LCK Spring 2022 Power Rankings
The LCK Spring 2022 Season kicks off on January 12. After a long and interesting off-season, the ten franchised LCK teams are ready to resume play and test their shiny new League of Legends rosters. A lot has changed over the past couple of months. Teams have been thoroughly shuffled around, leaving much room for speculation. Here are our LCK Spring 2022 Power Rankings.
T1 is one of two LCK teams with a nearly unchanged roster from 2021. Their only “change” was promoting Zeus to full-time starter once Canna was traded to Nongshin RedForce, but he had plenty of play time with the team and should have no problems slotting in. This squad was very impressive overall last year, earning second place in the Summer Playoffs and a top four finish at Worlds. Both times, they were eliminated by the LCK’s top dog at the time, DWG KIA.
While this roster doesn’t have as much pure star power as Gen.G, Oner, Gumayusi, and Keria are all young breakout players who will surely make up the next generation of the LCK’s elite. And with Faker as the central veteran guiding them, this team has incredible potential for greatness. They’ve already shown that they can stand up to the current elite last year. Now, this young team can start carving their legacy.
Clocking in at second on this list is Gen.G. While the organization also earned a top four finish at Worlds 2021, they went a completely different route from T1. Instead, Gen.G replaced everyone except star ADC Ruler with some of the top prospects in the LCK. The former Griffin trio of Chovy, Doran, and Lehends are their new Mid, Top, and Support players. Gen.G also reached for Peanut who had a resurgence year carrying NS RedForce on his back.
Gen.G could easily have taken the number one spot on this list. However, this is a Spring Power Rankings which takes into account performance in the Spring Season only. This Gen.G lineup is made up of five players who played on five different teams last year. Doran, Chovy, and Lehends’s experience together on Griffin was also upwards of two years ago. One of two things will happen to this Gen.G lineup in Spring. Either they crush everyone with raw skill and build synergy as they go, or they have a bit of a slower start until they ramp up to the monsters they can be.
3. DWG KIA
The LCK’s darlings for the past two years have gone through a roster rebuild ahead of the 2022 season. After falling just short of their second consecutive Worlds title, DWG KIA have chosen to rebuild around the best Mid Jungle duo in the world, Showmaker and Canyon. Their new bot lane is Deokdam and Kellin straight out of NS RedForce. DWG KIA have also taken a top laner from both Gen.G and Fredit Brion in Burdol and Hoya respectively in order to keep options open.
It’s hard to tell exactly how well this new DWG KIA roster will work out. Obviously, having Canyon and Showmaker on your team makes it pretty easy to rack up wins. However, a LoL team is made of five players, not two. Deokdam and Kellin were decent last year on NS and all DWG KIA need from their Bot lane is to go even. The big hole left by Khan in the Top lane is a much more pressing issue. Hoya and/or Burdol will need to have their best seasons yet if DWG KIA want to have a complete roster to contend for another LCK title.
Finishing our top four is DRX. After their horrifying 2-16 last place finish in Summer 2021, DRX have opted to cut their Mid, ADC, and Support. Joining Kingen and Pyosik are the experienced duo of Deft and BeryL in the Bot lane. Rounding out the roster is the yet unproven Zeka in Mid. Interestingly, this acquisition likely came from their new coach. After a year in China, Coach Kim Jeong-soo is back to try for his third LCK title. Both Zeka and Kim were on Bilibili gaming together in 2021, meaning Kim himself wanted to bring Zeka over to complete DRX.
This roster’s main strengths come from Deft and BeryL as a duo. Deft brings a reliable ADC presence which assures DRX at least have a win condition in any game. BeryL is well known for his shot calling and macro influence which will certainly help a formerly directionless team. Pyosik has shown in the past that he has potential as a high level Jungler and Kingen has played the role of Top lane rock before. The big question mark is Zeka and how he will adjust to the LCK. If Kim was correct in his assessments of this 19-year-old, DRX could be a scary team.
5. Nongshim RedForce
After falling just short of a Worlds appearance in 2021, Nongshim RedForce have an entirely new roster for Spring 2022. It might be fair to say that this was a forced rebuild, as four of their players were bought up by top teams in the LCK and LPL. Nongshim put all that money to good use and bought a team full of established LCK players. Canna from T1, Dread from Afreeca Freecs, Bdd from Gen.G, Ghost from DWG KIA, and Effort from Liiv Sandbox will be their new roster.
