Players and coaches of T1 (left) and Gen.G pose after a press conference at CGV Yongsan in central Seoul, Wednesday. (LCK)
Two Korean League of Legends powerhouse teams -- T1 and Gen.G -- are set to face each other for this year’s spring title, with esports fans and spectators excited to watch the two battle it out in the first in-person showdown in almost three years.
“In accordance with the government’s COVID-19 measures, a total of 3,500 seats will be available for the upcoming finals. We hope to bring a stadium filled with the crowd’s chants this summer,” said the secretary-general of League of Legends Champions Korea, Aiden Lee, in a press conference at CGV Yongsan, central Seoul, Wednesday.
Though T1 and Gen.G were both named as the tournament’s favorite among coaches and players at the beginning of the season, their paths to the finals were completely different.
T1 dominated the whole season with a history-making winning streak of 18-0. After demolishing Kwangdong Frees in a 3-0 sweep in the second round of playoffs, T1 remains undefeated in the 2022 LCK spring season.
Meanwhile, Gen.G, who finished the season in second place, had a rough journey to the finals with players needing to be substituted due to COVID-19 infections.
After a tight 3-2 victory in the second round of playoffs against Damwon Kia, Gen.G seeks to achieve the long-cherished dream of winning its first domestic title.
“The upcoming final match aside, I have been in three LCK finals in my career. But all of these matches were held in an empty stadium. I am thrilled and excited to face T1 on a stage surrounded by fans and spectators,” team captain Park “Ruler” Jae-hyuk of Gen.G told The Korea Herald in the press conference.
T1’s team captain, Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok, said that the finals being held in front of a live audience holds a special meaning to both players and fans.
“I am certain that the fans will enjoy the offline experience at the final stage after a long COVID-19 break. The presence of esports fans also excites the players. I hope to make it an interesting final and put up a good performance,” Lee added.
While each believes their respective team will win the spring title in a 3-0 sweep, the coaches -- Choi “Polt” Seong-hun of T1 and Go “Score” Dong-bin of Gen.G -- agreed that the fan-filled stadium provides the perfect environment for players to perform to their fullest.
The finals between T1 and Gen.G will take place at 5:30 p.m. on April 2 at the country’s largest convention center, Kintex in Ilsan, Gyeonggi Province, just northwest of Seoul.
The match can be seen via online streaming platforms Twitch, Afreeca TV and on Naver as well.
By Lee Si-jin (firstname.lastname@example.org