Lessons Learned from Week 9 of the LCK 2022 spring split
LCK 2022 spring split Faker T1 18-0
LCK 2022 spring split T1 18-0 against DRX | Provided by @LCK

Lessons Learned from Week 9 of the LCK 2022 spring split

T1 makes history, BRO and KDF make playoffs and DRX and DK take a step back
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The final week of the League of Legends Champions Korea 2022 spring regular season was historic. Outside of the obvious T1 storyline, there were many other great takeaways from the action as the LCK gears up for playoffs. Here are the lessons we learned from Week 9 of the LCK 2022 spring split.

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T1 make history

In the history of modern competitive League of Legends in South Korea, no team has ever finished the split with an undefeated record. Since the start of the single league structure in 2015, the best a team has ever done in a regular-season was T1 in that very season. T1 managed to go 17-1 in the summer of 2015. Ever since, no team has been able to replicate T1’s success let alone go undefeated.

With the hardest part of T1’s schedule behind them, the last couple of weeks of the LCK 2022 spring split regular season have drawn eyes to the team because they were inching closer and closer to history. With only two games left of the season in Week 9, T1 were just two simple best-of-threes away from perfection. Their competition wasn’t the best either. Their first match was against the ninth-place Liiv SANDBOX squad. In a surprising twist, people tuned into the middle of the series not because of T1’s road to perfection, but to potentially see the end of it as LSB stole Game 1 of the series. But like anime plot armor, Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok locked in Leblanc for Games 2 and 3 and T1 steamrolled past LSB to put them at 17-0. The only match remaining was against DRX.

DRX came into Week 9 has a team that could potentially end the streak. They had looked good in a couple of weeks leading up the showdown. But the plot armor was simply too strong. With the power of Yordles in the mid lane, Faker piloted Vex and then Veigar in a deathless series as T1 2-0’d DRX and made history as the first-ever undefeated team in LCK history.

But with asterisks next to their record, their two matches against the second-place Gen.G squad were impacted due to COVID-19, T1 will need to remain perfect through playoffs to silence the critics.

The hierarchy is still in full effect

A couple of weeks back it was noted that there is a hierarchy system within the LCK. The top class, the good class, the OK and the terrible. These four classes since then have not only remained the same, they have solidified even further. At the top lies T1 and Gen.G, the two undisputed best teams in the LCK. Everyone knows that, but it’s the next two tiers that have been the most interesting.

Looking at the final standings, there is no mistaking DRX and DK as the third and fourth place teams. In fact, both teams have the same record. At 11-7. DK and DRX are a clear cut above the teams below them.

And then in fifth and sixth place, there are the OK teams. Kwangdong Freecs and Fredit BRION managed to slip into the playoffs, but again, the tier is solidified. Both teams managed to end the season with 8-10 records. In fact, they had to play a one-game tiebreaker to determine who would finish fifth and sixth.

And then there are the final four. KT Rolster almost broke out of the bottom tier but came up short and the rest of the teams in the tier are lost causes with nothing going well for them at all.

The point here is to show that there are four distinct groups within just the LCK and that each group enjoys each other’s company.

The gap is widening

When the hierarchy was first established a few weeks ago, there were interesting developments. It seemed that DK and DRX were on the verge of leaving their tier to join Gen.G. After Week 7, both teams only sat two series back of Gen.G. But instead of continuing the chase, Gen.G left them in the dust. After the dust settled and the standings were final, Gen.G finished a full four series above DK, the third-place team. Gen.G also finished the regular season with a five-series win streak. Both DK and DRX finished the season on losses.

The fight for the LCK title this split is a two-horse race and it would take a massive uptick in performance for DK and DRX to match T1 and Gen.G when playoffs start on Wednesday, March 23.

Author
Image of Warren Younger
Warren Younger
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.