LCK Finals Recap – T1 sweeps Gen.G to complete three-peat

T1 won the 2020 Spring League of Legends Champions Korea (LCK) earlier today in a clean 3-0 sweep over Gen.G. In doing so, T1 earned the 100 million Korean won (~81 thousand USD) champion’s prize as well as 90 championship points towards the 2020 Season World Championship qualification seeding. The team would also have qualified for the now-cancelled Mid-Season Invitational.

T1 three-peat

© LCK / Lolesports

Path to Victory

T1, formerly known as SK Telecom T1, finished second in the LCK Spring regular season with a match record of 14-4 and a game record of 30-14. Per the LCK’s single-elimination single-bracket playoffs format, this saw T1 receive a bye to the semifinal. There they defeated third seed DragonX in a 3-1 victory and moved on to the final.

Gen.G finished first in the regular season with a match record of 14-4 and a game record of 31-13, and thus received a bye to the final to face T1.

Unlike the 2020 finals for the LCS and LEC, the LCK finals were held on LAN with the teams and broadcast talent all attending in person at the familiar LoL Park stage, albeit without a live audience. Like those two aforementioned finals, however, the LCK finals were a complete blowout as the victors stomped their opponent in a brutally one-sided affair.

The matchup

In both of their regular split matches, T1 had defeated Gen.G in a competitive 2-1 fashion, but their final match of Spring saw T1 complete the hat-trick with ease. At no point in the three games were Gen.G in the driver’s seat, as every opportunity they had to gain momentum was more the result of a T1 stumble that was quickly recovered to extend the gap once more.

Notably, T1 were penalised by the LCK for their players arriving late to the arena, and thus lost two of their first bans in the first game’s pick-ban phase. Despite this, all three games saw the draft go heavily in T1’s favor as they summarily out-thought their opponents during pick-ban and then out-played them once on the Rift.

Special mention goes to the T1 jungler Woo-chan “Cuzz” Moon who played three different champions across the three-game series (Graves, Olaf and Sylas) and performed admirably on all three. It is likely satisfying for Cuzz to outperform the Gen.G jungler, Tae-min “Clid” Kim, in particular given that Clid had played as SKT’s starting jungler ahead of Cuzz in the 2019 season. For his dominant display, Cuzz was awarded the 2020 LCK Spring Finals MVP.

Eternal dominance

With this victory, T1 continues the SKT Telecom T1 dynasty with three back-to-back-to-back LCK trophies for a total of nine LCK titles. For legendary T1 midlaner Sang-hyeok “Faker” Lee, his accolades now include three World Championships (2013, 2015, 2016), two MSI championships (2016, 2017), a Rift Rivals championship (2019) and nine LCK championships.

This also marks the completion of the “Royal Road” for T1 top laner Chang-dong “Canna” Kim. The “Royal Road” is a term in Korean esports to refer to a player who in their debut season at the premier level of competition goes on to win the tournament. The twenty-year-old Canna signed to T1 as a trainee in 2019 and was promoted to the main roster as a substitute top laner behind LCK veteran Kang-hui “Roach” Kim. After underwhelming play from Roach, Canna stepped up to the starting line-up in February and has done well for his rookie season. His most notable match would be the semifinal against DragonX in which he repeatedly won his lane against Hyeon-joon “Doran” Choi.

With the cancellation of MSI, T1 will next play in the LCK 2020 Summer Season, starting on June 17. The English stream can be viewed on the LCK Twitch channel and the LCK Global YouTube channel.

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This article was contributed by Michael Jeong. 
Twitter: Michael4Jeong