seasons, and BeryL has won 59 individual matches at both MSI and Worlds since making his debut in 2019. If DRX makes it onto the international stage in 2022, the lower lane pair of the team will certainly have the experience to face all enemies from opposing regions.
The additions of Bdd and Ghost to carry positions by Nongshim represent new direction for the team, a focus that prioritizes a ‘win now’ approach, as opposed to the growth-oriented rookie lineup of the year. last. Both of these teams have the potential to run at some point in the season and catapult each other into the top three. But for now, the top five back-end seems like a good place to start for these two contenders.
Fresh out of a trip to the Worlds: Gen.G, T1, DWG KIA
Despite a few roster shuffles, Gen.G, DWG KIA and T1 have found a way to enter the 2022 season as the strongest final teams in the LCK. Representatives from last year’s LCK Worlds (without Hanwha Life) are set to lead the way again for Korea in 2022, with Gen. G and T1 placing first and second in our power rankings, respectively. Judging by the strength of their rosters and the combined past accomplishments of the players on these two teams, one of our sure-fire predictions would be to make Gen. G and T1 into the LCK Spring Finals. The young T1 core remains tight after coming to a World Cup final game, while Gen. G has built around their AD carry Ruler franchise, adding more legendary names in jungler Peanut and mid laner Chovy, among others, has his list this offseason.
In the case of DWG KIA, the dynastic roster that led the organization to two back-to-back World Championship finals was ultimately torn in different directions, but the team found a way to keep its two most important pieces: Canyon and ShowMaker. The jungle-mid duo are two of the most effective professional players League, with two of them winning back-to-back LCK MVP awards at Summer Split 2020 (ShowMaker) and Spring Split 2021 (Canyon). Last season, ShowMaker ranked first in the world among all midlaners with a KDA of 6.5, while Canyon ranked second among all junglers with a rating of 4.9, according to League statistics site Legends Games. Any team that only wields its talents is good enough to earn a place in the top bracket of any domestic league.
If a proven pedigree is worth anything until 2022, there is no doubt that these three teams will not only be some of the best in Korea, but also the best around the world. As the season progresses and we finally get into the international parts of the calendar, look for T1, DWG KIA and Gen.G to all not only be there, but also in full swing.
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