2019 LoL Champions Korea Spring

16 January, 2019 - 13 April, 2019 Seoul, South Korea

LCK or League of Legends Champions Korea is the premier league in South Korean League of Legends and this is the first half of the 2019 LCK Season. 

LCK Spring is a 10 team league that is split up into three stages, the promotion tournament where the bottom teams have to defend their spot against the best teams of Challengers Korea Spring followed by the regular season where the 10 teams will try and gain entry to the playoffs.

The winner of the Spring split will be representing Korea in the Mid-Season invitational which is an international tournament played in between the Spring and Summer split.

The  summer season is the season that will decide the teams that will be invited to the World Championship. The winner of the Summer season, the team that has the most circuit points, if the winner of the season is the team with the most points, the team with the second most points will be invited to worlds. For the next four teams in terms of circuit points, that are not invited directly to Worlds, the path takes a turn to the Regional Finals were they will be seeded in to a gauntlet style bracket, with the winner taking the last Korean ticket to worlds.

The League is played offline in Seoul, South Korea, the broadcast is held by Riot Games Korea and the total prize pool is ₩275,000,000 (KRW).

2019 LoL Champions Korea Spring Betting Odds

Gen.G esportsvsGriffin2019 LoL Champions Korea Spring
2019-02-20 08:00:00
KT RolstervsSK Telecom T12019 LoL Champions Korea Spring
2019-02-20 11:00:00
Jin Air Green WingsvsKINGZONE DragonX2019 LoL Champions Korea Spring
2019-02-21 08:00:00
Hanwha Life EsportsvsDAMWON Gaming2019 LoL Champions Korea Spring
2019-02-22 08:00:00

2019 LoL Champions Korea Spring Betting Tips

SK Telecom T1vsHanwha Life Esports2019 LoL Champions Korea Spring
2019-02-03 11:45:00
Win

SK Telecom T1 (-1.5)

2.00

rainpainter

KINGZONE DragonXvsGen.G esports2019 LoL Champions Korea Spring
2019-02-03 08:05:00
Win

KINGZONE DragonX

1.44

heitorpereira

Jin Air Green WingsvsHanwha Life Esports2019 LoL Champions Korea Spring
2019-02-01 11:05:00
Win

Hanwha Life Esports

1.22

heitorpereira

KINGZONE DragonXvsDAMWON Gaming2019 LoL Champions Korea Spring
2019-02-01 08:10:00
Loss

DAMWON Gaming

1.40

heitorpereira

Gen.G esportsvsKT Rolster2019 LoL Champions Korea Spring
2019-01-31 11:05:00
Loss

KT Rolster (-1.5)

2.62

Warrior Lady

Gen.G esportsvsKT Rolster2019 LoL Champions Korea Spring
2019-01-31 11:05:00
Loss

KT Rolster

1.58

heitorpereira

GriffinvsSK Telecom T12019 LoL Champions Korea Spring
2019-01-31 08:05:00
Win

Griffin (-1.5)

2.00

Warrior Lady

GriffinvsSK Telecom T12019 LoL Champions Korea Spring
2019-01-31 08:05:00
Loss

SK Telecom T1 (1.5)

1.83

apogio3

GriffinvsSK Telecom T12019 LoL Champions Korea Spring
2019-01-31 08:05:00
Win

Griffin

1.33

Trasckas

GriffinvsSK Telecom T12019 LoL Champions Korea Spring
2019-01-31 08:05:00
Win

Griffin (-1.5)

2.00

Trasckas

GriffinvsSK Telecom T12019 LoL Champions Korea Spring
2019-01-31 08:05:00
Win

Under 2.5

1.65

Trasckas

GriffinvsSK Telecom T12019 LoL Champions Korea Spring
2019-01-31 08:05:00
Win

Griffin

1.30

heitorpereira

Afreeca FreecsvsJin Air Green Wings2019 LoL Champions Korea Spring
2019-01-30 12:05:00
Loss

Jin Air Green Wings (1.5)

2.00

apogio3

Afreeca FreecsvsJin Air Green Wings2019 LoL Champions Korea Spring
2019-01-30 12:05:00
Win

Afreeca Freecs

1.30

heitorpereira

Jin Air Green WingsvsGen.G esports2019 LoL Champions Korea Spring
2019-01-27 11:25:00
Win

Gen.G esports

1.30

heitorpereira

Jin Air Green WingsvsGen.G esports2019 LoL Champions Korea Spring
2019-01-27 11:25:00
Loss

Gen.G esports (-1.5)

