Meet the Worlds 2022 Teams: Korea’s LCK

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Meet the Worlds 2022 Teams: Korea’s LCK

Korean teams are looking to get back to the top after their defeat at Worlds 2021.


While LCK has had a tough time competing against the LPL in the recent international finals, except for a Damwon victory in 2020, this year looks to be the perfect opportunity. They are sending two teams that won Worlds previously and one of the most potent first seeds that came out of Korea in close memory.

DRX

  • Hwang “Kingen” Seong-hoon
  • Hong “Pyosik” Chang-hyeon/Lee “Juhan” Ju-han
  • Kim “Zeka” Geon-woo
  • Kim “Deft” Hyuk-kyu
  • Cho “BeryL” Geon-hee

Aside from a second place at MSI 2018, under the name Kingzone DragonX, DRX hasn’t been all that successful on the international stage, nor their results in LCK were all that impressive. Even this Summer, they only finished in sixth place and had to qualify for Worlds through Regionals, with an upset win over the favorites for the spot, Liiv SANDBOX. Compared to the other Eastern fourth seed, RNG, they aren’t as strong, nor are they really a Worlds contender.

DRX players are also the ones who struggled the most individually. BeryL and Pyosik had some rough games, with the latter getting subbed out for Juhan in the last Regionals series. And BeryL’s decline since his Worlds victory on Damwon seems to continue. We saw him make a lot of unforced errors this split, which lead to his high death numbers. Combine this with a weakside top laner, Kingen’s most played champions are blind pick Gnar and Ornn, the team only looks to two players that need to carry a hefty load.

After spending two years in China and an above-average Spring, Zeka emerged in the Summer Split as a player that can carry games from the mid lane. He has an aggressive champion pool compared to other LCK mids, loves to play melees like Akali, but he is also competent on classic mages like Azir. Then there is Deft, probably on his last tournament before he has to complete his mandatory service. If there are any positives from DRX qualifying over LSB for the Korean fans, it would be watching him at Worlds one last time. Despite his team’s and his support’s not-so-great split, Deft was one of the best ADCs in LCK. He showed multiple different picks during Summer, but the one constant was that DRX always played around him.

  • Players to watch: Zeka, Deft

DWG KIA

  • Jang “Nuguri” Ha-gwon/Noh “Burdol” Tae-yoon
  • Kim “Canyon” Geon-bu
  • Heo “ShowMaker” Su
  • Seo “deokdam” Dae-gil
  • Kim “Kellin” Hyeong-gyu

Once the World Champions expected to build a dynasty, DWG KIA has struggled to get back to their best after a disappointing 2021. They started out the year losing their bot lane duo Jang “Ghost” Yong-jun/BeryL and their top laner Kim “Khan” Dong-ha, and even with Nuguri back on the team, they are having a hard time replicating their success from the last two years.

The main part of the struggle is that their top side doesn’t seem to be at their peak level. Nuguri returned from his short stint at LPL, where he had to deal with some mental health issues, and he is definitely at the same level he was in 2020. We saw him share time with his sub Burdol, who also wasn’t all that impressive. He also played a lot of tanks, which wasn’t successful, and only towards the end of the season started to get more carry picks.

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Mid/jungle duo of Canyon and ShowMaker hasn’t been necessarily bad, just not up to the standards we expected. Canyon especially has been making a lot of mistakes he used to never did, and even when he was playing well we didn’t see many of those “jungle canyon” games. ShowMaker has been maybe the best of these three, he was still good at getting counter picks in draft and capitalizing on them. His champion pool is still one of the most bigger ones in LCK, he played a lot of Corki and TF while not many did.

Then there is the new bot lane duo. Kellin and deokdam are two young prospects who shined on their initial season at Nongshim RedForce, and DWG KIA brought them over as a duo with more potential to carry games. While they did not show this potential fully yet, it’s not exactly their fault as the team tends to leave them as the weakside. Still, the talent of this duo is very apparent, as we saw them show much more in a weaker team. Considering DWG KIA got a group with teams who don’t have the most bot side focused teams, it may be the best opportunity for them.

