LCK’s Mishaps With Covid Guidelines For Spring 2022

Shadman Sabik Zaim
By Shadman Sabik Zaim
7 Min Read
Image Credit: League of Legends Champions Korea (LCK)

The LCK has been marred with problems regarding Covid cases amongst teams and the latest cases are not putting them in a good light.

Covid has been a problem for the LCK this split. We have had multiple instances of many players being unable to play at times. It has hampered the overall success of many teams like Gen.G and perhaps has elevated other teams accomplished due to them being Covid safe, e.g. T1. That is not to say that they got lucky, but that is how this turned out.

Additionally, LCK’s adamant stance on playing in LoL Park has made the situation even worse it seems. The latest case with Fredit Brion is just a bad example of this as they had to forfeit a series because of the current guidelines in place. Let’s talk about the whole situation with the LCK and how they can possibly not have this happening again in the playoffs.

The Covid Issue With the LCK

Let’s start with talking about the pandemic that has been raging for the past 2 years at this point. With their recent variant, it is more infectious and thus has had high case numbers in every country. Korea has been no different as the spikes have been large.

While that was happening, LCK was adamant about playing in LoL Park for the regular season. Not only that, but they also had an audience and in-person interviews. It’s no wonder LCK has Covid problems particularly with players contracting it.

With all that said, LCK has had some teams that have not had Covid cases, not to say that they won’t have it in the future now that playoffs are approaching. However, this points to one thing. It shows how incredibly short-sighted LCK is when it came to putting rules in place as contingencies. Let’s first understand what their guidelines are and talk about what to do in the future.

LCK’s Statement and Refuting Their Guidelines

After the Fredit Brion incident, LCK came out with a statement as to why BRO had to forfeit their series.

A TL;DR to people who are not aware, Fredit Brion had to forfeit their series against Gen.G because two of their emergency call-ups contracted Covid. This comes on the back of Fredit Brion’s entire main roster contracting Covid.

This has obviously divided the fans into two factions. One faction is defending what LCK did in accordance to their guidelines. The rest are just perplexed as to why it had to come to this point. There have been significant enough cases in the LCK teams to warrant a change in the guidelines. Even then, their stance on playing in LAN and having an audience is as confusing as it can get.

One thing to give the LCK credit for, they did have a rescheduling stipulation there but the fact that it cannot be executed because there is too little time for playoffs just feels off.

Refuting LCK’s statement

Based on the statement, BRO had to forfeit because they did not have a team to field for the series as well as the game was too close before the playoffs start along with other reasons. The only pushback needed against this is what LPL did just today and previously.

The LPL postponed all of OMG’s remaining games to the very end of the regular season despite them playing every day at this point. Furthermore, V5’s game was also postponed because Karsa has fever-like symptoms.

Now, obviously, we are dealing with different leagues but that is not to say that LCK cannot do this. LPL has Asian Games commitments as well, and they have to travel to the MSI location, which is reportedly Korea as well. So to come out with that explanation just shows how stubborn the LCK is to adapt.

The LEC has played most of their games online, there have even been reports of teams playing with Covid. Now that is not to say we condone that, but if the player is not feeling unwell, it is his choice to decide whether they want to participate. LCK not moving to online play signifies that this might be financially motivated. There is something going on behind the scenes where it stops the teams from switching to online play. Let’s now talk about the solutions that the LCK can take going forward.

Going Forward

At this point, we know that the LCK has a problem on their hands and they will not change anything for the rest of the regular season. What’s more important is what can be done in the playoffs. There are some indications that LCK might be moving to online play for playoff. That is in the best interest for T1 and DK, who haven’t had Covid cases amongst the main roster yet.

Moving the playoffs to online play is the best-case scenario for now. After that, Riot can revisit the issue before they confirm the MSI location. Also, the LCK needs to amend all of its rules and ensure this does not occur again. If they come across Covid cases in Summer, they should immediately move to online play.

If people go across social media, you will see many posts about how T1 lucked out or how Covid has screwed over Gen.G and other teams. The posts are endless and this whole controversy can be squashed by just moving online. All we can say is let’s hope this forfeit does not stop BRO from making playoffs and the playoffs are not mired due to Covid.

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By Shadman Sabik Zaim Deputy Editor
Shadman is a Deputy Editor of League of Legends and other Riot IPs (excluding VALORANT) at GameRiv. He is a computer science and engineering graduate who got into games pretty early. Also, he takes pride in trying multiple types of games and got into League of Legends pretty early. Games, Board Games, Writing, Music, and Sports are his passions and hobbies.