Since Worlds 2018, LCK hasn’t appeared as the only dominance in competitive tournament anymore.
The truth is: in the period from 2013 to 2017, professional teams originated from LCK have always been one of the biggest threats in the global tournament due to the excess power in skills, strategies, and also admirable disciplined. Their controlling playstyle is simple but effective: slowly and steps to steps squeeze out their opponents, proven by many Worlds Championship Title that they had achieved. In that glorious era, people always think of LCK when they talk about which team will win the highest prize in any international tournaments they can remember.
However, it looks like the table has turned. Since Worlds 2018, the dominance has ended, not only LCK representatives missed the Worlds Championship, they also lost their apex power in BO5 matches. You may not believe what you have read, but, according to the statistics recorded, they are currently having a win-rate ratio before other representatives in BO5 matches are 1 – 8. The only time they won belong to SKT T1 when they beat Splyce in Worlds 2019.
Traveling back to Worlds 2018, this could be considered as a milestone for the fallen of Korean dominance. Worlds 2017 winner Gen.G couldn’t even qualify for the group stage, Afreeca Freecs was defeated 0-3 before LCS. Cloud 9. Their last hope – KT Rolster also ended their journey before Invictus Gaming – the Worlds 2018 winner.
A year after, we had seen lots of positive movement in the Korean League of Legends industry, especially the appearance of 2 brand new faces: Griffin and DAMWON Gaming. SKT T1 also made a comeback with an all-star team which promised a bright future for LCK. All the pros we listed above even though are great, only SKT T1 was able to win Splyce, both DAMWON Gaming and Griffin couldn’t qualify for the semifinal. On the other hand, with all the responsibility weighing on SKT’s shoulders, G2 eSports came and ended their journey.
At the moment, LCK’s fate in Worlds 2020 is not so different. DragonX, DAMWON Gaming, and Gen.G are the 3 names make it to the Quarterfinals. Sadly, DAMWON and DragonX had to fight each other to get a slot into Semifinals, on the other hand, Gen. G was destroyed 0 – 3 by G2 eSports.
With the development of League of Legends all over the world, other regions are now also having qualified-coach, and are catching up with LCK’s strategy. Lots of high skills professional players are also starting to close the gap with LCK players. Meanwhile, Korean teams still remain the same strategies and playstyles they have always used for who knows how long is it. With matches when they can’t gain advantages in the laning phase or 5v5 team fights, they tend to become much more passive and lose the whole game.
Don’t worry LCK fans out there, you still have DAMWON Gaming, they are a really heavy competitor for the Worlds 2020 championship. If they somehow manage to win Worlds 2020 championship, this will be a complete revolution for LCK playstyle. With a modern playstyle, always ready to fight, they are the fresh air LCK is looking for.
In the end, the result has been pretty bad for the Korean region. If they won’t change their own playstyles, will their names someday be forgotten on the battlefield of Summoner’s Rift? It’s too soon for us to say anything as they still have one of their brightest hope – DAMWON Gaming, let’s follow their journey in Worlds 2020. Normally, we want to see something different, LCK has been winning for a really long period of time, seeing other regions win aside from LPL is a hitch for the competitive scenarios. But for now, with the freshness Damwon is bringing, we will see a completely new face of LCK in the next Worlds 2021.