In 2020 the LCK announced it would be entering a franchise model for their 2021 season. This makes them the last of the four major regions to enter a permanent partnership model. Let’s take a look at how the LCK will shape up going forward.
The 2021 LCK Teams
Fortunately, most of the teams that participated in the 2020 Summer Split are returning, although some have gone through name changes. The only casualty of franchising was SeolHaeOne Prince. Their spot was taken by Challengers Korea team, Fredit Brion, formerly known as Brion Blade and Hyfresh Blade.
LCK TEAMS SUMMARY
Having been a member of the LCK since 2016, Afreeca has seen relative success over the past five years. They hope to repeat their 2018 success in which they made LCK finals and Worlds quarterfinals.
The current world, LCK and KESPA cup champions have stayed with the same line up and are hoping to continue their run of dominance this new year.
The DRX super team which made worlds has sadly broken up. The new lineup is filled primarily with rookies from their academy squad. Only time will tell if they can blossom into championship contenders.
The LCK’s newest organisation has brought in a mix of veteran and young talent in an attempt to make a splash. Hopefully, legendary former Gen.G coach, Edgar, can lead this team to glory.
JUNGLE: Chieftain/ Umti
The legendary organisation is also sticking with the same lineup going forward. Should they be able to maintain a similar level, they will undoubtedly be able to contend for a trophy.
JUNGLE: Clid/ Flawless
MID: BDD/ Karis
Hanwha Life Esports
Having acquired star players Chovy and Deft from DRX, Hanwha Life seems to be making a path to enter playoffs. Should their supporting cast prove to be able to hold their own, a finals run isn’t out of the question.
TOP: Dudu/ Morgan
JUNGLE: Arthur/ Cad / yoHan
This organisation has unfortunately seen better days. The current line up is lacking the same firepower and household names it formerly had. There is a good chance they may even miss out on playoffs.
Sandbox Gaming made history when they hired YamatoCannon as the first western coach in the LCK. Sadly, despite his best efforts, the team did not achieve their desired results. They enter 2021 with a new logo and some new teammates, hoping to once again reach the rank of Korea’s Elite.
Team Dynamics has been re-branded following a partnership with Korean food and beverage company, Nongshim. The addition of elite jungler, Peanut, seems to have pushed the team to a new height as they ended their Kespa Cup run in second place. Should they be able to maintain such form they will most certainly be a threat.
The most dominant organisation in LCK history is once again entering as a competitor. With a rumored ten man roster stacked with talent and incredible skill ceilings the question will be whether they can consistently hit that ceiling and maintain it. Hopefully, their outside problems will not overshadow the players’ talents.
TOP: Canna / Zeus
JUNGLE: Cuzz/ Ellim / Oner
MID: Faker/ Clozer
ADC: Teddy/ Gumayusi
The LCK announced a new logo to go with the franchising model with a minimalist design. Declaring a new design for a new era, the design is said to represent the past and the future, a bird in flight and both sides of the rift.
Expectations for the LCK going forward
The LCK has been the premier region for the majority of the modern league of legend era. In recent time that hold has been shakier as more regions have proven they can not only contend but beat them. Should they want to stay at the top their new partners need to be able to step up. Be sure to tune in for the start of what is sure to be an exciting season on the 13th of January.