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South Korea claim the gold medal in League of Legends at 2022 Asian Games

Image credit: Asian Electronic Sports Federation

It's more than just a gold medal for team South Korea.

This was only the second time League of Legends would make an appearance at the Asian Games and South Korea would not be denied the gold medal after its 2-0 victory over Chinese Taipei in the grand finals. Host nation China had to settle for only a bronze medal in its showdown against Vietnam.

It was China who defeated South Korea in the first iteration of League of Legends during the 2018 Asian Games. However, South Korea has since gone full circle with its gold medal after they defeated China in the semifinals as well as Saudi Arabia in the quarterfinals.

Despite only being drawn as a group-stage team, South Korea had plenty of firepower in its lineup that featured some of the LCK's best and brightest. This included Sang-hyeok "Faker" Lee and his T1 teammates, Choi "Zeus" Woo-je, and Ryu "Keria" Min-seok. They are joined by the core duo from JD Gaming, Jin-hyeok "Kanavi" Seo and Jae-Hyuk "Ruler" Park. Jeong "Chovy" Ji-hoon of Gen.G Esports was the sixth man on the squad.

Both Faker and Ruler were on the 2018 squad that lost in the grand finals so the redemption arc is now complete. However, this gold medal plays a pivotal role in the players' lives in terms of their careers in the future. South Korea is one of the many countries that have mandatory military service, which also plays a heavy cultural influence and role for South Korean males.

There are only a few ways one can legitimately be exempted from completing their national service. That is to either is to win a gold medal at either the Olympics or the Asian Games. This has been a long-standing tradition for traditional athletes, most notably the players of the South Korean football team that won gold medals back in 2014 and 2018.

And with League of Legends now part of the official medal list for the Olympics, all six players from South Korea will likely be exempted from military service. This will also be the first time esports athletes will be allowed exemption from military service in the country. This will now set the stage for the upcoming League of Legends World Championship, which is scheduled to start a little over a week from now in South Korea.

Teh "GravityWillFall" Wi-LiamA failed pro-am gamer turned into a filthy casual with an unhealthy obsession for keyboards and sneakers.
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