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League of Legends Champions Korea (Hangul: 리그 오브 레전드 챔피언스 코리아), commonly abbreviated as LCK, is the primary competition for League of Legends esports in South Korea. Contested by ten teams, the league runs two seasons per year and serves as a direct route to qualification for the annual League of Legends World Championship. The LCK is administered in cooperation between Riot Games, KeSPA, OGN, and SPOTV Games.

League of Legends Champions Korea
League of Legends Champions Korea logo.png
SportLeague of Legends
Founded2012
No. of teams10
CountrySouth Korea
Venue(s)LoL Park
(33 Jong-ro, Cheongjin-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul)
Most recent
champion(s)
SK Telecom T1 (7th title)
Most titlesSK Telecom T1 (7 titles)
TV partner(s)OGN, SPOTV Games
Relegation toChallengers Korea
Related
competitions
LEC
LCS
LPL
LMS
Official websitehttp://program.interest.me/ongamenet/lolchamps

The league was formerly named League Of Legends Champions before undergoing a major restructuring in late 2014, which saw a change in the competition's format and a rebranding to its current name. OGN reserved exclusive broadcasting rights of the league until 2016 when rights were split with SPOTV Games.[1]

The LCK is widely considered to be the strongest League of Legends competition in the world, with the game's World Championship having been won by teams from the league from 2013 through 2017; 2018 was the first season since 2013 where a team from the LCK did not win the World Championship. SK Telecom T1 are the current champions, winning their seventh title on 13 April 2019 after beating Griffin in the finals of the LCK Spring Split 2019.

Contents

HistoryEdit

Pre-LCK era (2012–2014)Edit

Following the launch of South Korea's League of Legends server in December 2011, cable broadcaster OnGameNet launched the country's first major League of Legends tournament in March 2012. Named The Champions Spring 2012, the tournament ran from March to May and was contested by a total of 16 teams. MiG Blaze was crowned the competition's inaugural champion after defeating their organizational sibling team MiG Frost in the finals. The Champions Summer 2012 followed later that year, with a rebranded MiG Frost, now known as Azubu Frost, claiming the title themselves. Azubu Frost, along with NaJin Sword, went on to represent South Korea in their first appearance at the League of Legends World Championship in October.

A tri-tournament annual circuit was soon set as the norm for the league's calendar year, now consisting of three seasons held in the winter, spring, and summer. Azubu Frost and NaJin Sword clashed early in 2013 in the finals of Champions Winter 2012-13, with the latter emerging victorious. Champions Spring 2013 and Champions Summer 2013 later followed, being won by MVP Ozone and SK Telecom T1 K respectively. SK Telecom T1 K went on to win the Season 3 World Championship later that year, becoming the first team from the league to do so.

SK Telecom T1 K became the first team to successfully defend their title the following year, sweeping Samsung Galaxy Ozone in the finals of Champions Winter 2013-14 to cap off an undefeated tournament run. Ozone's sibling team, Samsung Galaxy Blue, went on to win Champions Spring 2014 but were bested in the finals of Champions Summer 2014 by KT Rolster Arrows.

In October 2014, plans were announced for a drastic overhaul of the league's structure.[2] League of Legends Champions was rebranded to League of Legends Champions Korea (LCK), and the winter season was abolished in favor of an annual circuit consisting of the Spring Split and Summer Split. The competition's format, which consisted of a 16-team tournament with a group stage progressing into a knockout stage, was changed to a 10-team league operating on a round-robin basis, with the top 5 teams qualifying for a playoffs bracket. Furthermore, organizations were prohibited from owning more than one team - in particular, this change most heavily affected KeSPA-affiliated teams, all of which operated two squads as part of a sibling team system - forcing numerous organizations to merge or disband rosters.

LCK era (2015–present)Edit

LCK Spring 2015 marked the debut of the league operating under its new format and identity. A newly minted SK Telecom T1, a product of the prior year's merger between SK Telecom T1 K and SK Telecom T1 S, swept the calendar year by winning both LCK Spring 2015 and LCK Summer 2015.