2.00

Warrior Lady

SK Telecom T1vsDAMWON Gaming2019 LoL Champions Korea Spring
2019-01-27 08:00:00
Win

SK Telecom T1

1.54

wakanda111

KINGZONE DragonXvsAfreeca Freecs2019 LoL Champions Korea Spring
2019-01-26 08:05:00
Win

KINGZONE DragonX (1.5)

1.57

heitorpereira

Gen.G esportsvsAfreeca Freecs2019 LoL Champions Korea Spring
2019-01-24 11:40:00
Loss

Afreeca Freecs (-1.5)

3.00

apogio3

Hanwha Life EsportsvsGriffin2019 LoL Champions Korea Spring
2019-01-23 11:10:00
Win

Griffin (-1.5)

1.40

apogio3

Hanwha Life EsportsvsGriffin2019 LoL Champions Korea Spring
2019-01-23 11:10:00
Loss

Over 2.5

3.25

Vqx7

Hanwha Life EsportsvsGriffin2019 LoL Champions Korea Spring
2019-01-23 11:10:00
Loss

Hanwha Life Esports (1.5)

2.75

rainpainter

KT RolstervsKINGZONE DragonX2019 LoL Champions Korea Spring
2019-01-23 08:20:00
Loss

KT Rolster (-1.5)

2.25

Forg1ven

KT RolstervsKINGZONE DragonX2019 LoL Champions Korea Spring
2019-01-23 08:20:00
Win

KINGZONE DragonX (1.5)

1.60

Trasckas

KT RolstervsKINGZONE DragonX2019 LoL Champions Korea Spring
2019-01-23 08:20:00
Win

KINGZONE DragonX

2.75

Vqx7

Afreeca FreecsvsHanwha Life Esports2019 LoL Champions Korea Spring
2019-01-20 11:10:00
Loss

Over 2.5

2.20

apogio3

Afreeca FreecsvsHanwha Life Esports2019 LoL Champions Korea Spring
2019-01-20 11:10:00
Win

Hanwha Life Esports

3.00

Vqx7

Afreeca FreecsvsHanwha Life Esports2019 LoL Champions Korea Spring
2019-01-20 11:10:00
Loss

Afreeca Freecs (-1.5)

2.20

Forg1ven

DAMWON GamingvsKT Rolster2019 LoL Champions Korea Spring
2019-01-19 08:10:00
Loss

KT Rolster

2.25

Vqx7

KINGZONE DragonXvsGriffin2019 LoL Champions Korea Spring
2019-01-17 11:40:00
Win

Griffin (-1.5)

1.53

Vqx7

KT RolstervsHanwha Life Esports2019 LoL Champions Korea Spring
2019-01-17 08:10:00
Loss

KT Rolster (-1.5)

2.20

Vqx7

DAMWON GamingvsGen.G esports2019 LoL Champions Korea Spring
2019-01-16 11:10:00
Loss

Gen.G esports

1.62

Vqx7

SK Telecom T1vsJin Air Green Wings2019 LoL Champions Korea Spring
2019-01-16 08:10:00
Loss

Jin Air Green Wings

7.00

Vqx7

SK Telecom T1vsJin Air Green Wings2019 LoL Champions Korea Spring
2019-01-16 08:10:00
Win

SK Telecom T1 (-1.5)

1.40

jfking10

MVPvsbbq Olivers2019 LoL Champions Korea Spring
2018-09-21 08:10:00
Win

MVP

1.72

adrian

MVPvsbbq Olivers2019 LoL Champions Korea Spring
2018-09-21 08:10:00
Loss

bbq Olivers (-2.5)

6.50

shamalamadingdong

Preview

2018 was the year that produced one of the most unexpected twists in recent League of Legends history — Korea getting dethroned. Not only did no one expect this outcome, but even if it were to happen, no one thought that 2018 would be the year it actually transpired. Simply put, they were at the top for so long, and they showed incredible resilience, mental fortitude, and an uncanny ability to adapt to any meta and style of play.

For a long while, they were invincible. Even when they fumbled a bit, you could always foreseen their triumphant rebound. After losing to the Chinese LPL at the 2018 Mid-Season Invitational, fans around the world were worried, but everyone chalked it up as a simple “underestimation” of the LPL, nothing more.

Korea was synonymous with top-tier competitive League of Legends. That’s just the way things went. But it didn’t matter — the game had shifted towards hectic five-on-five skirmishing throughout all stages of the game, and the LCK never wanted to adapt , and it’s hard to blame them. They’ve spent so much time being the de facto League champions that they forgot what it meant to catch up, to not be the ones dominating.

