LCK Summer split is set to kick off on the 9th and we preview the summer split along with other key points about the summer split.
LCK Spring Split went as expected as most people would say other than T1’s struggle at times. DK were the clear favorites for that split and won it in a convincing fashion. However, MSI was rocky for the defending world champions with them losing out in the finals. Without further ado, let’s jump right into it.
We will start with a section covering the mid-season moves that have occurred during MSI and there are some significant ones for some teams.
Mid-Season Changes For Teams
There are some important changes for a few teams given how the last split transpired. Let’s start tackling them one at a time.
Let’s start with DRX as their suspended head coach, cvMax, returns to the team. He was suspended for a verbal abuse allegation by the e-Sports Fairness Committee for five months. Ssong, who was their interim head coach, will slot as a coach on the staff. Given how DRX has done well for a new squad, cvMax’s return bodes well. He has always made teams better in his previous teams and we wish him the best of luck with the team and a restart to his career.
AF has also made some coaching changes with Cain coming in as their head coach. Their previous head coach, Rigby, joins the coaching staff along with Spirit. Cain has been in many teams that has found success, naming Team Liquid in the LCS in 2020.
He comes in as a coach for an AF team that struggled at times while having talented players on that roster. The team will hope that Cain can improve the team and their playstyle to contend for a playoff spot. Leo has also joined the roster as their second ADC on the roster. Given Bang was not outstanding last split, they could be looking at a change or a competition in the role in this split and onwards.
NS was the 6th ranked team last split and they showed some solid play at the later stages of the split. They put up a tough fight against HLE but barely lost to them. This split, they are bringing in Gori from EDG to fill in as their starting mid laner while Bay and Juhan moves to their challenger team. Given how Bay performed last split, it was not a surprise for NS to make a change and NS will hope it works out for them.
LSB has had a rough split in Spring. They were doing many things right but some critical mistakes were causing them to lose games. They are still a team that is looking to find the players to build up a team to compete. This time around they have let go of Leo and Route and promoted KingKong and Howling from their Challenger team. FATE and Effort are still going to be the lone starters on their role but all other roles will expect some competition. Whether the two new players will make the team better or not is yet to be seen and LSB will hope it works out for them.
Lastly, we have KT making a few changes. Given how the split ended for them, changes were needed and they have Harp from their Challenger team. They have also demoted HyBriD to their Challenger team. They saw more out of Noah to make him the starter for the team while bringing in another support player to contend against Zzus.
Also, Blank and GIDEON will probably be sharing time as they have played almost an equal number of games. However, Blank might be their starter going forward given he has contributed more in terms of winning games. We will see how that goes given they were close to getting the 6th spot last split.
Now that we have talked about the changes, let’s talk about Power Rankings. This list may seem predictable to may people given how last split went. However, the LCK is not always known for surprises as it has been a calm and methodical style of a league in terms of gameplay for the past years. Regardless, let’s jump into the power rankings.
1. DWG KIA
This should not even be a surprise given they were at finals in MSI. However, MAD Lions did give them a full series and they looked lost against RNG at times. Given how they looked at MSI, it does not bode well if they do not improve. With the jungle changes, Canyon’s play will likely determine how good DK will be. However, given how talented the team is, there are not many teams that can contend with them in the LCK. Whether they improve or not will be one to watch this split.
Gen.G had been the biggest competitor to DK last split. However, the loss of Game 2 in the finals was such a big blow for them when that win could have turned the series around. We expect that Gen.G will clear up these mistakes they made to stand a better chance against DK going forward. BDD played well in the playoffs but Clid will need to step up for the team. This team can be much better and hopefully they will be to contest against DK.
3. Hanwha Life Esports
There will certainly be some raised eyebrows from LCK fans when they see that we have put HLE at 3rd and there is good reason for that. Given that a brand new team from HLE was in the playoffs and playing well is a good sign for them going into Summer Split. However, this is the split that will be the time for the team to step up.
They have players like Chovy and Deft, who are very talented and have more to show for in the LCK. However, their Achilles heel will be their jungle spot as neither jungler for them was impressive. Morgan did show some signs of improvement and hopefully he will keep that up. In our estimation, this is a very talented team and we expect them to improve and be that 3rd team in the LCK that contends with the top.
Some may argue T1 should be 3rd on this list but we have some reasons to put them in as 4th. Like HLE, they have problems in the jungle as their junglers have not been consistent. Given how much rotation there was did not help the consistency area either. Also, barring bot lane, their other lanes have not been as good at times.
Faker has said that he will be better this split and that is what’s needed for this team. Also, Canna will also need to step up or Zeus might take his spot. Uncertainty is a thing with the team so there is a lot of work that needs to be done for this team. Hence, we put them at 4th. However, they are very capable of being higher up on this list. Furthermore, if they can be consistent and find a proper lineup as their go-to, that will serve them well than rotating a lot. Hopefully, T1 will be great in the LCK, and fans will be re-energized going forward.
DRX took massive steps forward as a new team with many rookies in the roster. With cvMax coming back, this team can be better. It is eerily similar of the situation in Griffin when cvMax was in-charge when Griffin got much better in a split. If that does happen, we may see another team surge itself into Worlds spot conversation. Kingen and Pyosik have been standouts of the team and hopefully others will step up this split and we can see the best version of this DRX team.
6. Nongshim RedForce
NS made HLE sweat in the playoffs and now are coming in with a new mid laner. Given how Bay did not do very well in the split, Gori could be a solid upgrade for them as he sat behind Faker and Scout for many years. This will be the first split Gori really starts in and NS will put a lot of hope into him being a solid player for them as they make another push for the playoffs.
7. Afreeca Freecs
AF had a very inconsistent split last time around. With that, AF has now brought in a new and experienced head coach in Cain to stabilize the ship. AF needs to be consistent to contend for the playoffs and they have the talent to do it. It will come down to if they can improve their play and execute their plans. The last few playoff spots will be up for grabs for many of these team and AF certainly has the personnel to take one of them.
8. Liiv SandBox
LSB could surge in this split and that is why we have them as 7th. Given how they have made changes, they have probably started addressing some of the mistakes that they were making in the past split. We expect them to contend for a playoff spot as the last 2 spots in the playoffs could be anyone’s to grab.
9. KT Rolster
Despite KT doing decently last split, we have them at 9th. Even though Doran and Ucal was pretty good, the team lacked a few things. They will still be shuffling their junglers around but Noah will be their starting ADC from next split. They have also brought in Harp so it could be a synergy aspect that they are targeting for that bot lane. Whether it improves them or not in the Summer split is one to watch out for.
10. Fredit Brion
BRO had some nice games last split but as a team, they were not very good. They did grab some wins and showed that they could be a good team with experience. However, it will be a tall task for them to be contending for the playoffs. Hopefully they will improve and we will see a better BRO this time around.
Games To Keep An Eye On This Week
There are some exciting games coming up for the first week of LCK Summer Split 2021. Here are some of our picks:
- T1 vs HLE: 2nd game of the first day of games featuring two teams that are closely ranked in our power rankings. This should be a fun series to watch between these two teams.
- T1 vs DK: 2nd game on Friday when T1 faces against DK for the first time this split. Last split both series were incredibly exciting to watch and this should not be any different.
- Gen.G vs HLE: 2nd game on Saturday where Gen.G will face against HLE.
HLE has a tough week ahead of them as they play T1 and Gen.G. Gen.G will also have to play DRX earlier than their second game against HLE. There are more LCK games to watch as LCK kicks off on the 9th and it should be a fun split to watch.