LCK Betting » LoL Champions Korea Tournament Overview & Power Rankings
The League Champions Korea has been the most prestigious tournament in all of League Of Legends since its inception. It’s the home of the LoL World Champions for six of the ten years running. The bar for success in Korea is at an all-time high as different dynasties jostle for circuit points, and a shot at continuing Korea’s LoL Worlds tradition.
Due to it’s format and how competition is set up, the LCK has one of the most extensive LoL betting markets out there. Paired with the recent transition to a fully franchised league, it’s essential that you know your teams and history before you watch or bet on LCK games.
2021 Season and how to bet on LCK matches
Coming into the season, ten teams were awarded a permanent spot in the LCK Franchise. The LCK Schedule and Playoffs rules were also adjusted to fit a new system that enables more team to compete in the final stages of the season. Being first no longer secures a finals spot and the top six teams will be almost equally able to make their ways to the top.
Additionally the main and challenger LCK teams can swap players fully throughout the splits, putting even more pressure on tipsters to track down team changes almost daily. You can expect LCK odds to change weekly as the league moves forward. To this end, we will update our power rankings and predictions in our News Section as each competitive week commences.
Before all that, here are several tips on LCK betting and our most proven strategies to maximize your returns.
Power Rankings and LCK odds
LCK betting odds are very top heavy at a first glance. Seasoned favorites T1 and DWG will have very unfavorable odds against most opponents. This is due to the teams legacy and ability to play from behind.
The best opportunities for outright betting come with roster like DRX and Gen.G who are expected to have a solid regular season in both Spring and Summer. The best LCK odds however come in the correct match score section as most bottom teams will finish games 2-1 in score making these a sections an Outright+ betting opportunity.
If you know or read a prediction about a certain match, you can most likely place a correct score bet for the match finishing 2-1 in score instead of an outright bet. Finally, while we will produce weekly predictions in our News Section, you can view our power rankings right here and head out to make your own match predictions based on them.
Esports.net Spring Split Power Rankings – LCK 2021
- DWG Kia
- Nongshim RedForce
- Afreeca Freecs
- Liiv SANDBOX
- KT Rolster
- Fredit BRION
- Hanwha Life Esports
Follow the LCK Spring Split 2021 on the following English LCK Twitch channel.
LCK: Background and history
The LCK hasn’t always been the fully franchised superleague we know and love. Before the LCK, champions in Korea were decided in the OGN Champions series as the top sixteen seeded Korean teams fought in a four group round robin to decide the quarter finals bracket in the second half of the season.
After the group stage, every top two team faced off in the playoffs and every series was decided in a Bo5 setting. The winner of the grand finals would accumulate circuit points that would decide their fate at the end of the year as top teams placed through points for the World Championship.
In 2016, Korea adapted some changes that fit in line with their LCS counterparts in the West, and the LCK was created. In this new league format, every team in the tournament would eventually face each other as all 10 rosters got acquainted with one another over the course of the season. Two splits in Spring and Summer decided the best Korean teams who moved on into a final tournament to decide who gets to represent Korea at Worlds.
While the format was similar to LCS, the way the games are played differ from Europe and North America. Every series played between teams is a best of three series instead of a best of one. This staggering of games enables much more substitute control amongst teams as stacked rosters like SKT, Samsung and kT all used their strength in numbers to take their opponents off balance.
Starting with the 2021 season, LCK adopted a franchising method similar to their western counterparts (LCS, LEC). 10 permanent franchise slots were assigned to esports teams fitting very specific league requirements.
LCK Tournament: Past, Present and Future
While some fans would prefer the bracket style playoffs of the LCS with only a first round bye, the 1st place pay off for the top teams in Korea is undoubtedly a position of grandeur. Beating a six team gauntlet in Playoffs and being the top team in Korea is worth way more then the prize funds.
With such a high level of importance put on being first, Korea has seen more than a few super teams start to develop as the level of talent increases each year. Many teams believed that 2015 would be the end of dominance for Korea as a vast amount of their best players looked for greener pastures and nicer paychecks in China, North America and Europe. Instead of taking a back seat, LCK once again became the frontrunner for excellency in players and coaching within the scene as a slew of new talent was developed, and Championships were raised.
2016 became the year of the dynasty in Korea as mega rivals SKT and kT Rolster seemed at the peak of their abilities.
Looming over their heads was the eventual first place roster of ROX Tigers as an unlikely pairing of above average players rocketed them into LCK fame as one of the most dominant rosters ever assembled. The dynamic trio made lots of noise throughout the season but the biggest surprise was Samsung Galaxy as they snuck their way into the World Championships that year through the gauntlet, upsetting kT Rolster en route to victory.
This rebirth of Samsung Galaxy was considered unthinkable after their past greatness as Samsung White and Blue in 2014. But a team of aspiring young talent anchored by Ambition in the jungle became the core of their success in 2016, and the continuation of their efforts was awarded the following year at the 2017 World Championship Finals as they beat their archrivals SK Telecom in a dominant 3-0 sweep.
League of Legends Championship Korea: Region of perpetual change
Following their 2017 success, the LCK entered a two year transitional period of re-organization and talent reshuffling. The former SKT T1 dynasty was challenged by new talent from DragonX and Afreeca Freecs. KT Rolster and SKT started falling off grace and Samsung traded away their spot to KSV (Gen.G).
KSV made history as the first World Championship winning roster to keep all their players for a consecutive year. The show of faith in their players hasn’t come without its troubles as KSV suffered growing pains in 2018. The star-studded roster of year’s past, lost a step since raising their trophy in 2017. Uncharacteristic mistakes from Ambition and CuVee cost the team multiple showdowns. The most notable dip in form is undoubtedly with Crown as his play with KSV has been less than optimal.
SK Telecom suffered similar setbacks as the most winningest team in LoL history entered a rebuilding phase. Even in a rebuild with a focus centered on youth development rather than big name acquisitions, SKT found their way into the playoffs as they scraped to a 9-9 record at the end of Spring Split. Their summer performance was even worse as they missed playoffs for the first time in years.
The 2018 season was the worst Worlds showing for the LCK in recent history. Neither of their teams got even close to semifinals prompting a debate on why this “debacle” came to be. Conversely, China and Europe gained huge momentum, and went into the following season even more motivated to keep Korea down.
Coming into 2019, the LCK had a lot to prove and SKT took up the mantle for the entire region once again. After a massive roster overhaul within many organizations, it was T1 and Faker that led the region into Worlds after winning both Splits and going into Worlds on a serious high. However, the monsters they created in Europe and China came back with a bite as Korea had to fight for every single win during the event.
Ultimately, China took their back2back trophy at Worlds, sending the LCK in a deeper re-structuring period then the year before.
LCK 2020 and return to glory
Years of slow build up finally paid off for an unexpected organization in the LCK. In a very challenging season, DAMWON Gaming took the Worlds stage by storm as they dominated their opponents and returned Korea to their World Championship glory. Domestically, the organization that only joined the LCK from the challenger series in 2019. They went on to get better with each consecutive split they played and after dominating the LCK Summer Split the team went on to drop only 3 games in their entire Worlds 2020 run and hoisted the 6th Korean trophy.
It was Kim “Canyon” Geon-bu and Cho “BeryL” Geon-hee who brought the trophy “home” with their insane Jungle/Support synergy, making plays that baffled even the most seasoned analysts.