Once again, the LCK has no representatives present at the final of LoL LoL Worlds. Is this just a temporary weakness, or the end of an era of dominance of the LCK in the competitive scene of League of Legends?
A year ago, the whole world experienced a big shock when all Korean teams had to stop before the semi-final of LoL Worlds 2018. Gen.G, whose line-up of champions has just won a year. Previously in the Samsung Galaxy shirt was eliminated painfully from the group stage with unbelievable scores which is 1-5, the first Korean team was eliminated in the group stage. In the quarterfinals, Afreeca Freecs lost to Clouud9 3-0, and KT could not create a surprise despite forcing IG to enter the fifth game.
No one understands what happened, especially to Gen.G. Anyway, not many people expect Afreeca when they are only No. 3 seed. KT has failed so much in major tournaments. But Gen.G’s veteran squad, the reigning champion of LoL Worlds, had no reason to fail so early, other than the explanation that (perhaps) they had lost their motivation to play later.
Many people think that this year the situation will be different. The first is the appearance of SKT. They competed sublime this season and only lost to G2 in the MSI 2019 finals. Griffin and DAMWON also deserve their place at LoL Worlds, they both show their ability and aspirations.
However, once again the LCK failed. Griffin encountered a management scandal, but the biggest problem was the bad selection. DAMWON has very good solo laners, but their problem lies in the bottom lane and unstable jungle, G2 punished them on this weakness due to their excellent macro ability.
The problem of SKT is harder to recognize, but it is not nonexistent. They could win against weaker teams like Fnatic, RNG or Splyce, but when they met G2 they had a very disappointing performance. Game 4 is a typical example. Despite their excellent individual skills, which led to SKT being ahead for most of the game, they lost in most of the late team fights, so that the enemy gradually closed the gap and won the final.
The question now is: Will the dominance of the LCK return? It is highly probable that there will be a Korean team that will continue to win the world championship in the near future, but we will not return to the 2012-2017 period when the LCK is completely dominated. League is not Starcraft – where Korea dominated for a decade. League of Legends is a highly competitive game, and today’s success does not guarantee tomorrow’s victory.