  • Players to watch: Canyon, ShowMaker

t1worlds2022

T1

  • Choi “Zeus” Woo-je
  • Mun “Oner” Hyeon-jun
  • Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok
  • Lee “Gumayusi” Min-hyeong
  • Ryu “Keria” Min-seok

There isn’t much need to talk about the history of T1 as an organization, except maybe a reminder that they haven’t won any international tournaments since MSI 2017, which they won as SK Telecom T1. Coming into 2022, it looked like this would be the year they would change this, as they won the LCS Spring Split without losing a single Bo5. But ever since their loss at the MSI Finals, T1 hasn’t been that dominant force.

Most of their problems seem to stem from their bot lane. Prior to the MSI of last year, Gumayusi/Keria was seen as the best bot lane in the world by most of the fans, with many arguing about Keria being the best player. In this split, however, neither player is playing at that level. Keria is on a tear trying to find something that works as he has 23 unique picks just in Summer. While Gumayisi is not only top-three or four in LCK ADCs ratings, he has the lowest damage share after 15. He did not play too many Sivir games this Split so there is a chance he recovers with the new meta, but we will have to see.

Faker also did not have the best split. Aside from his Azir and Corki games, he generally shied away from carries and was on the more supportive roaming champions he favored in recent years. Even when he was on Azir, he wasn’t as lane dominant as other top mid laners, and his map play wasn’t as efficient.

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The rest of the T1 top lane was the bright spot for them this Summer. Most of the games they won were by top diff or jungle diff. While Oner wasn’t as impressive as he was in Spring, he is still one of the best junglers in Korea, and he still goes for Lee Sin when put in tough spots, even when not many others do. On the other hand, Zeus was the best top laner in the league; probably no contest. We saw him win so many games by himself on his comfort pick Gnar, but he also had many more picks in his pocket, from Yone to Zac.

  • Players to watch: Zeus, Oner

Gen.G

  • Choi “Doran” Hyeon-joon
  • Han “Peanut” Wang-ho
  • Jeong “Chovy” Ji-hoon
  • Park “Ruler” Jae-hyuk
  • Son “Lehends” Si-woo

Gen.G as an org has inherited a lot of history from the previous Samsung Galaxy franchise. However, they haven’t found the most success ever since the change. Before this Summer, their peak was the first place finish in the LCK 2020 Spring regular season and a string of Finals losses. For 2022, they brought in four new players and built a new team around their long-time ADC, Ruler. While the biggest name in these acquisitions was the mid lane prodigy Chovy, all of them proved to be great additions as they only last one series all Split while winning the league.

Of all five on the roster, only the top laner, Doran, hasn’t been the best player in his position during the Summer Split. But that doesn’t mean he wasn’t any good. Doran was content on getting counter picks and then chilling in his lane as the weakside king. While he mostly went for the classic Gnar pick, we also saw him play champions like Akali and Akshan.

The rest of the team split into two perfect supportive players and two of the best carries in LCK. Both Peanut and Lehends are players with great champion pools and pocket picks. We saw Peanut go for picks like Morgana and Skarner, while Lehends terrorized the league with his Singed support. There aren’t many better players for providing space for their carries.

And just as we mentioned carries, this was the year Chovy finally managed to get over that last hurdle and win his first title. His cs per minute numbers were lower as we were in a more roam heavy meta, but he still led the league with hard-to-reach stats, while also improving his map movement and his late game teamfighting. As impressive as Chovy was, Ruler was the main man in this split. He had five champions he played more than two games on with a 100% win rate. Plus we saw him dominate on Lucian/Nami, while other regions or even other ADCs in LCK struggled to utilize it.

With this five-man group, Gen.G is maybe the best chance LCK has to break the LPL dominance.

  • Players to watch: Chovy, Ruler

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Meet the Worlds 2022 Teams: Korea’s LCK
Rohat Dicle Kılınç
Rohat is a writer mainly focused on the League of Legends esports scene, and an LCS hopeful.