As with every team rebuild that features five completely new players, building synergy will be key. A squad of this pedigree will have a very high floor, allowing them to roll through teams with inferior rosters. However, competing with the top half of LCK teams could be a different story. DRX could find themselves being outpaced by rosters with strong up-and-comers or established synergy. Still, if NS can get things rolling and their veterans can find new peaks, this is a definite playoff team.
6. KT Rolster
KT Rolster missed out on the LCK Playoffs for the third consecutive split in Summer. They will also be fielding an entirely new roster this year. Rascal and Life from Gen.G and Cuzz from T1 are their biggest free agency wins. Joining them will be Aiming who is back from a year in China and an interesting signing in Aria for Mid lane. Aria is well known for his performance in Japan, winning back-to-back titles with Detonation FocusMe and earning Japan’s first ever Worlds Group Stage berth.
On paper, this roster looks like it has some upset potential and can be a fringe playoff contender. However, the most concerning thing is the coaching. KT has kept the same exact coaching staff since Summer 2020 and failed to finish better than sixth in an LCK Split. They just haven’t shown the ability to elevate the team into real contenders. This Spring, we’ll see if it was a player skill issue, or if KT needs a new coaching staff.
7. Kwangdong Freecs
The newly renamed Kwangdong Freecs, which is equally as fun to say as Afreeca Freecs was, will be heading into Spring with a roster of four new players. Their golden goose Kiin will be staying in the Top lane. KDF have purchased a T1 package deal, picking up Ellim in Jungle, Teddy in ADC, and Hoit in Support. Rounding out the team is FATE from Sandbox. Despite having a team of all players with multiple seasons of LCK experience, KDF looks wholly mediocre across the board with one exception.
Even though Teddy was sidelined for Gumayusi, he is still a phenomenal ADC player who can compete with the best in the world. The rest cannot be said about the other T1 benchwarmers. Ellim and Hoit were alright when they had play time, but were never able to stand out as very valuable players. FATE was alright with Sandbox but had notable flaws, and Kiin is far from his best days. KDF is likely to be a middling roster at best.
8. Fredit BRION
The bottom three LCK teams in Spring 2022 are fairly easy to recognize based on roster alone. Among them, Fredit BRION has the most overall experience and highest predictable floor. Four of their players are the same from last Split’s 5-13 second-to-last place finish. Those players are UmTi, Lava, Hena, and Delight. Replacing Hoya will be either Sword of Griffin notoriety, or Morgan from Hanwha Life.
Its hard to place this team anywhere above eighth, since we just saw this exact squad finish in ninth two games behind the next team. Sword or Morgan are also barely serviceable replacements as they were both known for being weak links on their former squads. Still, they did manage to win some games last season against playoff teams, so BRION might be able to make some waves.
9. Hanwha Life Esports
How could a team coming off of a top eight finish at Worlds be rated so low the season following? The answer: lose Chovy and Deft. Their remaining players are sub-top laner DuDu now promoted to main, Support Vsta, and Jungler Willer who will split time with OnFleek from Sandbox. Filling two of the biggest holes of all time will be the likes of Karis from Gen.G Challengers and SamD from TT Gaming in China, a team that went 6-26 last year.
There aren’t many expectations for this HLE team. At best, Karis has a breakout season, Vsta pulls SamD up to serviceable levels, and OnFleek/Willer play up to their best form shown so far. At worst, this team has no bright spots and struggles to win anything. The one factor keeping them out of tenth on this list is that at least they have experience in three of their roles.
10. Liiv Sandbox
Last season, Liiv Sandbox was a playoff team. However, their key pieces that allowed for this are all gone. LSB’s only returning player is Croco in the Jungle. FATE and Effort are now elsewhere in the LCK. Summit, their best player, has taken a job in North America with Cloud9. Instead of investing in free agency options, Sandbox has opted to promote academy players.
Top will either be Dove from KT Rolster or Howling from LSB Challengers. Their ADC is either Ice or Envyy, players coming up from LSB and Gen.G Challengers respectively. They’ll be paired with Kael, also from Gen.G Challengers. The most interesting part of this roster will be Clozer from T1. Unlike the other players on this team, Clozer actually received a lot of attention during his time with their secondary rosters. Clozer even subbed in for Faker in a few regular season games. Still, this will likely just be a season of growth for a full lineup of move-ups playing their first full LCK seasons.