LCK is already heading into week 3 of the regular split. It only feels like yesterday when I returned to LoL Park for on-site coverage of the league, but in those two weeks, there were a lot of things to reflect upon. Needless to say that these two weeks have been very exciting, so there were a lot of things that I personally felt were intriguing, to say the least.
Welcome to a new series that I'll be starting on a semi-regular basis. Throughout the Summer split, as well as during major tournaments in LoL Esports, I hope to share my thoughts and bring my readers more insight into Korean League of Legends. Hopefully, this new series, which I've labeled, "Quest's Musings", will help our readers have a more pleasurable viewing experience in whatever region's league that they follow, and by the end of the day, spark healthy discussions within the community.
Enter the new DWG KIA; successful position swaps that no one expected
After DK’s loss to kt Rolster, they’ve decided to do something that pretty much came out of left field. Their starting adc, Jang “Ghost” Yong-jun, was benched; sub jungler Kim “Malrang” Geun-seong went to play in the jungle, while their starting jungler, Kim “Canyon” Geon-bu and starting mid laner, Heo “ShowMaker” Su, swapped lanes to mid and bot respectively.
Being the 2020 world champions and 2021 MSI finalists, I personally didn’t expect such a drastic change in their line-up; even if their match loss was against KT, a team that DK should’ve beaten quite easily, I thought that DK just had a bad day. Journalists get the starting line-up information before the match starts; seeing the players’ names not written in their original lines made me think, “This is either some genius move that I’m not understanding, or they’re just experimenting.”
DWG KIA quickly proved that they’re in it to win it all. Canyon’s laning phase and side lane macro were the best I’ve seen in a long time, and ShowMaker proved that the mid lane is really weak right now, so he just swapped to a role that can actually carry and provide more in a position that’s more influential to the game. The player that did surprise me the most was Malrang. He doesn’t really have a good track record of being in good teams, but he really did step up for DWG KIA just in the nick of time.
When I interviewed with their head coach, Kim “kkOma” Jeong-gyun, I asked him about how the lane swap came to be, and he simply stated, "We’re exploring the best options to win, so in the future, you might see players in different lanes”. For DK, not only does this breathe in a fresh breath of air into the team that they really needed, it also made me realize that they’re setting new standards of pro play. I realized winning with players playing in their off-role gives gargantuan advantages to the team in drafts, because it opens up so many more options in drafting the type of team composition that they want to play. I expect more players to really learn to play other roles within the game, thus seeing more teams pull off moves, just like DWG KIA.
Chovy Life Esports
I didn't expect Hanwha Life Esports to struggle so hard. From the four matches that they’ve played, they picked up their first win against Fredit BRION. Not only did they lose a match against Gen.G that should’ve been at least a set score of 1-2, they even lost to Liiv SANDBOX, a team that traditionally struggled in the LCK.
Now, I think that mid-tier teams like Afreeca Freecs, Liiv SANDBOX, and NS RedForce have really stepped up from the Spring split. However, this doesn’t excuse HLE from underperforming, as the team looked pretty much helpless when the rest of his team was not able to keep up with their star mid laner, Jeong “Chovy” Ji-hoon. Not only did I watch other HLE members get picked off in side lanes; I think they also forgot how to win, which was very evident in game 1 against Gen.G.
Even after their win against Fredit BRION, Chovy looked like he was in a terrible mood when he joined the press room for the post-match interview. His answers were very short, which received a lot of criticism from the Korean community on his professionalism as a player. However, I can empathize with Chovy. Imagine if you’re having problems at work, and you’re forced to talk about some of these problems to the public.
You can argue that pro players are held to a higher standard, but at the end of the day, they’re human, just like everyone else. Going into week 3, I hope that HLE will be able to turn things around both internally and in their gameplay, and I hope to see Chovy smile again.
Where the f%!& is Seraphine?
With the buffs to Seraphine on patch 11.11, I fully expected her to come back into the competitive meta, especially with champions like Karma and Lulu being super high in priority. However, she just disappeared; why though? I asked Nemesis for insight on the matter, and he said that it feels like teams don’t fully understand her strength. This still boggles me to this day, because she was picked a lot in the Spring split, so players definitely know how to play her. Who knows? Maybe I’ll get to see her in week 3 of the LCK.
Striving for perfection to achieve excellence in esports