In the end, they didn’t manage to bounce back, and without even a single representative in the Top 4 of the World Championship, Korea’s year was deemed an absolute, resounding failure. The fact that Europe and North America rose in their absence was just additional insult to injury.

Needless to say, many of the Korean teams were crushed to see their dynasty crumble. Coming into 2019, they want redemption, but perhaps above all, they want revenge. And when you have an angry LCK, that’s when you seriously have to watch out. They’ve remained at the top for so long not because of sheer luck, but through an incredible work ethic, resilience, and the willingness to train day and night in order to achieve a singular goal — being at the top of competitive League of Legends.

They failed to reach that goal in 2018, and they’re making the right changes this year in order to make that goal a reality.

The LCK off-season wasn’t particularly engaging, primarily because there were no shocking events, twists or turns. There was no drama, but that doesn’t mean that what they’ve ended up with isn’t exciting. Far from it.

Every notable contender underwent change — some minor, some major — and almost every top-tier team upgraded overall. Many contenders also reinvigorated their rosters. By adding young players that are hungry for the spotlight, they’re entering the upcoming regular season with a ton of strength and vigor, something that was seriously lacking throughout 2018.

Furthermore, when you take a look at just how strong certain rookie teams were last year, most noticeably Griffin, you start to realize that the LCK has entered an era where the “new kids on the block” will start to take over. And rightfully so.

They have a fresh take on how to play the game, and they’re poised to make a run for the Worlds trophy. They have the mechanical prowess, the incredible depth within their play, as well as some of the best strategic minds working in competitive League, so it’s all just a matter of putting the pieces together and getting back to work.

How will 2019 shape out for Korea? Well, while predicting anything with confidence is a rather thankless task, you should bet on them reclaiming their throne. Perhaps even sooner rather than later. Their incredible dexterity, strength, sheer game-knowledge and tenacity are unparalleled in competitive League. While the LPL and LEC do have a say in this, if the LCK comes back to form, and the meta shifts in their favor even in the slightest, there should be no doubt — the days of Korean domination will be back.

But let’s bring things back to the LCK, and the Spring Split, in particular. How will things develop? Will we see the return of SKT T1? Will a new contender finally leave a mark — Griffin or perhaps DAMWON Gaming?

Let’s take a closer look.

Do have in mind that this is just a preliminary power ranking, and that these things tend to change and shift on a weekly basis. We are judging these teams based on their 2018 performance, but also based on the rosters that they’ll be fielding for the Spring Split. Teams need a couple of weeks in order to build synergy as a five-man unit, and when that’s happening anything is far game.

Upsets can happen left and right, which could be a great time to bet on the underdogs. Furthermore, with so many newcomers and unproven rookies, we’re in for one heck of a ride that’s filled with a ton of uncertainty. Maybe that’s a welcomed change of pace as well, seeing how the LCK mainly had three or so dominant contenders and a bunch of other teams just fighting to become somewhat relevant on home soil.

This time around though, anything can happen, and that’s exactly what makes this regular season so incredibly exciting.

With this out of the way, let’s focus on the 2019 LCK, the teams that’ll be competing, as well as the overall direction the entire region is heading.

The Top

As for the teams that will occupy the top of the table, we have SKT T1, Griffin, and the newcomers DAMWON Gaming.

This is our top three. It is by no means set in stone, but this is generally a good ranking based on each team’s level of play during the recent 2018 KeSPA Cup. It’s not exactly the most presitigous or important tournament in competitive League, but it was a really good proving grounds for many top-tier LCK teams. They had the opportunity to test things out without actually losing anything in the process.

The perennial LCK behemots SKT T1 are ranked at the very top, and with good reason. While they probably won’t reach the top immediately, the sheer mechanical skill and experience within this roster is completely mind-blowing. They have three legends in the top, mid, and support positions, and two highly promising younger players that will most likely develop into the superstars of tomorrow. SKT has the right coaching staff and approach, and they should be returning back to their former glory sooner rather than later.

At second place, we have Griffin. They were able to utterly demolish each and every team they fought against at KeSPA. Furthermore, they were able to outclass almost every LCK team in last year’s Summer Split, but their lack of experience and resilience in high-octane situations eventually became the reason for their downfall.

That’s why we’re putting them second. They have a frighteningly huge amount of potential, and they will probably emerge as the number one contender from the very get-go. But looking at the bigger picture, they don’t have the experience in order to go blow-for-blow with the likes of SKT — given that SKT synergizes as well as they could.

