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The 2022 League of Legends Champions Korea summer split is back in full swing, with the first week of games just wrapping up. Although there were not many marquee matchups, there were plenty of entertaining series and events anyways. Here are the lessons we learned from Week 1 of the 2022 LCK summer split.
Top 4 stays the same
The top half of the LCK made big changes to their rosters heading into the 2022 season. Gen.G brought in two legendary players, Han “Peanut” Wang-ho and Jeong “Chovy” Ji-hoon to champion their organization; all in hopes of capturing a championship of their own. DWG KIA went and acquired Nongshim RedForce’s bot lane, who were one of the upstart surprises of the 2021 season. Lastly, T1 decided to promote their own rookie phenom top laner, Choi “Zeus” Woo-je to the main roster. The league looked like a three team race for the top at the start of the spring split, and it certainly was. At the end of the regular season, the top three teams in order were T1, GEN and DK, with DRX right behind them in fourth.
A week into the LCK 2022 summer season, it seems like nothing has changed. There are only four undefeated teams after the first week of games; the same four that were at the top of the standings just a few months ago. There has been a clear gap between the top and bottom all year, and if the core four teams at the top can continue to impress, the gap might actually get wider as the season goes on.
Nuguri is back, but DK is still all Showmaker and Canyon
The biggest roster change to kick off the 2022 LCK summer split was Jang “Nuguri” Ha-gwon’s return to DWG KIA. After spending last year as a member of FunPlus Phoenix in the League Pro League, Nuguri is finally back home on the team he won Worlds 2020 with. Questions arose whether Nuguri would look like his 2020 self again, but he has looked solid in the first week back. The rest of DK has too, going 4-0 in games and 2-0 in series. However, when looking at player accolades, some things still haven’t changed; the two superstar carries of DK, Heo “ShowMaker” Su and Kim “Canyon” Geon-bu did what they do best, carrying DK on their backs in both matches. Both players picked up two player of the game honors apiece as they both sit tied at the top of the MVP standings after the first week of play.
T1 looks shaky
T1 made history in the 2022 LCK spring season as they became the first team ever in the LCK to pull of a perfect season, meaning they did not lose a single match on their way to the 2022 LCK spring title. However, they finally met their match at the Mid-Season Invitational, where they lost to a few different teams; G2 Esports, Evil Geniuses and of course, the MSI 2022 champions, Royal Never Give Up. T1’s home field advantage didn’t end up helping them, and they left the local South Korean fans disappointed. After the first week of play in the 2022 LCK summer season, fans are already getting nervous despite T1’s 2-0 series record.
Fans are worried because in their first series against NS, the team did not play like LCK champions. They won the series 2-0, but they struggled immensely in Game 2. NS had several opportunities to win the game, major objectives multiple times in a row; but poor decision-making let T1 back into the game and T1 escaped with the win after 46 minutes. On top of that, in their second series against KT Rolster, T1 underperformed again. T1 went off-meta in the Game 1 draft, having their MVP support player Ryu “Keria” Min-seok lock in Camille, who is nowhere near a support champion. KT punished that pick, dismantling T1 in 31 minutes. T1 bounced back in Game 2 and brought the series to Game 3; after another 40-plus minute game with many mistakes by both teams, T1 was again able to squeak out a win.
These two matches for T1 are against teams that were much lower than them in the spring split — if T1 plays like this against the top teams, their 2022 undefeated streak will almost surely come to an end.
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.