With the quarterfinals now finished, only four teams remain in the League of Legends Champions Korea 2022 spring playoffs. On one side of the bracket lies T1 on their road to perfection who will be going up against an unlikely foe. On the other side of the bracket is a matchup between two LCK juggernauts. Here is a preview of the second-round semi-finals matchups of the LCK 2022 spring playoffs, plus predictions about who will come out on top.
T1 vs Kwangdong Freecs
The ragtag team of veterans in Kwangdog Freecs turned some heads in their opening-round matchup against DRX. In the quarterfinals of the LCK 2022 spring playoffs, they managed to go the distance against the favored DRX squad and extended their hot streak by winning a close 3-2 series. The win marked their third straight, which ironically started after their Week 8 loss to DRX in a 2-1 defeat. Now they go up against T1, who KDF also played in Week 8. That match also went to Game 3.
The main tool KDF will need to rely on is their star bot laner Park “Teddy” Jin-seong, who will be going up against his old team. Teddy picked up two of the three player of the game awards in KDF’s quarterfinal series against DRX. In that series, Teddy was able to neutralize the arguably second-best bot lane in the league. But he will now face a different beast entirely with T1’s bot lane.
Speaking of T1, everything that could be said about them already has. As the first undefeated team in LCK history, T1 come into this semifinals matchup as overwhelming favorites. Four of the five members of the LCK all-pro team are T1 players. The fifth member, Moon “Oner” Hyeon-joon was on the second team. Their bot lane is not only the best in the league, but in the world. Their support player, Ryu “Keria” Min-seok became the first player at his position to ever win a LCK MVP award. Also, they have the best player in League of Legends history as their leader.
The positions to watch will definitely be the bot lane matchup, but don’t sleep on the top side. KDF’s Kim “Kiin” Gi-in is the longest-tenured player on the team. He was even selected to the LCK all-pro third team. He will go up against the T1 rookie top laner Choi “Zeus” Woo-je. If Kiin can take advantage of the experience difference and Teddy can throw haymakers at his old team, this matchup may be more interesting than people think. But there is still very little chance KDF will even take a game.
Prediction: T1 3 – 0 KDF
DWG KIA vs Gen.G
On the other side of the bracket lies an actual heavy-weight battle. In a contest between two of the LCK juggernauts, Gen.G will match up against DWG KIA for a spot in the finals, and a likely chance at another shot against T1.
During the LCK 2022 spring regular season, Gen.G looked near unbeatable. With their retooled roster led by the acquisitions of Jeong “Chovy” Ji-hoon and Han “Peanut” Wang-ho, the team were poised to take back the crown as LCK’s best. But in their two matchups against T1, they were forced to use substitute players due to COVID-19. In both matches, Gen.G rolled over. However, outside of those two asterisks, Gen.G were 15-1 in their other matchups, including 2-0 in their series’ against DK. Four of Gen.G’s starting roster made it onto LCK all-pro teams this split with the two best performers being Chovy and the longest-tenured player on Gen.G, Park “Ruler” Jae-hyuk.
As for DK, the team blew it up in the off-season after coming just one game away from repeating as back-to-back World champions. The only members from last year’s Worlds 2021 finals team were their superstar duo Heo “ShowMaker” Su and Kim “Canyon” Geon-bu. After acquiring a new top lane and bot lane, the team looked like a contender once again. But they struggled to get the engine roaring.
Outside of Canyon, the team overall had a down split. Showmaker didn’t play up to his normal ability. Also, their new bot lane, which was Nongshim RedForce’s starting bot lane last year, took a step back. Still finishing as the third seed, the team looked a lot better in their opening match of the LCK 2022 spring playoffs against Fredit BRION. In the 3-0 victory, DK’s bot laner Seo “deokdam” Dae-gil took two of the three player of the games. Their top laner Noh “Burdol” Tae-yoon took the other.
But to beat Gen.G, Showmaker is the x-factor. In a true battle of mid-lane titans, Chovy looks close to his peak form. But unless Showmaker can play up to his, this might be a short series for DK. That’s especially true as Gen.G matches up well against the rest of DK’s roster. But don’t count out Canyon, as he is capable of carrying DK through the toughest of matches.
Prediction: Gen.G 3 – 1 DK