Photo by: Riot Games
A week and a half into the season, and the LCK is shaping up as the most unpredictable league of all. Established franchises are struggling at the bottom, while promotion teams have climbed up to the top.
Together, Kingzone DragonX, Gen.G, KT Rolster and Afreeca Freecs are at 3-10 in series and 8-21 in games. As a reminder, the latter three represented Korea at Worlds 2018 and KT were even one of the favorites to win it all. So far, though, the only win KT have won is against Jin Air Green Wings — the worst team in LCK so far.
In KT’s case, these early struggles are likely a product of their massive off-season roster shuffle. The team lost a lot of its core players. Only Song “Smeb” Kyung-ho and Go “Score” Dong-bin remain from that Worlds 2018 roster. The team is also working under a new coach, as well as a new bot lane duo.
Gen.G didn’t have the best off-season either. The team lost long-time captain Kang “Ambition” Chan-yong and mid laner Lee “Crown” Min-ho but overall managed to keep a strong roster on paper.
So far, the only top tier team performing to expectations is SK Telecom. The dynasty suffered one loss but is on a positive 2-1 score. It’s early to say whether the dream team line-up will contest championships but it’s hard to imagine otherwise.
With the old guard struggling, LCK has been therefore occupied by relative newcomers. Fan favorites Griffin sit on top with 4-0 score and are yet to drop even a single game. Right behind them are SANDBOX Gaming and DAMWON Gaming — two teams who were challengers a few months ago and are now outperforming the established favorites.
The must-watch week 3
With the current standings in mind, week 3 shapes up to be a bloodbath. Its many captivating matches include:
Griffin vs. SK Telecom — Jan. 31
Gen.G vs. KT Rolster — Jan. 31
Afreeca Freecs vs. KT Rolster — Feb. 2
Kingzone DragnX vs. Gen.G — Feb. 3