Thursday, February 22, 2024

LCK Season Kick Off 2023: What You Need to Know

This spring, the League of Legends Champions Korea (LCK) commences its 17th playing season. If you’ve followed the action in previous years, you probably have a good idea of what’s in store. However, it’s worth noting that LCK announced some major format changes ahead of the 2023 Spring split.

Same Game, New Format

Back in November 2022, the LCK announced that the 2023 Spring split will switch to a double-elimination format. This in itself wasn’t exactly ground-breaking, but fans were surprised to hear that LCK teams could now introduce talent from teams from the Challengers League (CL). Beyond that, the Sprint Split will remain largely unchanged. As in previous years, ten teams will battle it out in best-of-three events, with the top six teams progressing to the Spring playoff stages.

A double-elimination bracket will remain in place during the playoff stages, although matches will then take on a best-of-five format. The overall winners from the playoffs stage will secure a place at the 2023 Mid-Seasonal Intentional.

Which Teams Are Competing?

All the usual big hitters will be competing in the LCK Spring Split. Major organizations like T1 and Gen.G are both competing, alongside other teams like DRX, Hanwha Life Esports, and KT Rolster. Meanwhile, three-time winners Damwon Gaming will be returning as Dplus KIA after recently rebranding. Rounding out the top ten are Kwangdong Freecs, Liiv SANDBOX, Nongshim RedForce, and BRION.

LCK Spring Split Predictions

Choosing an outright winner for the LCK Spring Split is tricky. DRX walked away as champions at the LoL World Championships in 2022, beating out tournament favorites T1. However, this doesn’t mean they’re clearcut winners for 2023. Why? Just about every team in the LCK top ten has undergone significant changes behind the scenes over the past few months.

As well as many roster changes, most teams have introduced new coaches into the mix ahead of the 2023 playing season. However, some teams like T1 remain largely unchanged. This doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll walk away as winners of the LCK Spring Split. On the contrary, despite a consistent roster and strong performance, T1 tends to come unstuck. Instead, look to other lineups like Dplus KIA and Hanwha Life Sports to come out on top. Dplus KIA has recently introduced fresh blood into their ranks, with rising star Kim “Canna” Chang-dong adding some real clout in the top lane.

Teams like KT Rolster aren’t going to worry heavyweights like T1 or Dplus KIA, but they shouldn’t be discounted entirely. With a strong slate of reinforcements this year, the likes of KT Rolster might finally scrape a better finishing result than in previous years.

The playing season commences on January 18, with the Spring Split set to continue until March 19. Playoffs will then commence on March 22, before the final event on April 9. Looking to find out which teams are pitted against each other and when? You can find the full LCK schedule at 1337PRO.