SK Telecom T1 retained their crown in LCK Spring 2016, becoming the first team in competition history to win three consecutive titles. Their streak of dominance was ended in LCK Summer 2016 by ROX Tigers, who became only the second team to win the league since its restructuring.

SK Telecom T1 won their sixth title as an organization on 22 April 2017, by defeating KT Rolster in the finals of LCK Spring 2017.

In LCK Summer 2017 Finals, Longzhu Gaming won their first title on 26 August 2017 after defeating the spring winner SK Telecom T1.

Longzhu Gaming would rebrand to Kingzone DragonX following the 2017 World Championship, and they defended their title in LCK 2018 Spring by defeating the Afreeca Freecs.

KT Rolster would win the LCK Summer 2018 championship, defeating Griffin in the finals.

Past seasonsEdit

Year Split 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Qualified for WC
Seed 1 Seed 2 Seed 3
2012 Spring MiG Blaze MiG Frost Xenics Storm Team OP Azubu Frost Najin Sword N/A
Summer Azubu Frost   CLG Europe Najin Sword Azubu Blaze
2013 Winter Najin Sword Azubu Frost KT Rolster B Azubu Blaze NaJin Black Sword Samsung Ozone
(MVP Ozone)
SK Telecom T1 K
Spring MVP Ozone CJ Entus Blaze SK Telecom T1 2 CJ Entus Frost
Summer SK Telecom T1 K KT Rolster Bullets MVP Ozone CJ Entus Frost
2014 Winter SK Telecom T1 K Samsung Galaxy Ozone KT Rolster Bullets Najin White Shield Samsung Galaxy Blue Samsung Galaxy White Najin White Shield
Spring Samsung Galaxy Blue Najin White Shield Samsung Galaxy Ozone CJ Entus Blaze
Summer KT Rolster Arrows Samsung Galaxy Blue Samsung Galaxy White SK Telecom T1 S
2015 Spring SK Telecom T1 GE Tigers CJ Entus Jin Air Green Wings SK Telecom T1 KOO Tigers KT Rolster
Summer SK Telecom T1 KT Rolster KOO Tigers CJ Entus
2016 Spring SK Telecom T1 ROX Tigers KT Rolster Jin Air Green Wings ROX Tigers SK Telecom T1 Samsung Galaxy
Summer ROX Tigers KT Rolster SK Telecom T1 Samsung Galaxy
2017 Spring SK Telecom T1 KT Rolster Samsung Galaxy Team MVP Longzhu Gaming SK Telecom T1 Samsung Galaxy
Summer Longzhu Gaming SK Telecom T1 KT Rolster Samsung Galaxy
2018 Spring Kingzone DragonX Afreeca Freecs KT Rolster SK Telecom T1 KT Rolster Afreeca Freecs Gen.G Esports
Summer KT Rolster Griffin Afreeca Freecs Kingzone DragonX
2019 Spring SK Telecom T1 Griffin Kingzone DragonX DAMWON Gaming
Summer - - - -

Broadcast TalentEdit

KoreanEdit

ID Name Role
Caster Jun   Jeon Yong Jun Play-by-Play Caster
SEONG K   Seung Seung Heon
CloudTemplar   Lee Hyun-woo Color Caster
-   Kim Dong-jun
KangQui   Kang Seung Hyun

EnglishEdit

ID Name Role
Atlus   Max Anderson Play-by-Play Caster
Valdes   Brendan Valdes
LS   Nick De Cesare Color Caster
PapaSmithy   Chris Smith

FormatEdit

OverviewEdit

  • 10 teams participate.
  • Matches are played with:
    • Using a Double Round Robin format.
    • Each series being a best of three.
  • Top 5 teams qualifies to the playoffs:
    • Regular season winners receive a bye to the finals.
    • Second and third place teams receive byes to Round 3 and Round 2 respectively.
    • Bottom 2 teams play in the LCK Summer Promotion
  • If two teams have the same record, ties will be broken by:
    • Game record (teams get +1 point for a won game, -1 point for a lost game, the team with more points wins the tie).
    • If points are tied, ties are broken by head to head record.
    • If still tied, teams will play a tiebreaker match.

