2022 League of Legends Champions Korea Spring

12 January, 2022 - 21 March, 2022 South Korea

After the successful event from the previous season of LCK 2021, they're now back in the competitive scene once again. Let's welcome the 2022 LCK that will also feature the best teams in South Korea battling for the title as this year's winner. The tournament will run from the 12th of January through the 20th of March.

2022 League of Legends Champions Korea Spring Betting Odds

Gen.G esportsvsHanwha Life Esports2022 League of Legends Champions Korea Spring
2022-01-22 11:00:00

Preview

The 2022 LCK Spring Split is about to begin and, needless to say, we’ve reached record amounts of hype! The Korean region hasn’t been this alluring in years and things will only get better and better over the coming weeks and months!

But before we delve any deeper into the future and what it might entail, we first need to talk about the recent past and present. 

The LCK dynasty was reinstated for just a brief moment in time — DWG KIA relinquished the throne unexpectedly and against a team most folks deemed far inferior. But credit where credit is due: Edward Gaming had found a way to pull off the seemingly impossible. And they did so in style, too, just like you’d expect from a top-tier LPL team (and a champion, no less).

DWG KIA, a titan unaccustomed to getting the shorter end of the stick, failed to go the whole “nine yards,” despite having all the right tools to do so. Their rise to prominence was swift and meteoric, but their run wasn’t nearly as long as many had predicted. In the end, we’re not exactly sure what happened and why things unraveled the way they did. The LCK had three teams in the semifinals and yet none of them managed to go the distance.

Still, as far as defeats and losses go, theirs was a pretty darn good one. LCK’s representatives didn’t get their hands raised, but they did show a metric ton of growth during the whole ordeal, which is precisely why we’re so darn excited to see what 2022 has in store!

2022 LCK Spring Split Preview | The Set-Up

For a good moment in time, it seems like the LCK was a “single threat” region, a league with a singular great titan on top and a bunch of insufficiently capable challengers playing second fiddle and fighting for scraps. Last year’s Worlds, however, dispelled that notion in the grandest of fashions. 

Three out of four LCK representatives had managed to reach the semifinals — a feat worthy of the highest praise and commendation. And even the fourth one, Hanwha Life Esports, had managed to get out of groups with a fairly stellar 4W-2L record. 

All things considered, Korea was the best-performing region at the entire tournament, and it wasn't even remotely close. So the fact that they ultimately failed to capture the throne should in no way diminish their valiant effort. If they take their losses in stride and use them as fuel, there’s not a doubt in our mind that they’ll give the LPL representatives a run for their money and, potentially, claim what was once rightfully theirs.

2022 LCK Spring Split | The Biggest Favorites

The ten competing teams in the LCK are all fairly varied in terms of strength and potential. Still, much like in most other regions, there's a very clear divide between the favorites, the dark horses, and everyone else. The first group has the fewest teams, as expected. The second one, however, is a lot more stacked than most of us had expected coming into 2022. Whether any of these challengers will really leave a mark still remains to be seen, but they'll nonetheless make things a lot more exciting and are not to be trifled with.

T1 and Gen.G are the clear-cut favorites to claim the throne and etch their names in history. They are the most stacked and have the most potential out of all of their peers. There’s just no other way to put it. T1 were just a few clicks away from taking down DWG KIA and reaching the World Championship finals, and seeing how they haven't made any changes to their starting line-up, they'll surely hit the ground running and outclass most (if not all) of their peers. 

Synergy goes a long way at the onset of the competitive season, so T1 are all but guaranteed to leave a mark. They've also grown a ton over the last few months and it's been an absolute pleasure to watch. 

Faker, the legend himself, has also taken on a different kind of role within the team and that was reflected in his playstyle as well. He's still as dominant and clutch as ever, but he's no longer as "selfish" as was the case in the past. He's more willing to roam and get his teammates ahead, even at the cost of him losing lane and not getting any kind of gold lead over his opponent.

Gen.G, however, have a fair bit more firepower. One quick glance at their starting line-up is all you need to realize just how dangerous they’ll be. Five former champions, all still in their prime. A frightening notion, no doubt. Most folks are giving them the edge over T1 and, frankly, it’s easy to understand why. 

Doran, Peanut, Chovy, Ruler, and Lehends is a bona fide superteam and a shoo-in for the Spring Split finals. It'd be quite a debacle if this line-up doesn't end up hoisting the LCK trophy at least once this year. There's no weak link, none whatsoever. They're not necessarily going to steamroll through all of their opposition, but are nonetheless well equipped to claim the throne and subsequently wreak havoc on the international stage.

The Dark Horses

There are two dark horses worthy of mentioning: DWG KIA and Nongshim RedForce.

The defending champions DWG KIA will unfortunately be unable to fend off a slew of incoming challengers, all of which seem more dangerous and capable. The fact that they’ve retained Canyon and Showmaker means they’ll still pack one heck of a punch, but without the rest of the team there’s no way whatsoever that DWG will be able to retain top-billing. Be that as it may, they’ll still field a very capable roster so don’t expect them to just roll over and surrender!

Nongshim RedForce, on the other hand, stand a very good chance of upending the LCK status quo. How high they’ll eventually soar still remains to be seen, but if things pan out as expected, they’ll surely leave a mark in some way, shape, or form. How could they not? Canna, Dread, Bdd, Ghost, and Effort? That's a bona fide title contender! 

They might not be the most proactive or aggressive team around, but whatever they might lack in bravado they more than make up for in sheer veterancy and experience. They have all the hallmarks of the quintessential LCK team: reserved, macro-oriented, with a penchant for late game teamfighting. Now, that’s not exactly the best or most optimal way of playing the game these days, but it’s still a respectable approach and it could, by all means, yield equally respectable results.

The Gatekeepers

Last but certainly not least, we have two somewhat capable gatekeepers: DRX and KT Rolster

They're not exactly threats but could, potentially, make things ever so slightly more competitive than one would expect. DRX will put all of their cards in the Deft + BeryL basket and, well, it's easy to understand why — these two individuals will be their biggest catalysts and, arguably, sole win condition. Their three remaining teammates are pretty okay, too, but are nowhere near as impactful and experienced as the two aforementioned legends. 

Pegging them as a gatekeeper would perhaps be most appropriate.

Much of the same can be said for KT Rolster who'll field an equally peculiar line-up of seasoned veterans: Rascal, Cuzz, Aria, Aiming, and Life. There's a fair bit of talent here, and even an LJL champion thrown in for good measure! All in all, there's a lot to like, although it's still a bit too early to give them the benefit of the doubt. A shoo-in for the playoffs, at the very least. 

The rest of the LCK doesn't really warrant a mention. It might be a harsh way of phrasing it, but it is by no means incorrect. And, frankly, we’d much rather focus on the “big dogs” and forgo any forced pleasantries.

Closing Remarks

The LCK is growing and evolving before our very eyes. For the last few years, its teams were perhaps a bit too stubborn and unwilling to adapt, which had led to a status quo in which the LPL dominated beyond measure. Things are finally starting to change, and even though an LPL team still reigns supreme, it’s become quite obvious that a slew of hungry titans from Korea are plotting a triumphant return.

T1 and Gen.G will surely make waves on the international stage this year, and Nongshim and DWG also stand a chance of leaving some kind of mark. As for the Spring Split, specifically, it’s mighty hard to envision a world in which either T1 or Gen.G drop the ball — they simply have too much talent under their banners for that to happen.

Either way, we should be in for one heck of a ride, so definitely make sure to tune in!

Tournament Format

Group stage will be played on a Double-Round robin format and all matches are best-of-three series.