LCK Regionals Finals start tomorrow as 3 teams vie for a spot at Worlds and potentially challenge T1 for a higher seed.
The LCK Finals wrapped up a few days ago with DAMWON KIA winning against T1 fairly convincingly. With that wrapped up, DK confirmed the 1st seed for themselves while Gen.G secures 2nd based off of points. This thrusts T1 into the finals of the regionals as they await to face their opponent for a spot to avoid play-ins. Let’s talk about the teams in the play-ins and preview the Regionals that starts from tomorrow (August 31st).
LCK Regional Finals 2021
For these regional finals, there are 3 teams in contention for one spot while T1 has already secured one of the two available. Winner of the whole gauntlet gets 3rd seed and avoid play-ins. However, the team that loses in the Finals of the gauntlet gets 4th seed and goes to the play-ins.
The three teams in contention for the last spot at Worlds are Nongshim RedForce, Liiv SANDBOX, and Hanwha Life Esports. LSB and HLE are set to face off tomorrow (August 31st) and the winner will face NS on September 1st for Round 2. The winner of Round 2 will secure the last Worlds spot and face T1 for the 3rd seed. Let’s start by talking about the first series and moving onto the later teams.
Liiv SANDBOX vs Hanwha Life Esports
The last time we say Liiv SANDBOX was against T1 in the playoffs where they mightily struggled to do much. On the other hand, Hanwha Life Esports was not in the Summer Split Playoffs. However, they had enough points for Spring to qualify for the gauntlet. LSB is coming in with better form as they have played in the playoffs while HLE looked off for most of the split.
Liiv SANDBOX is still the five man unit we expect them to be. They are a solid team with good fundamentals but no really x-factors stand out. Croco, Effort, and Fate have had strong splits while Summit has improved and Prince has been consistent. They are a team that are consistent in what they do, and they use their fundamentals to try and win games.
In contrast, Hanwha Life Esports is a different kind of team. This team was built around acquiring two of the most prominent LCK players in Chovy and Deft. On paper, this squad looked decent, and they were good in the Spring Split. However, Summer Split was a disaster for them with their junglers underperforming time and time again. At the later stages of the split, they brought in Willer, and they have looked better. Deft and Chovy did not have particularly good splits thus the team struggled. If there is any time to pull it together, it is now. This roster is talented enough to do so but it’s a matter of whether the extra free time helped them improve or not.
Liiv SANDBOX vs Hanwha Life Esports should be a competitive series if HLE has improved during the playoffs when they were not playing. If not, this could be fairly one-sided in LSB’s favor. Only time will tell, and we expect to see a competitive series tomorrow.
In Round 2, we have Nongshim RedForce awaiting the winner of Round 1 to fight for the last spot at Worlds. Nongshim has looked good during the split. However, they got thoroughly beaten down by DAMWON KIA in the semifinals of the playoffs.
The team still remains a team that is strongly devoted to working around their bot lane in deokdam and Kellin. Peanut has had his moments, but he still needs to clean up some of his decision-making mistakes. Gori has been the consistent mid laner they have needed, but his performances in the playoffs are worrying going forward. Rich is still NS’s biggest liability as his laning phases are often exploited by teams and any team facing them will gravitate towards doing that.
Despite that, this is still a strong team when they can get to the teamfights. They are not as crisp at teamfighting as many of the top teams, but they are proficient enough to win games through that. The caveat is that they cannot lose the early game badly, or they just collapse. It will be up to the coaching staff and the players to come in prepared to play the series of their lives and make it to Worlds.
Lastly, we have T1 awaiting their opponents for a series that determines seeding. T1 has had a monumental turnaround by firing their coaches mid split and coming in strong to reach the finals. Their first two playoff series were dominant, and they showed they are a good team going into the finals. However, the finals was sloppy as the games were very messy on both sides. T1 only grabbed the one win against DK when DK was probably playing the worst game of the playoffs. Diving Kennen with ult is never a good idea and that tilted the game in T1’s favor.
There are a lot of takeaways from the finals though. Canna is going to have a problem when he faces stronger top laners from other regions in the playoffs. His inconsistencies are a problem for this team going forward. Oner could not get anything done in the series against Canyon and Faker made too many critical mistakes in that series. Teddy/Gumayusi and Keria had relatively good series despite T1 losing. However, Teddy getting subbed out was a question mark given he was the best T1 player on that series.
Despite all of that, T1 is clearly one of the stronger teams in the LCK. When Canna is on his game, he is a strong top laner and Oner works well with the team. Faker making mistakes is not a norm, and we do not expect that to continue at all. Keria and Teddy is clearly the best bot lane in the LCK and possibly the world even. This is a strong team, and we expect them to be strong going into Worlds.
To conclude the article, the regional qualifier are going to be an interesting watch and any of the 3 teams can make it to Worlds. If HLE have improved and find form, we could see them there with the star power they have. Also, LSB and NS are strong teams, so they have a very good shot at making Worlds. T1 should be 3rd seed when it’s all said and done. Thus, the first for the last spot at Worlds begins tomorrow with LSB vs HLE.
To watch the LCK Regional Finals, you can check LoLEsports.com for the schedule and the livestream.