T1 and Keria dominate the LCK as they want
T1 has set out to dominate the South Korean competition as it did a year ago and has been one defeat away from achieving it. The three-time world champions have finished the regular phase of the League of Legends Championship Korea (LCK) in first position and is one map away from repeating the perfect season. Lee Sang-hyeok’s team”Faker» and Gen.G are once again the clear candidates for the title after getting direct qualification to the second round of a changed playoffs compared to 2022.
Technically the LCK already knew the qualifiers (T1, Gen.G, Dplus KIA, KT Rolster, Hanwha Life Esports and Liiv SANDBOX) for a week. However, these last few days the teams -with the exception of the three-time world champions- risked having a better seeding ahead of the playoffs. In the absence of season prizes, Ryu Min-seok «Keria» has been proclaimed the player of the divided after getting 1300 points, that is, 13 prizes for the best player in the game. The complete classification is the following:
- T1, 17-1 (Maps: 35-8)
- Gen.G, 13-5 (Maps: 30-13)
- KT Rolster, 13-5 (Maps: 28-15)
- Dplus KIA, 12-6 (Maps: 26-14)
- Hanwha Life Esports, 10-8 (Maps: 24-21)
- Liiv SANDBOX, 10-8 (Maps: 24-23)
- Kwangdong Freecs, 6-12 (Maps: 17-28)
- BRION, 4-14 (Maps: 13-31)
- XRD, 3-15 (Maps: 12-32)
- Nongshim Redforce, 2-16 (Maps: 9-33)
The LCK bets on a playoffs similar to those of the LPL
The playoffs have been one of the hot debate points of South Korean competition throughout history. After a few early years with a ‘classic’ format, the LCK opted for ‘King of the Hill’. In other words, this system rewarded the best-of-five with fewer series, qualifying the leading team to the final directly. During the last years it was decided to return to the quarterfinals, semifinals and final. However, this 2023 the league will have a format similar to that of the League of Legends Pro League (LPL).
This year’s LCK playoffs will kick off with matchups between the third-placed to sixth-placed teams with direct elimination. In the second round (previously the semifinals), T1 and Gen.G will wait for their rivals and the leader will be able to choose his opponent. From here everyone the participants will have a new opportunity in the case of defeats since the South Korean competition now has a lower draw, that is, a losers bracket.
The trucks also arrive against the organization
However, the last week of the LCK has not been without controversy. In South Korea, one of the usual practices of the fans is to hire trucks with signs to send them to the team offices and show their complaints. T1, KT Rolster or Gen.G are some of the teams that throughout history have had this type of practice against them. In any case, this time the fans of the league have positioned themselves against the league.
According to Daniel Kwonquest“, Nick De Cesare’s manager”LS«, the fans have sent the following message to the league: «Operational problems since last year have resulted in a gameplay unfair. The LCK evades redemption, claiming that there was no precedent in the compensation. Provide transparency in the improvement measures after discussing with the organizations«. In short, the fans have positioned themselves alongside BRION, which has denounced unfair treatment by the competition.
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