At third place — and this one is highly debatable — we have DAMWON Gaming. They’ve only just entered the LCK, but they’re riding a huge momentum wave. The fact that they finished in the Top 4 at KeSPA speaks volumes about their skill and overall potential, and even though they were destroyed by Griffin in the semifinals, they were still able to perform far better than anyone imagined. They’re five solo queue beasts, and if they manage to play as well as they can, they will definitely makes waves in the LCK.

They’re a part of the new breed of players that’s currently taking over the LCK. First it was Griffin, and now it’s DAMWON. While their ranking could fluctuate once other teams develop ample synergy, they should still be an incredibly solid contender.

The Dark Horses

4. Gen.G

5. Afreeca Freecs

6. KT Rolster

Rounding out the playoffs, we have Gen.G (formerly known as Samsung Galaxy), Afreeca Freecs, and KT Rolster. How they will eventually rank is completely up in the air, but they certainly have some potential. None of these three teams are exactly screaming “potential”, but they have the tools that are necessary in order to tango with the best in the region.

All three teams did make some key changes during the off-season, so they probably won’t look as good as you’d expect. Gen.G, on paper, has the most potential, but their tendency to hinge around Park "Ruler" Jae-hyuk often ends up being their biggest problem. Afreeca and KT are both fielding weaker rosters than their 2018 variants, and while that should impact their overall strength, they should still be capable of reaching the playoffs.

The Rest

7. Kingzone DragonX

8. Hanwha Life

9. Jin Air Green Wings

10. SANDBOX Gaming

As for the rest of the LCK, things get considerably more complicated. These teams aren’t bad per se, they’re just not as mechanically sound nor dangerous as the teams above them. They could suprise, they could upset, but when push comes to shove, they should eventually slot outside of the playoffs. Predicting how competitive they’ll be in the beginning of the split is a fairly thankless endeavour, but they do have a solid puncher’s chance at making something happen, at least early on.

The biggest question mark has to be Kingzone DragonX. They made a lot of changes over the off-season, and they really didn’t upgrade much, if at all. They failed to mount an offensive at the 2018 KeSPA Cup and were beaten by Gen.G in clean 2-0 fashion. Losing is one thing, but they didn’t look even remotely good.

They're an okay team in general, but they don't have a lot to work with. Heo "PawN" Won-seok hasn't been performing that well over the last couple of years, and even though Kim "Deft" Hyuk-kyu is still as good of an AD carry as they come, it'll be downright impossible for him to hardcarry and shine on a roster that's so underwhelming. They could potentially make a run for the playoffs, but the odds are heavily stacked against them.

Hanwha Life have a lot of potential overall, but seeing how the top of the LCK upgraded we’re not ready to give them the benefit of the doubt. They are highly capable, however, and they could end up upseting the status quo.

The Meta

Just based on the first day of LCK play, we can surmise that teams still haven’t agreed on what’s the best and most optimal way to play the game, and that will surely impact the region as a whole, at least throughout the first few weeks of the Spring Split.

We’ve seen both sides of the coin. Some teams are still fielding tanks in the top lane, whereas others go for mages and bruisers. The bottom lane meta is also wide open with picks like Cassiopeia, Varus, Kai’Sa and others running rampant. There’s no meta set in stone, which means anything is fair game. But perhaps the biggest discrepancy between teams reflects in their approach to the jungle position. Some teams are focusing on tanks like Sejuani, whereas others prioritize picks like Lee Sin, Kha’Zix, Aatrox, and even Taliyah.

The jungle meta is wide open, and depending on which pick a team goes for, eventually impacts the way they play the game out. With so many incredibly talented LCK junglers competing in 2019, it’s going to be incredibly exciting to see how things further develop and who comes out on top.

This uncertainty within the region will likely impact many outcomes in the beginning. Teams that are entering the 2019 competitive season with even a pinch of synergy will have a huge upper hand — until others catch up, that it.

And as always, make sure to watch as many games as possible. What’s relevant one week might not be the next, and anything can happen, especially in the very beginning of the split. Teams needs the first couple of weeks in order to mesh and develop synergy, so they’re all basically playing on a level playing field, at least to a certain degree.

You can watch the 2019 LCK Spring Split on Twitch as well as YouTube.

Tournament Format

Promotion

Double elimination bracket.

First round in both parts of the bracket are Best-of-three.

Winners and Losers finals is Best-of-five.

Two teams qualify for regular season.

Regular Season

Double round robin with Best-of-three matches.

Top five moves on to playoffs.

Bottom two drops to promotion tournament.

Playoffs

King of the Hill gauntlet style bracket where the teams gets seeded in based on their regular season finish.

First match is Best-of-three, all the other matches are Best-of-five