2022 LCK Summer kicks off tomorrow

South Korea's League of Legends competition LCK kicks off its 2022 summer season tomorrow, with ten teams set to compete for the Korean championship and a chance to represent the country at Worlds 2022. Before the league kicks off, let's take a look at what to expect at LCK 2022 Summer.

Defending champions T1 are making a comeback after a disappointing loss at MSI 2022. With China dominating the international tournaments, expectations were very high for T1 and their defeat in the grand final really hurt the Korean fans. This season, LCK sees T1, Gen.G and DWG KIA as clear favourites for the championship and hopefully the level of competition will be higher than last year.

LCK 2022 Summer notes

The summer season of LCK 2022 will start tomorrow, June 15. The regular season will be played every week between Wednesday and Sunday, until August 14. Following that, the Summer Playoffs will start on August 17 until the grand final on August 28. Finally, to determine the last representatives of the region at Worlds 2022, the LCK 2022 Regional Finals will be played.

LCK franchise partners DRX, DWG KIA, Fredit BRION, Gen.G, Hanwha Life Esports, kt Rolster, Kwangdong Freecs, Liiv SANDBOX, Nongshim RedForce and T1 will be competing for the championship at LCK 2022 Summer. After nine weeks of the regular season, six of these teams will qualify for the summer playoffs.

Image via LCK

LCK 2022 Summer teams

There were few changes to the LCK team rosters for the summer season. Prince joined Liiv SANDBOX and all the academy players will fill in from time to time as teams still need substitutes with Covid-19 still being a big problem in the country. The second and biggest change was the comeback of Nuguri.

Regardless of his young age, Nuguri has managed to become a part of LCK's glorious history in League of Legends. Korea's incredibly skilled "raccoon dog" joined FunPlus Phoenix after DAMWON Gaming won Worlds 2020, but his FPX run was quite disappointing. FPX was eliminated in the group stage at Worlds 2021, which led to Nuguri leaving the team and taking a break.

After a single-season break, Nuguri made his comeback for DWG KIA side. DK had two top laners, Burdol, who will stay with the team and Hoya, who left to join LPL’s ThunderTalk Gaming. Nuguri is the best top laner Korea has ever seen after the retirements of big names like MaRin and Smeb. His return is definitely something that excites Korean LoL fans for the season.

DWG KIA's roster was missing a piece, a carry, and Nuguri could very easily fill that position. Canyon and ShowMaker will be happy to see their friend return, and with Deokdam and Kellin, they now have a stronger bot lane.

Image via LCK

T1 will probably not be able to repeat such a record as 20-0, but they are still the strongest favourite for the championship. Losing at MSI 2022 definitely hurt, but T1 also learned a lot for the summer season and Worlds 2022. They were not the underdog as they were at Worlds 2021, but a favourite, and they did not win the championship. This experience will be very valuable for such a young team.

And of course Gen.G will follow these two in the race for the LCK trophy. Although it would be wrong to call this super team a failure, mainly because of the Covid 19 cases in the team, their weaknesses were obvious. They need to work on the performances of Doran and Lehends for the summer season, then they can be a much better team, a champion for sure.

LCK 2022 Summer week one schedule and betting odds

The LCK 2022 Summer opens with the following matches:

June 15, Wednesday
Kwangdong Freecs (1.22) vs Hanwha Life (3.80) - 10:00 CEST
Nongshim RedForce (2.05) vs DRX (1.70) - 13:00 CEST

June 16, Thursday
kt Rolster (4.20) vs Gen.G (1.20) - 10:00 CEST
Fredit BRION (4.80) vs DWG KIA (1.15) - 13:00 CEST

June 17, Friday
Liiv SANDBOX (3.30) vs Kwangdong Freecs (1.28) - 10:00 CEST
T1 (1.12) vs Nongshim RedForce (5.30) - 13:00 CEST

June 18, Saturday
Gen.G (1.06) vs Hanwha Life (7.00) - 10:00 CEST
DRX (1.35) vs Fredit BRION (2.90) - 13:00 CEST

June 19, Sunday
kt Rolster (6.00) vs T1 (1.10) - 10:00 CEST
DWG KIA (1.05) vs Liiv SANDBOX (7.00) - 13:00 CEST

The stories for the first week are reasonably clear: DWG KIA now has Nuguri and they will play mediocre LCK teams. It will be interesting to see if Nuguri is back and what DK is capable of. Gen.G will try to prove that they are as strong as they look and T1 will try to prove that MSI 2022 did not hurt them as much as people might have thought.  

Secondarily, keep an eye on Kwangdong Freecs and DRX. They are the contenders for the T1, Gen.G and DWG KIA places. If one of these teams slip, they will try to take their place. Looking at the schedule for the first week, this is the perfect chance for both of them to start strong.

If you are interested in LCK and the return of Nuguri, be sure to check out Luckbox to watch the games live and even place your bets after signing up and claiming your 100% bonus.