The League of Legends Champions Korea 2022 spring split has just wrapped up, which means it’s time for the top six teams to face off in the playoffs for the 2022 spring split title and a trip the 2022 Mid-Season Invitational. T1 are the heavy favorites after their undefeated split, but they aren’t the only team playing. With that in mind, here is a preview of the first-round matchups of the LCK 2022 spring playoffs, plus predictions about who will come out on top.
DWG KIA vs Fredit BRION
DK came into 2022 as the reigning LCK champions and were one game away from winning back-to-back Worlds titles. But instead of running it back with the same squad, they only kept their core superstar duo intact.
Outside of Heo “ShowMaker” Su and Kim “Canyon” Geon-bu, DK’s 2022 roster features brand new faces. In the bot lane, they acquired both members of Nongshim Redforce’s bot lane, Seo “deokdam” Dae-gil and Kim “Kellin” Hyeong-gyu, over the offseason. Then, in the top lane, they brought in Noh “Burdol” Tae-yoon from Gen.G.
While that seemed like a solid team on paper, DK’s 2022 spring split has been anything but.
The bot lane duo, which both placed onto all-pro teams last split, failed to replicate their success — and Showmaker took a step back from his first-team all-LCK team honors from last summer. The result was a team could outclass the bottom of the LCK but struggled against top tier competition. Against the current playoff teams, DK went a combined 4-6 against in the regular season, and those losses accounted for six of their total seven throughout the split.
Canyon has been the bright spot for the team, as he is still the best jungler in the world. He led every player in the LCK in player of the game awards with 16. While he wasn’t named the most valuable player for the regular season, he was named player of the split.
As for their competition, Fredit BRION are a team that barely squeaked into the playoff picture to begin with. After starting the season with a poor 3-7 record, BRO turned on the jets in the back half, going 5-3 in the final four weeks.
The final week of the regular season was a rollercoaster for the team, too, as they were forced to forfeit their match against Gen.G due COVID-19 preventing them from fielding a full roster. But in their last match, a virtual must-win against DK, they won in convincing fashion. This granted them the final seed in the LCK playoffs.
BRO have zero members on any of the three LCK all-pro teams, but they have shown (especially lately) they can throw punches against their competition. DK and BRO split the regular season in series wins with one apiece.
BRO got the upper hand just last week and are carrying the momentum, but it’s hard to bet against Showmaker and Canyon in a best of five.
DK 3 – 1 BRO
DRX vs Kwangdong Freecs
DRX finished the LCK 2021 summer split in dead last. A poor, 2-16 record meant the team would have to make drastic changes to become competitive in 2022. Yet over the offseason, DRX made those changes.
They brought in long-time veteran Kim “Deft” Hyuk-kyu and former world champion Cho “BeryL” Geon-hee to be their new bot lane. On top of that, they went out and acquired Kim “Zeka” Geon-woo from the LPL. Rounding out their roster, DRX kept their own core of Hwang “Kingen” Seong-hoon and Hong “Pyosik” Chang-hyeon.
And while the result looked promising, the early results were terrible. The team started off 2022 with an 0-3 record and were looking like they’d spend another split at the bottom. But in Week 3, something clicked. The team quickly started to go on a tear and not even their head coach getting fired could stop the train.
The team went from 0-3 to 11-5, going 11-2 in that span to clinch a playoff birth. However, the team saw their momentum halted in the final week of the regular season. They went 0-2 in series and 0-4 in games, getting crushed by DK and T1.
Still, the team has multiple carry threats — though Deft leads from the bot lane. He managed to tie for second in player of the game awards and made it onto the LCK 3rd all-pro team.
As for Kwangdong Freecs, this team is full of veterans. The longest-tenured team member, Kim “Kiin” Gi-in, has played on the team since 2017. KDF acquired the rest of his teammates in the offseason, and the roster features a mix of players who were all struggling to find a home. Considering that fact, this ragtag team didn’t have the best start to their 2022 campaign despite always being in the hunt for one of the final playoff spots.
KDF have demonstrated the ability to hang with top teams, though, taking both T1 and Gen.G to game 3s in their regular-season series. And with a 2-0 Week 9, they managed to grab the fifth seed despite a losing record.
However, DRX have a 2-0 series advantage against KDF — even if KDF did force a Game 3 in their last contest. Their small momentum earned from the previous week doesn’t seem enough to stop DRX’s 11-4 run that started all the way back in Week 3.
DRX 3 – 0 KDF
About the Author
ASU alum with a B.A in Sports Journalism, Warren is one of the premier TFT Journalists in the scene and is a decent TFT player as well who has peaked Challenger and has had multiple accounts in Master+ over all sets. Warren also specializes in other esports content including League of Legends, Valorant, Smash Bros, and more.