LCK 2018 SummerEdit

League of Legends Champions Korea Summer 2018 will feature 10 teams. Griffin is the newest addition to the league, having secured their promotion into Champions Korea during the Spring Promotional Series.

Pos Team Pld W L Games Pts
1
KT Rolster
18
13
5
29-14
+15
2
Griffin
18
13
5
28-13
+15
3
Kingzone DragonX
18
13
5
28-15
+13
4
Gen.G
18
13
5
28-16
+12
5
Afreeca Freecs
18
10
8
26-20
+6
5
Hanwha Life Esports
18
10
8
25-21
+4
5
SK Telecom T1
18
8
10
20-24
-4
8
Jin Air Green Wings
18
4
14
14-31
-17
8
MVP
18
4
14
11-30
-19
10
BBQ Olivers
18
2
16
9-34
-25

League of Legends Champions Korea Spring 2019 will feature 10 teams. DAMWON Gaming and Sandbox Gaming (previously Team BattleComics) are the newest additions to the league, having secured their promotion into the LCK during the Summer 2018 Promotional Series.

LCK 2019 SpringEdit

TeamsEdit

Teams Roster Coach
Top Jungle Mid ADC Support
Afreeca Freecs   Kiin

  Brook

  Dread

  Spirit

  Ucal

  SSUN

  Aiming

  SSol

  Jelly

  Senan

  iloveoov
DAMWON Gaming   Nuguri

  Flame

  Canyon

  Punch

  ShowMaker   Nuclear

  Aries

  Hoit

  BeryL

  Micro
Gen.G   CuVee
  Roach
  Peanut   Fly   Ruler   Life   Edgar
Griffin   Sword   Tarzan

  Kanavi

  Chovy   Viper   Lehends

  Kabbie

  cvMax
Hanwha Life Esports   Thal

  SoHwan

  bonO

  Moojin

  Lava
  Tempt
  Sangyoon

  Clever

  key

  Asper

  OnAir
Jin Air Green Wings   Lindarang

  TaNa

  Malrang

  Seize

  Grace

  Cheongo

  Route

  Stitch

  Kellin
  Nova
  H-Dragon
Kingzone DragonX   Rascal   Cuzz   PawN

  Naehyun

  Deft   TusiN   Hirai
KT Rolster   Smeb

  Kingen

  Score
  UmTi
  Bdd   Zenit

  Gango

  SnowFlower

  Mia

  ZanDarC
SANDBOX Gaming[3]   Summit

  Wiser

  OnFleek

  Crush

  Dove

  Justice

  Ghost

  Hollow

  Joker

  Totoro

  Sally
SK Telecom T1   Khan

  Crazy

  Clid

  Haru

  Faker   Teddy

  Leo

  Mata

  Effort

  kkOma

Current Player of the Game StandingsEdit

Rank Points Player Team
1 1300   Chovy Griffin
2 1200   Deft Kingzone DragonX
3 1000   Clid SK Telecom T1
4 900   Summit SANDBOX Gaming
  Ruler Gen.G
6 800   Tarzan Griffin
7 700   ShowMaker DAMWON Gaming
  Teddy SK Telecom T1
  OnFleek SANDBOX Gaming
  Cuzz Kingzone DragonX
  Khan SK Telecom T1
  Ghost SANDBOX Gaming
13 600   Nuguri DAMWON Gaming
  Faker SK Telecom T1
  Tempt Hanwha Life Esports
16 500   Aiming Afreeca Freecs
  Kiin Afreeca Freecs
18 400   Sword Griffin
  TusiN Kingzone DragonX
  Score KT Rolster
  Lava Hanwha Life Esports
  Punch DAMWON Gaming
23 300   PawN Kingzone DragonX
  Lehends Griffin
  Dove SANDBOX Gaming
  Flame DAMWON Gaming
  Thal Hanwha Life Esports
  Viper Griffin
29 200   CuVee Gen.G
  Joker SANDBOX Gaming
  Kingen KT Rolster
  Sangyoon Hanwha Life Esports
  Bdd KT Rolster
  bonO Hanwha Life Esports
  Dread Afreeca Freecs
  Grace Jin Air Green Wings
  Hoit DAMWON Gaming
  Roach Gen.G
  SnowFlower KT Rolster
  Nuclear DAMWON Gaming
41 100   SoHwan Hanwha Life Esports
  Jelly Afreeca Freecs
  Moojin Hanwha Life Esports
  Canyon DAMWON Gaming
  Fly Gen.G
  Gango KT Rolster
  key Hanwha Life Esports
  Life Gen.G
  Mata SK Telecom T1
  Peanut Gen.G
  Rascal Kingzone DragonX
  Route Jin Air Green Wings
  SSUN Afreeca Freecs
  Smeb KT Rolster
  Zenit KT Rolster

