LCK Betting » LoL Champions Korea Tournament Overview & Power Rankings

The League of Legends Champions Korea is one of the best regional tournaments across the world. It has been the home of the LoL World Champions for many years and it’s on par with the rising LPL. In 2021, DAMWON KIA brought Korea to the finals once again, only losing to the winners EDward Gaming. T1 is the team to look at as a Worlds contenders during the 2022 season.

Korea will have the chance to send four teams to LoL Worlds in 2022 and they must do everything they can to show that they are still the best. Due to its 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.

LCK betting

2022 Season and how to bet on LCK matches

With LCK also becoming a franchise, a total of ten teams were awarded a permanent spot. The LCK Schedule and Playoffs rules were also adjusted to fit a new system that enables more teams 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 Esports News, 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 teams have been making a lot of changes to their rosters in this off-season. Based on the moves, it looks like we’re going to have a 3-way fight for the top. The clear favorites are T1, DWG KIA and Gen.G. 

T1 didn’t make any big changes to the roster, but the organization sent away many of the Academy or substitute players to other teams. As a result, T1 retained all the youngest talents with the highest potentials. T1 reached the semifinals at Worlds despite a very disappointing Summer Split. If the team is able to keep its form, T1 will be a top contender.

DWG Kia faced the departure of its bot lane and top laner Khan, who will have to serve its military duty. To fill up the vacant spots, DK picked up Burdol from Gen.G and Nongshim’s former bot lane. While it’s not a super-stacked roster, we consider these changes as a sidegrade: DK will still be able to fight for the top.

Gen.G are unquestionably the winners of the off-season. Picking up superstar mid-laner Chovy immediately boosts the value of your team by at least one notch. If you add a jungler like Peanut, and Lehends, who already played with Chovy back on Griffin, you have the best roster on paper. Paired with Ruler in the bot lane, Gen.G can really make that one step to aim for the top of the standings.

Nonetheless, remember that the best LCK odds come in the correct match score section as most bottom teams will finish games 2-1 in score making these 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. Also, take into consideration historic results as they can indicate whether an enemy has the perfect playstyle to win against the same team in the second-round robin. Korea is slower at adapting and sticks to what’s comfortable for them.

If you didn’t catch up on the League Champions Korea, you can view our LCK Power Rankings right here and head out to make your own match predictions based on them. Summer Split Power Rankings – LCK 2022

  1. T1
  2. Gen.G
  3. DK
  4. Kwangdong Freecs
  5. Nongshim RedForce
  6. DRX
  7. Fredit BRION
  8. KT Rolster
  9. Liiv SANDBOX
  10. Hanwha Life Esports

Follow the LCK Summer Split 2022 on the following English LCK Twitch channel when it kicks off on June. 16th.

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 2016 Icon

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.

ROX Tigers 2016 Spring Champions

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.

LCK 2019: Deep restructure

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.

KSV – Crown and CuVee

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. 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.

Damwon wins Worlds 2020

© LoL Esports

LCK 2021: Still the best region?

After Worlds 2020, fans started questioning whether Korea was still the best region in the world. China won two of the last three World Championship, and DK was the only Korean team to fight against the LPL teams. It looked like the doubts were right, as DWG Kia dominated the Spring Split, but lost to RNG at the MSI Finals when representing the region.

When Worlds 2021 came around, however, it seemed like that was not the case. LCK qualified all four teams to the Groups Stage, and all four teams managed to reach the Knockout Stage. During the semifinals, three out of the four teams were from the LCK. Korean teams showcased their worth at the biggest tournament of the year, and many were expecting the LCK to come home with a second title in a row. Unfortunately, the Chinese team EDward Gaming took the crown and brought the trophy back to the LPL for the 3rd time in four years.

LCK 2022: T1 returns to prominence

The 2022 season is all about T1 and their bid to reclaim lost glory. After an undefeated Spring Split, they entered MSI 2022 as the absolute favorites. They did manage to reach the finals after a slow start only to lose to an LPL team (RNG) yet again.

Coming into the Summer Split, T1 should already have a spot at LoL Worlds 2022 secured. Any placement in Top 4 during Summer Split secures it, however we expect a full season dominance from T1 as they aim to claim both Spring and Summer and head into post-season as the favorites.

LPL teams fighting the LCK for dominance has gone the way of the China for awhile now. This outcome only raises even more questions for 2022: which is the best region? Is it the LCK or the LPL? We will see how the trend unfolds in the upcoming season… That’s when we will have some answers…

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