In a year without Rift Rivals, the LPL and the LCK will still have their rivalry matches. As previously announced, both regions will face off in a tournament before the Summer split takes off. There will be a prize pool awarded to the winning team, but the total amount is yet to be revealed. The Korean teams will compete from the LOL Park in Seoul. The Chinese teams will play from the LPL Stadium in Shanghai. To be fair to both sides, the ping will be artificially set to 40. The teams have been officially confirmed and the top four teams of both regions will be the ones to participate. The four teams representing the LPL are JD Gaming, TOP Esports, FunPlus Phoenix, and Invictus Gaming. T1, Gen.G, DragonX, and Damwon Gaming will represent the LCK. Today’s article will focus on the LCK teams.
The LCK Champions: T1
Previously known as SKT, the team rebranded during the offseason, becoming T1. Picking up Cuzz in the jungle and Canna, a rookie, for the top lane, T1 seemed like a menace from the get-go. However, the team faltered several times, finishing the regular season in second. Due to the LCK’s format, their second seed meant that their playoff race started in the semi-finals. The faced DragonX, a team they defeated twice in the regular season. T1 won the series 3:1. Moving into the grand finals, they faced off against Gen.G. In the regular season, both their matches against Gen.G where close matches where T1 emerged victoriously. Meeting in the Grand Finals, the match resulted in a quick 3:0 in favor of T1.
The LCK Runner Ups: Gen.G
After an unsuccessful 2019, Gen.G decided to scratch their entire top half of the map and rebuild around Ruler and Life. With Rascal, Clid, and BDD coming in, Gen.G were one of the favorites from the start of the split. Despite never taking down T1 in the regular season, Gen.G took first place. While both Gen.G and T1 finished 14:4, Gen.G had an extra game win, thus cementing first place. That meant that Gen.G were going to finals, regardless of what happened in the other playoff matches. As mentioned above, this didn’t end well for them, as they got 3:0 by T1. On May 15, Head Coach Edgar was relieved of his duties with Gen.G. Edgar has been the coach since 2013 and back then they were still under Samsung. While his replacement has yet to be announced, this tournament will be Gen.G’s first with a new head coach.
Third Place: DragonX
Known last year as Kingzone DragonX, the team rebranded to just DragonX during the off-season. Kingzone wasn’t the only thing dropped, as all 5 players were replaced as the team looked to start anew. Bringing Doran and Chovy over from Griffin, they brought Deft to round out the 3 veterans forming the squad. Their new jungler and support were both rookies, with the latter being a substitute during their Kingzone days. The squad showed their potential during the regular season, also ending with a 14:4 record. However, due to having one extra loss compared to T1, they fell down to third. Their first match in the playoffs was against Damwon, and in a very back and forth series, they took them down 3:2. Their next match was against T1, and as mentioned above, they fell 3:1. After falling just short of making it to worlds last summer, DragonX’s overhaul seems to been a success.
Fourth Place: Damwon Gaming
The final team representing the LCK, Damwon Gaming has once again made it to an international event. Since joining the LCK last Spring, they have been to both Rift Rivals and Worlds, showing consistency as a top tier team. The road this split wasn’t easy, as Damwon looked much weaker at the start of the split. It wasn’t until the end of February that Ghost joined from Sandbox, upgrading their bot lane. Now with a stable bot lane, Damwon could return to applying full pressure to the top side of the map, where star top-laner Nuguri continued to perform. The team managed to finish in fifth place, taking the last spot in playoffs. In their first match against KT Rolster, Damwon took the series in a close 2:1. Moving along to face DragonX, the series was once again a close series but ended in a loss for Damwon.
And that concludes the look at the four teams representing the LCK. In next week’s article, it will be the LPL’s turn. So stay tuned and come back next Friday for the final article before the tournament begins.
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