League of Legends Champions Korea

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League of Legends Champions Korea
Current season, competition or edition:
Current sports event League of Legends Champions Korea Spring 2018
League of Legends Champions Korea logo.png
Sport League of Legends
Founded 2012
No. of teams 10
Country  South Korea
Venue(s) Seoul OGN e-Stadium, Nexon Arena
Most recent
champion(s)
Kingzone DragonX (2nd title)
Most titles SK Telecom T1 (6th titles)
TV partner(s) OGN, SPOTV Games
Relegation to Challengers Korea
Official website http://program.interest.me/ongamenet/lolchamps

League of Legends Champions Korea (Hangul: 리그 오브 레전드 챔피언스 코리아), commonly abbreviated as LCK, is the primary competition for League of Legends esports in South Korea. Contested by 10 teams, the league runs two seasons per year and serves as a direct route to qualification for the annual League of Legends World Championship. The LCK is administered in cooperation between Riot Games, KeSPA, OGN, and SPOTV Games.

The league was formerly named League Of Legends Champions before undergoing a major restructuring in late 2014, which saw a change in the competition's format and a rebranding to its current name. OGN reserved exclusive broadcasting rights of the league until 2016 when rights were split with SPOTV Games.[1]

The LCK is widely considered to be the strongest League of Legends competition in the world, with the game's World Championship having been won exclusively by teams from the league since 2013. Kingzone DragonX are the current champions, having won their second title on 14 April 2018 after defeating Afreeca Freecs in the finals of LCK Spring 2018.

History[edit]

Pre-LCK era (2012-2014)[edit]

Following the launch of South Korea's League of Legends server in December 2011, cable broadcaster OnGameNet launched the country's first major League of Legends tournament in March 2012. Named The Champions Spring 2012, the tournament ran from March to May and was contested by a total of 16 teams. MiG Blaze was crowned the competition's inaugural champion after defeating their organizational sibling team MiG Frost in the finals. The Champions Summer 2012 followed later that year, with a rebranded MiG Frost, now known as Azubu Frost, claiming the title themselves. Azubu Frost, along with NaJin Sword, went on to represent South Korea in their first appearance at the League of Legends World Championship in October.

A tri-tournament annual circuit was soon set as the norm for the league's calendar year, now consisting of three seasons held in the winter, spring, and summer. Azubu Frost and NaJin Sword clashed early in 2013 in the finals of Champions Winter 2012-13, with the latter emerging victorious. Champions Spring 2013 and Champions Summer 2013 later followed, being won by MVP Ozone and SK Telecom T1 K respectively. SK Telecom T1 K went on to win the Season 3 World Championship later that year, becoming the first team from the league to do so.

SK Telecom T1 K became the first team to successfully defend their title the following year, sweeping Samsung Galaxy Ozone in the finals of Champions Winter 2013-14 to cap off an undefeated tournament run. Ozone's sibling team, Samsung Galaxy Blue, went on to win Champions Spring 2014 but were bested in the finals of Champions Summer 2014 by KT Rolster Arrows.

In October 2014, plans were announced for a drastic overhaul of the league's structure.[2] League of Legends Champions was rebranded to League of Legends Champions Korea (LCK), and the winter season was abolished in favor of an annual circuit consisting of the Spring Split and Summer Split. The competition's format, which consisted of a 16-team tournament with a group stage progressing into a knockout stage, was changed to a 10-team league operating on a round-robin basis, with the top 5 teams qualifying for a playoffs bracket. Furthermore, organizations were prohibited from owning more than one team - in particular, this change most heavily affected KeSPA-affiliated teams, all of which operated two squads as part of a sibling team system - forcing numerous organizations to merge or disband rosters.

LCK era (2015-present)[edit]

LCK Spring 2015 marked the debut of the league operating under its new format and identity. A newly minted SK Telecom T1, a product of the prior year's merger between SK Telecom T1 K and SK Telecom T1 S, swept the calendar year by winning both LCK Spring 2015 and LCK Summer 2015.

SK Telecom T1 retained their crown in LCK Spring 2016, becoming the first team in competition history to win three consecutive titles. Their streak of dominance was ended in LCK Summer 2016 by ROX Tigers, who became only the second team to win the league since its restructuring.

SK Telecom T1 won their sixth title as an organization on 22 April 2017, by defeating KT Rolster in the finals of LCK Spring 2017.

In LCK Summer 2017 Finals,Longzhu Gaming won their first title on 26 August 2017 after defeating the spring winner SK Telecom T1.

Past seasons[edit]

Split 1st 2nd 3rd 4th
2012 Spring MiG Blaze MiG Frost Xenics Storm Team OP
2012 Summer Azubu Frost CLG Europe Najin Sword Azubu Blaze
2012-2013 Winter Najin Sword Azubu Frost KT Rolster B Azubu Blaze
2013 Spring MVP Ozone CJ Entus Blaze SK Telecom T1 2 CJ Entus Frost
2013 Summer SK Telecom T1 K KT Rolster Bullets MVP Ozone CJ Entus Frost
2013-2014 Winter SK Telecom T1 K Samsung Galaxy Ozone KT Rolster Bullets Najin White Shield
2014 Spring Samsung Galaxy Blue Najin White Shield Samsung Galaxy Ozone CJ Entus Blaze
2014 Summer KT Rolster Arrows Samsung Galaxy Blue Samsung Galaxy White SK Telecom T1 S
2015 Spring SK Telecom T1 GE Tigers CJ Entus Jin Air Green Wings
2015 Summer SK Telecom T1 KT Rolster KOO Tigers CJ Entus
2016 Spring SK Telecom T1 ROX Tigers KT Rolster Jin Air Green Wings
2016 Summer ROX Tigers KT Rolster SK Telecom T1 Samsung Galaxy
2017 Spring SK Telecom T1 KT Rolster Samsung Galaxy Team MVP
2017 Summer Longzhu Gaming SK Telecom T1 KT Rolster Samsung Galaxy
2018 Spring Kingzone DragonX Afreeca Freecs KT Rolster SK Telecom T1

Teams[edit]

League of Legends Champions Korea Summer 2017 will feature 10 teams. Ever8 Winners is the newest addition to the league, having secured their promotion into the premier division by defeating Kongdoo Monster on 29 April 2017.

League of Legends Champions Korea Summer 2017[edit]

Pos Team Pld W L Games Pts
1
Longzhu Gaming
18
14
4
31 - 13
+18
2
KT Rolster
18
14
4
31 - 16
+15
3
Samsung Galaxy
18
13
5
29 - 15
+14
4
SK Telecom T1
18
13
5
26 - 15
+11
5
Afreeca Freecs
18
10
8
27 - 21
+6
6
Jin Air Green Wings
18
8
10
21 - 21
0
7
ROX Tigers
18
6
12
17 - 27
-10
8
MVP
18
6
12
13 - 29
-16
9
BBQ Olivers
18
3
15
13 - 32
-19
10
Ever8 Winners
18
3
15
11 - 30
-19

References[edit]

  1. ^ "리그 오브 레전드". www.leagueoflegends.co.kr (in Korean). 
  2. ^ "Korean Professional League Getting Overhauled". Red Bull.