The LCS Season 2023 Kickoff Event ended in a victory for the young guns of the league.
LCS had a nice start to the 2023 Season with a great showmatch at the LoL Esports’ new Kickoff Events. The game featured one player from each ten LCS teams representing their organizations drafted into two games facing off in a best-of-three series on the Summoner’s Rift. However, the game had a different format compared to a regular pro game, but a similar one to the Fearless Draft mode that LDL was trying out. The players weren’t able to pick a champion previously played, but aside from these repeat champions, there weren’t any bans.
Old guard vs. the new players was already a big narrative during last year, and it continued into this year’s Kickoff as well. The team names were decided by fans via a Twitter poll LCS Commissioner Jackie Felling put out.
- Colin "Solo" Earnest (Top laner/TSM)
- Juan Arturo "Contractz" Garcia (Jungler/CLG)
- Nicolaj "Jensen" Jensen (Mid laner/Dignitas)
- Jackson "Array" Moldenhauer (Bot laner/GG Academy)*
- Jo "CoreJJ" Yong-in (Support/TL)
- Mohamed "Revenge" Kaddoura (Top laner/Immortals)
- Mingyi "Spica" Lu (Jungler/FlyQuest)
- Joseph Joon "jojopyun" Pyun (Mid laner/EG)
- Kim "Berserker" Min-cheol (Bot laner/C9)
- Alan "Busio" Cwalina (Support/100 Thieves)
*Replaced Trevor "Stixxay" Hayes as Stixxay couldn’t attend due to health reasons.
Boomers started out hot to the series in Game 1. The squad led by Jensen and Contractz had a very standard draft, while their opponents played a more off-meta comp with Yasuo/Zac bot lane and Shen jungle. Unfortunately for the youngsters, they fell behind during the mid game and the Boomers did a great job at snowballing their lead. The mid jungle duo was the stars of the game, especially Jensen who looked great on Ryze.
The second game also didn’t start out great for Zoomers. A level one first blood and multiple mistakes at the bot lane meant they once again had to play from a deficit. Despite Zoomers making plays by finding side line picks with their solo laners, Boomers bot lane and jungle were too ahead so it looked like a comeback was out of the picture. But a great teamfight during the Baron turned the game’s fate in a moment and we got ourselves a third game. However, among all the great moments on the Rift, the highlight of the second game was the cast featuring the C9 support Zven.
The last game wasn’t the most exciting, unfortunately, as both teams defaulted to a very standard style of play. Zoomers this time managed to find advantages through their early laning, but Contractz was able to keep his team in the game with his excellent Viego plays. In the end, Revenge and Berserker were able to carry the Zoomers to a win.
Deft emerges victorious over Faker once again
The LCS Kickoff event wasn’t the first show of the day. Riot’s big day started out early in Korea in a clash of LCK titans. In a grudge match between two Worlds 2022 finalists, Faker and Deft drafted their teams and faced off, starting with one of the most entertaining Mundo dodgeball games. The series all the way to game three, in a fashion resembling an LCK game. Both teams seemed to push for the win, which was explained by KT Rolster jungler Cuzz when he said that they really wanted the emote awards.
But not to worry, as players got to have fun afterward in a 1v1, and 2v2, tournament. Cuzz also won the battle royal inspired ARAM tournament by beating Nongshim RedForce support Peter.
Aside from the LCK and LCS, the highlight of the day has to be the showmatches from the VCS. Teams played a Bo3 series where they first had five tanks vs. five tanks draft, followed by an all-ADCs game. Although there wasn’t an English cast for the game, interested fans can find the VOD of the event on the VCS YouTube channel.
For more LCS and LoL Esports coverage, follow us on ESTNN.