It has finally come down to this. The 2022 League of Legends Champions Korea summer season has finally reached its climax with the summer finals about to kick off on Saturday, August 27. The match features the two best teams in the region — Gen.G and T1.
Here is a breakdown of how each team got here and what they need to do to capture the 2022 LCK summer title and the honor of representing South Korea as the number one seed at Worlds 2022.
“Time to Win Your Title” 🆚 “Defend the Throne”
Which of these teams will leave Gangneung as LCK Champions? 🏆
Don’t miss the 2022 #LCK Summer Finals on August 28th! pic.twitter.com/exptwiJIeP
— LCK (@LCK) August 22, 2022
Tale of the tape
After a T1 sweep in the 2022 LCK spring season, Gen.G have answered back in the summer. T1 took both regular season wins in the spring split, although they both had asterisks due to Covid-19. And of course, T1 defeated Gen.G in the 2022 LCK spring finals where Gen.G had no substitute players but T1 were playing through Covid-19 infections of their own. T1 left no doubts that they were the best team in the spring but that has not been the case so far in summer.
T1 won the first of two regular season matches against Gen.G in the summer split but Gen.G got their revenge in the last meeting. In fact, Gen.G’s lone loss on the season came against T1. They have won every other match since to go 17-1 and clinch the first seed. T1 have not had as good of a split, especially in comparison to their historic spring season that saw them become the first team in LCK history to go undefeated. T1 have dropped two other matches outside of their Gen.G loss as they ended the summer regular season 15-3. Still an incredible season in it’s own right but not as good as their spring season and not as good as Gen.G’s current season.
With both teams receiving first-round byes in the 2022 LCK Summer playoffs, both teams only needed to win one series to clinch their spot in the finals. Gen.G walked past Liiv SANDBOX in a 3-1 victory while T1 struggled to keep DWG KIA in their semi-finals match. After going up 2-0, T1 took losses in the next two games to set up a series deciding Game 5. Thankfully for T1, they were able to stop the bleeding and squeak out the win to get their rematch against Gen.G.
T1 path to victory
T1’s series win condition comes in the form of their top laner, Choi “Zeus” Woo-je. As the long T1 member selected to the 2022 LCK Summer all-pro team, Zeus is the only clear member on T1’s team that is better than Gen.G’s counterpart. That’s not to say Choi “Doran” Hyeon-joonis outclassed, but Zeus has demonstrated over the 2022 LCK summer season to be the better performer.
One of the ways Zeus has shown his carry potential is through LCK’s player of the game awards. Zeus led all top laners in the LCK with an absurd 11 player of the game honors which accounted for one third of T1’s total wins. The 11 awards actually only put him one away from the LCK lead. In comparison, Doran only had four.
The stats back up Zeus too. According to Oracleselixer.com, Zeus not only led all top laners in the league in all the primary laning stats of gold difference at 10 minutes, experience difference at 10 minutes and CS difference at 10 minutes, he also led all top laners in damage per minute as well.
For T1 to win this series, they are going to need Zeus to get ahead and carry through top lane. T1 has talented members that can match Gen.G on their best day. If everything goes right, T1 is definitely capable of winning back-to-back LCK titles.
Gen.G path to victory
Congratulations to the 2022 Summer All-LCK First Team!#LCK | #WeMakeLegends | #LCKAwards pic.twitter.com/Xult7PurAJ
— LCK (@LCK) August 16, 2022
Let’s face it, Gen.G are the clear favorites coming into this series.
They have looked nearly unbeatable in the regular season and have four of the five members on the 2022 LCK summer all-pro team. Outside of top lane, Gen.G have advantages across the board when looking at both Gen.G and T1. For Gen.G to win this series, they are going to have to continue playing at that high level. But the real difference maker will come from bot lane.
Gen.G has the newly crowned MVP on their team, Park “Ruler” Jae-hyuk. Who led the league in player of the game honors and put up unreal stats throughout the 2022 LCK summer split. As Gen.G’s starting bot laner, Ruler led every player in damage per minute and KDA meaning that when it came for Ruler to step up in big team fights, he earned those player of the game honors on is way to his MVP award.
The crazy thing is that T1’s bot lane has gone from arguably world’s best to not even the best in their region. With Ryu “Keria” Min-seok and Lee “Gumayusi” Min-hyeong having down splits, the door is open for Ruler and Gen.G to continue pushing T1 down. If Ruler shows up and T1’s bot lane doesn’t, this series will not even be close.