The most competitive League of Legends league in the world is only one week away from the end of the regular season. There are only two matches remaining for each squad, but the stakes couldn’t be higher: except for the very dominant leaders Kingzone DragonX and the last placed Kongdoo Monster, all of the remaining LCK teams can move up or down the ladder.
In the LCK, playoffs are formatted differently than in most of the other regions. Only 5 out of 10 competing teams reach the knockout stage, which is played in a gauntlet format: the #4 and #5 teams battle in a BO3 match, and the winner is pitted against the #3 team. The winner of that BO5 plays the second place team, and the regular season winners will play the winner of that match. So, in a nutshell, even a difference of one spot can mean the world to the playoff teams.
In addition to Kingzone, Afreeca Freecs and KT Rolster are locked into the playoffs, but will fight for the possession of the #2 spot, while the #4 and #5 spots will be decided by four teams: KSV, ROX Tigers, SK Telecom T1, and Jin Air Green Wings. The better of MVP and bbq Olivers will have the last safe spot in the league, while the other will be heading to relegations to fight against the best Challengers teams.
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ESB LOL LCK expert Kosta gives his free predictions for Week 9 LCK Wednesday matches
KSV Esports vs Rox Tigers
Time: 7PM (GMT+9)
This match is the first direct duel between playoff contenders. If KSV win, they’re in; meanwhile, ROX have to win both of their matches to have a guaranteed playoff run.
If there was an award for the most inconsistent team in the world, KSV would probably get it. The reigning world champions have been hot and cold the entire split, occasionally smashing the opposition, but also often losing to much lesser teams. ADC Ruler is the sole consistent carry on the team, and KSV seem to completely rely on him and enable him as much as possible.
ROX are probably the most pleasant surprise of the split, and have reached their first real playoff chance since 2016. Lava has developed into a very potent mid laner, and he is the most likely win condition for the Tigers, considering Crown’s disappointing recent form. This is a tough match to predict, but just based on team cohesion, ROX might have a very slight edge in this matchup.
Best bet: While Rox is the underdog at +141 at BetOnline, we think an upset is on the cards.
Kingzone DragonX v Jin Air Green Wings
Time: 10PM (GMT+9)
Kingzone are smashing their fellow competitors so hard that it’s pretty safe to consider them the best team in the world at the moment. Jin Air desperately need a victory to keep their playoff dreams alive, but it will be extremely hard against the Dragons.
In short, Kingzone are firing on all cylinders this split. New jungler Peanut fit the team like a glove, and reunited with his former botlane is a joy to watch. His great form will be an obvious upper hand on Jin Air, whose jungler UmTi isn’t playing great at all. Teddy and Wraith form a good bot lane, but they are unlikely to win lane against PrayRilla and get Teddy rolling, which is basically the only real strategy Jin Air have been using this split. If Jin Air’s bot lane gets a lot of jungle help, that would mean that the talented, but still not very reliable SoHwan is left alone against the best top laner in the world.
Best bet: Kingzone will win this match, you can get -909.09 at BetOnline.