LCK power rankings: 2022 Spring Split week 6

The top two teams in the LCK are running away in Spring playoff race.

Photo via Riot Games

The LCK is quickly turning into a two-team race late in Spring with T1 and Gen.G separating themselves from the rest of the league as Korea’s premier League of Legends teams. There are just three weeks left before the playoff bracket is settled. Through six weeks of games in 2022, only one team among the LCK’s bottom eight (KT Rolster) has found a win against either T1 or Gen.G. 

With how top-heavy the league is right now, a team like Kwangdong Freecs, who currently hold a record of 5-7, would be a top-five playoff seed if the split ended today. For reference, no other major league in the world boasts a team with a negative record among the top five in its standings. 

But, despite the fact the LCK doesn’t have nearly as much depth as other major leagues, there’s still intrigue among its prominent contenders. Each team still has six matches left on their schedules before the first half of the season wraps. Plus, with the bottom half of the LCK so squished together—just one match separates last place from a potential playoff berth—the potential for upsets and spoiler games is plentiful. With that in mind, here are our LCK power rankings after six weeks of play in the 2022 Spring Split. 

RankTeamRank change
5)Kwangdong Freecs+1
6)Fredit BRION+2
7)KT Rolster-2
8)Nongshim RedForce-1
9)Liiv SANDBOX+1
10)Hanwha Life Esports-1

On the edge of the race: Nongshim RedForce, Liiv SANDBOX, Hanwha Life Esports

Photo via Riot Games

Although these three teams are at the very bottom of our power rankings this week, they’re still in place to feel the effects of teams at the top beginning to clinch their playoff spots. As more teams at the top of the league (like T1) begin to lock in spots in the playoff bracket, the ones at the bottom will eventually start to get shut out. 

Nongshim did their best to keep their heads above water this past weekend when they snapped a seven-match losing streak against Liiv SANDBOX—a team they should beat on paper. That match brought both of those teams to 4-8. And, while those records look unsightly to the untrained eye, a closer look reveals one more victory would catapult them into a tie for fifth. None of these teams are eliminated just yet since the difference between a playoff team and a washout isn’t all that stark in the LCK. 

In by proxy: Kwangdong Freecs, Fredit BRION, KT Rolster

Photo via Riot Games

It’s a point on the strength (or lack thereof) of the LCK that a team with a 5-7 record like Kwangdong Freecs are good enough to sit in fifth place just three weeks before the playoffs begin. Still, in the context of our power rankings, we view the Freecs as the league’s de facto “cutoff point” right now. It would require some heavy lifting for them to progress further up the table, and the same can be said for any of the teams in this section. The Freecs have the best chance out of any challengers to progress upwards, though. Games against Gen.G, T1, and DRX over the next two weeks give them direct opportunities to slay some of the monolithic teams above them. 

We’re not ready to draw up playoff scenarios and would-be brackets just yet, although we can say with a bit of confidence that the Freecs, Fredit, and KT Rolster are in a better spot after week six than the teams mentioned in the previous section. Teams like Kwangdong and Fredit would be in the playoff bracket if the split ended today. But if the first six weeks of the season have indicated anything, it’s that the top four teams in the LCK (and the top two in particular) would wash the rest of the competition out of the playoffs with relative ease.

Steadily paced: DWG KIA, DRX

Photo via Riot Games

By now, DWG KIA and DRX have created enough space between themselves and the rest of the league that third and fourth place finishes seem inevitable. Neither of them can seem to get over the hump and actually pose a threat to Gen.G or T1, and with only three weeks left on the schedule, it’s unlikely they’ll have many opportunities to secure a place in the top two. Thus far throughout the split, DRX and DWG KIA hold a combined game record of 2-12 in individual games against Gen.G and T1, while failing to pick up a single match against the two teams above them. And while there’s no shame in being winless against those two teams (practically everyone else in the LCK is), DRX and DWG KIA should, at the very least, be challenging Korea’s top two squads. 

With how distant the teams are above and below them—for better and for worse—it’s obvious that DRX and DWG KIA aren’t going anywhere. No matter how many scenarios you try to cook up, it’s practically a given that they’ll finish third and fourth in some combination barring a consequential losing streak from either of them to close out the split. 

Too far ahead: T1, Gen.G

Photo via Riot Games

T1 and Gen.G are setting the pace in the LCK, separating themselves from the rest of the league by multiple matches. With T1 already clinching a playoff spot and Gen.G soon to follow, it’s likely that these two teams will lock up the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds in the Spring Split playoff bracket sometime before the final week of the season. Gen.G hold a three-match lead over the next-best team in the league and T1 have a two-match lead over Gen.G. The disparity between the top two teams and the other eight in the league represents perhaps the widest gap in professional League across the world. With each team in Korea only having six series left to play, it should only take, at most, two weeks for T1 and Gen.G to lock themselves atop the league if they continue to play at their bombastic pace. 

This past week, both teams separated themselves from the pack even further by earning monstrously important wins to keep their distance from the rest of the league. T1 made direct space over DWG KIA and Gen.G earned another victory over DRX. Both wins came by way of 2-0 match scores. They’ll face off against each other later this week in a match that should live up to more hype than their first meeting of 2022, which was bogged down by COVID-related substitutions across the near-entirety of Gen.G’s starting lineup.