Gen.G Esports and T1 lead the race to the LCK Summer Split playoffs
The LCK Summer Split is getting into its final stages.
As things stand, we're heading into the sixth week of games in the LCK Summer Split group stage with only four remaining. This will decide the top six teams that will make it to the playoff bracket. Speaking of the top six, they are currently in three separate ties with Gen.G Esports and T1 sharing the top spot. Close behind is DWG.KIA and SANDBOX Gaming followed by DRX and KT Rolster respectively.
Rounding up the list, you have Kwangdong Freecs, Nongshim RedForce, Brion Esports, and Hanwha Life Esports. While these teams make up the bottom four of the LCK Summer Split, they still have a pivotal role to play in the coming weeks. With only the top six teams making it to the playoffs, the top two teams will head straight for the semifinals so whoever finishes within that third to sixth seed will be looking to play their cards perfectly.
Who is the best in the LCK?
With both Gen.G and T1 tied for first place, it's hard to decide on who is the best team in the LCK at the moment. In terms of the head-to-head match-up, T1 holds all the cards after defeating Gen.G two weeks ago. But as it stands, Gen.G is still at the top but just barely. Both teams have three more games to go before another face-off on July 30, which could potentially decide who will head into the playoffs as the number one seed. This will also allow the first-place team to choose the opponent from the first round.
Before their match-up, T1 will first have to face Kwangdong Freecs and Brion Esports this week before going up against KT Rolster the following week. Their rematch against KDF will be one to watch as they are the only team to put an end to T1's undefeated streak in the LCK. Having bested both Brion and KT in the weeks before, you can expect T1 to put on a show and make it hard for Gen.G to cling onto their top-seed spot. Speaking of which, Gen.G has been able to best every team so far so their rematch against the likes of SANDBOX Gaming, Hanwha Life Esports, and DRX.
Of course, the last time these two teams met, it was T1 who came out on top with Lee "Faker" Sang-hyeok claiming his 500th career victory in the LCK. It was his Lissandra in games two and three that saw T1 overcome an early Gen.G victory in the first match of the series. It will be interesting to see who comes out on top in the rematch as T1 is the only team to defeat Gen.G, who has had a near-perfect record besides that blemish.
The potential quarterfinal match-up
The mid-table match-up is a real dogfight with some of the biggest names in LCK history currently making their way through the trenches. DWG.KIA is the first name off the list, sitting in third but tied with SANDBOX Gaming. The Worlds 2020 winners have not had a great season so far as they try to make their way back to the summit of the LCK. Having lost against Gen.G, T1, and DRX in the earlier weeks, DWG has plenty still to overcome if they want to be able to break into the top two. They will be facing Gen.G on August 8 as well as T1 on August 13, two potentially explosive match-ups, depending on how the matches before that go.
They will have to win all of their remaining matches, which also includes a tricky encounter against DRX later this week. Their other matches against Nongshim RedForce, Hanwha Life Esports, KT Rolster, SBG, and Kwangdong Freecs will be some of the most important games to determine where they will place in the group stages. Speaking of SBG, they have been able to overcome their spring split form with a resurgent run and putting key wins on the board. While their next few matches aren't looking favourable, the team can pull off an upset or two when it mattered.
You also can't count out the likes of DRX and KT Rolster, two teams that can very well make it to the playoffs. DRX still has some big games coming up, especially against DWG and Gen.G. If they're looking to make a late charge to the top, now would be the best time to do it. The same can be said for KT, who also have big games coming up that could alter the course of the LCK Summer Split.
Late drama on the horizon?
With the summer split group stages drawing to a close, it's easy to identify the difference between the top six and the bottom four. The likes of Kwandong Freecs, Brion Esports, Hanwha Life Esports, and Nongshim RedForce will have the fight of their lives for the next four weeks. Of the four in the bottom, only KDF and Brion have got championship points, which will pull in their favour when it comes to the LCK Regional Finals.
Both KDF and Brion will face off next week but also have their respective matches to look out for. KDF will be hoping to do the double over T1, having convincingly taken the first series. By doing so, they could potentially derail T1's run to Worlds 2022 in the process. Brion will also be facing T1 this week and if they manage to pull one over the Spring champions, it could spell serious trouble for T1.
The LCK Summer Split resumes tomorrow for the rest of the week as we draw closer to the playoffs.