Season AwardsEdit

Award Prize Players
Season MVP ₩5,000,000   Chovy
(Griffin)
KDA Leaders ₩2,000,000   Khan
(SK Telecom T1)
  Tarzan
(Griffin)
  Chovy
(Griffin)
  Viper
(Griffin)
  Lehends
(Griffin)
Key
Symbol Meaning
Automatic Finals Seed
Automatic Round 3 Seed
Automatic Round 2 Seed
Playoffs Seed
Summer Season Seed
Summer Promotion

Current StandingsEdit

# Team SP SW SL SWR GP GW GL GWR ±
1 Griffin 18 15 3 83% 39 31 8 79% +23
2 SK Telecom T1 18 14 4 78% 44 31 13 70% +18
3 Kingzone DragonX 18 13 5 72% 39 27 12 69% +15
4 SANDBOX Gaming 18 13 5 72% 44 28 16 64% +12
5 DAMWON Gaming 18 11 7 61% 42 25 17 60% +8
6 Hanwha Life Esports 18 9 9 50% 41 20 21 49% -1
7 Gen.G 18 5 13 28% 44 16 28 36% -12
8 Afreeca Freecs 18 5 13 28% 43 14 29 33% -15
9 KT Rolster 18 4 14 22% 42 13 29 31% -16
10 Jin Air Green Wings 18 1 17 6% 38 3 35 8% -32

Playoffs FormatEdit

  • Top five teams from the Spring Season participate
  • King of the Hill single elimination bracket
    • Round 1 is best of three
    • All other matches are best of five
  • Winner qualifies for the 2019 Mid-Season Invitational
  • Patch Information: v9.6

PlayoffsEdit

  First Round     Quarterfinals     Semifinals     Finals
                                     
    1 Griffin 0
      2 SK Telecom T1 3     2 SK Telecom T1 3
      3 Kingzone DragonX 3     3 Kingzone DragonX 0  
  4 SANDBOX Gaming 1     5 DAMWON Gaming 0  
  5 DAMWON Gaming 2  

Playoffs MVP StandingsEdit

Rank Times Points Player Team
1 3 500   Teddy SK Telecom T1
2 1 300   Clid SK Telecom T1
3 2 200   ShowMaker DAMWON Gaming
3 1 100   Rascal Kingzone DragonX
  Faker SK Telecom T1
  Deft Kingzone DragonX
  Ghost SANDBOX Gaming
  PawN Kingzone DragonX

Prize Pool and Championship PointsEdit

Pos Prize Money Prize % Championship Points Qualification Team
  ₩100,000,000 28.57% 90 Q for MSI Main Event
Q for Rift Rivals 2019
SK Telecom T1
  ₩60,000,000 17.14% 70 Q for Rift Rivals 2019 Griffin
  ₩30,000,000 8.57% 50 Q for Rift Rivals 2019 Kingzone DragonX
4th ₩20,000,000 5.71% 30 Q for Rift Rivals 2019 DAMWON Gaming
5th ₩15,000,000 4.29% 10 SANDBOX Gaming

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "리그 오브 레전드". www.leagueoflegends.co.kr (in Korean).
  2. ^ "Korean Professional League Getting Overhauled". Red Bull.
  3. ^ Acquired the team of Team BattleComics.