LCK Spring 2019 Week 1 Recap – The New Kids Show Up

With the start of the LCK Spring 2019 Week 1, the long wait is finally over. The best league in the world has started once again, and we couldn’t be more excited.

Ever since the region’s lackluster performance at Worlds 2018, many teams have undergone major changes, all made in hopes of regaining Korea’s lost honor. As always, SKT T1 is the major favorite due to the changes that they have made. Their latest roster seems to be just what Faker needs to regain his confidence.

Other than SKT T1, the rest of the league were a joy to watch as well. DAMWON Gaming, for example, is a joy to watch and they will surely be fighting for the crown this split. I have been personally impressed by them and expect that they are the new kids in the block that no one wants to mess with. SANDBOX Gaming also showed that they are not going to mess around this split and it seems that the old guard is being overtaken and a new wave of young players is making their mark.

LCK Spring 2019 Week 1 has brought many surprises to the fans. The Korean teams that qualified for the Worlds last year are 1-12 after the first week, that shows you that this split the new teams aren’t going to roll over and let the old guard walk all over them.

It seems that a gap has already been created between the good teams and the mediocre ones. I know it’s too early to predict these things, however, I can’t help but think that this split will create some new stars that will make their presence known worldwide.

LCK Spring 2019 Week 1 — Meta Recap

LCK Spring 2019 Week 1

As one of the best laners in the game, the bans on Irelia in LCK Spring 2019 Week 1 is understandable. (LoL Esports)

This week we have seen some old champs and new ones and in some ways, it felt like it was a continuation of the meta that we have seen throughout the Worlds last year.

Let’s start with the most banned champions. Teams banned both Cassiopeia and Irelia 19 times, followed by Aatrox with 17 bans and Lucian with 16.

Irelia and Aatrox still remain S+ top laners and these ban numbers are really not a surprise, Cassipeia still remains a valid mid champion that is a beast in the late game and in the right hands it could do real damage. As for the reason why Lucian is still banned at such a number is obvious, the mobility that he provides and with LCK having such great bot laners in general, Lucian is a perfect pick for them.  

The most picked champions of the first week are Urgot with 15 times followed by Galio with 14 and Sion with 13. Urgot remains a favorite pick and from the 15 times that it was picked had an incredible record of 13 wins and only 2 losses. Expect teams to start banning these champions more in the coming weeks. Galio had a 50 percent win rate and Sion wasn’t impactful enough with only 31 percent.

It’s obvious that these champions will continue their dominance also the next week and I don’t expect to see many changes.  

LCK Spring 2019 Week 1 — Standings

LCK Spring 2019 Week 1

SKT Telecom T1 didn’t take any time rounding into form, with the synergy between Teddy and Mata evident right from the get go (SK telecom T1)

After the first week of the LCK, the standings might look a little surprising to the new fans, but for those that have been watching the latest developments on the Korean peninsula, they are anything but surprised.

If you have seen the performances of Griffin and DAMWON gaming at the KeSPA Cup 2018 you won’t be surprised that they have a perfect record after the 1st week.

  Team  Series  Games  Pts 
1  DAMWON Gaming  2 – 0  100%  4 – 0  100%  4 
1  Griffin  2 – 0  100%  4 – 0  100%  4 
1  SANDBOX Gaming  2 – 0  100%  4 – 0  100%  4 
1  SK Telecom T1  2 – 0  100%  4 – 0  100%  4 
5  Hanwha Life Esports  2 – 0  100%  4 – 1  80%  3 
6  KT Rolster  0 – 2  0%  1 – 4  20%  -3 
7  Afreeca Freecs  0 – 2  0%  0 – 4  0%  -4 
7  Gen.G  0 – 2  0%  0 – 4  0%  -4 
7  Jin Air Green Wings  0 – 2  0%  0 – 4  0%  -4 
7  Kingzone DragonX  0 – 2  0%  0 – 4  0%  -4 

DAMWON Gaming, Griffin, SANDBOX Gaming, SK Telecom T1, Hanwha Life Esports all went 2-0 this week. Of the five, only Hanhwa Life Esports dropped a single map.

Best performers of LCK Spring 2019 Week 1

LCK Spring 2019 Week 1

DAMWON Gaming came to play in LCK Spring 2019 Week 1, sweeping both Gen.G and KT Rolsters. (Damwon Gaming)

One of LCK’s newcomers, DAMWON Gaming, performed amazingly this week. The first series against Gen G they proved that they can win close games and also they can win games by outplaying their opponents in macroplay. Canyon proved that he can play Kha’zix, Taliyah, and Nocturne to perfection, he outplayed two world-class junglers, Score and Peanut, proving that he can compete with the best junglers in the world. ShowMaker did what his name suggests, he provided a show for us and honestly, I can’t wait to see how he will perform on the upcoming weeks, especially against Faker.  

I missed watching SKT T1 and seeing them dominate games, Faker outplaying midlaners and not having to worry that his top laner will make a mistake that will cost them the game. Clid had a chance to show off his Lee Sin to the world and he did not disappoint. Khan has continued his dominance that he showed last year, while Teddy and Mata have shown the kind of synergy that it takes years to create. The experience of Mata and the decision-making of Teddy are a joy to watch. Teddy has died only three times in the first four games and that shows you that his postioning is world-class and he can become the backbone of the team along Faker and Khan.  

Worst Performers of LCK Spring 2019 Week 1

LCK Spring 2019 Week 1

While we didn’t really know what to expect from Gen.G heading into LCK Spring 2019 Week 1, it was still quite disappointing seeing Han “Peanut” Wang-ho perform well below his usual standards. (Gen.G)

It has been sad to watch the decline of PawN. Last year while playing in KT he showed flashes of brilliance but this year when he joined Kingzone DragonX along Deft and TusiN, I didn’t expect much from this team.

The first week proved me right. PawN failed spectularly when he played Urgot. It’s sad to see when teams play a champion 15 times in a week and it loses only twice. Both losses came when PawN had his hands on the champion. It probably didn’t help that his teammates were slacking either. Either way, the decline is sad to see, as PawN was once considered one of the best that Korea had to offer.

Another player that has disappointed me this week was Peanut. I have expected a lot more from him this split and the 1st two series have proved to me that he’s not able to impact the map that much on Sejuani and his Camille was just atrocious in that one game that he picked her.  

Final Thoughts

The 1st week has brought us some welcomed surprises and also some major disappointments to the fans that have been expecting great performances from some of the LCK veterans. The positive surprises are the introduction of GAMWON gaming to the LCK and the hype seems to be real so far, they destroyed everything in their path. On the other hand, SKT T1’s new roster additions have shown the hunger that they have and they’re on a great path. It was the right time for Bang and Wolf to leave the team after having won many titles. Bang has even admitted that he wasn’t 100 percent when playing for SKT because the pressure was too high for him and he seems much happier now that he has joined the 100 thieves roster.  

The 2nd week is going to be even better than LCK Spring 2019 Week 1 because we get to see some great action. SANDBOX will play against SKT and DAMWON will have two incredibly hard and great matches against Griffin and SKT. 

What do you think stood out the most in LCK Spring 2019 Week 1? Do you think that the changing of the guard will continue? Or will the veterans of the scene come back and prove dominant? Be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments down below.

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