Gen.G Successfully Defends LCK Title
The Chovy-led congregation prevails.
Only one analyst among the many broadcasting talents predicted a 3-1 victory for Gen.G over T1 in the LCK Spring 2023 finals: Lee "Jonnastrong" Jin-sae, the LCK's main observer.
Gen.G swept T1 in LCK Summer 2022 to secure a spot at Worlds as the top seed, but lost to DRX 3-1 in the semifinals, finishing 3rd-4th behind T1. For the new season, they revamped their bot lane, recruiting 17-year-old rookie Kim "Peyz" Su-hwan from their academy team.
Conversely, T1 maintained their upward trajectory with their Worlds 2022 runner-up roster. They ended the LCK Spring 2023 regular season in first place with an impressive 17-1 record, losing only one series to Hanwha Life in the first round robin.
During the inaugural LCK double-elimination playoffs, T1 defeated Gen.G 3-1 in the upper bracket semifinal, a match many thought would be tighter.
Facing elimination, Gen.G swiftly dispatched KT Rolster 3-1 in the lower bracket final, setting up a finals rematch with T1 — and showcasing their significant improvement since their last meeting.
LCK Spring 2023 Finals: Defying Expectations, Gen.G Clinch Consecutive Championships!
In game one, early side lane skirmishes kept the action flowing. After several near-misses and close calls, T1 secured Baron at the 22-minute mark, seizing control and accumulating a gold advantage.
However, just a minute later, they overextended into Gen.G's bot side jungle and lost synchronization, allowing Gen.G to eliminate Lee "Faker" Sang-hyeok's Veigar — a first-time pick for the season.
Kill by kill and dragon by dragon, Gen.G clawed their way toward victory, led by Choi "Doran" Hyeon-joon's Gragas and Jeong "Chovy" Ji-hoon's stellar team fighting.
Both solo laners chose their preferred champions in game two, but T1 adapted their draft accordingly.
They selected K'Sante mid for Faker to counter Ahri's early game and paired Lee "Gumayusi" Min-hyeong and Ryu "Keria" Min-seok with their dominant bot lane combo: Caitlyn and Lux. Mun "Oner" Hyeon-jun's Viego and Choi "Zeus" Woo-je's Kennen bolstered their early game damage and maintained a CS lead over Gragas.
T1 built an early gold lead as expected, but Gen.G cleverly maneuvered through the mid game to stay competitive.
At the 26-minute mark, T1 attempted a high-risk, 50-50 Baron play they didn't need, especially with Kennen close to completing Deathcap.
Gen.G seized the opportunity, using available Hexgates and a well-placed ward for Doran's Gragas to deliver a game-altering Explosive Cask that sent Gumayusi's Caitlyn right to Chovy.
Regaining momentum, Gen.G captured Hextech Soul and Baron, taking a 2-0 series lead.
In game three, T1 banned Gragas and Ahri, reaping the rewards. They denied Wukong and opted for a safer Jinx-Tahm Kench bot lane against Xayah and Rakan. Faker returned to Veigar, which proved advantageous given Gen.G's shorter-range composition featuring Lissandra mid, Sejuani, and Gnar.
Chovy's Ahri could no longer evade Veigar's cage, as Gen.G's draft was designed for all-in team fights. Despite being two dragons ahead, T1's pick composition increasingly troubled Gen.G in the mid to late game.
In game four, Gen.G, on the blue side, chose a full-scaling composition with Chovy on Tristana and Peyz on Jinx. T1's blind pick of Braum allowed Yoo "Delight" Hwan-joong to counter with Lulu, who could nullify Lee Sin's impact in team fights using a single Polymorph.
T1 once again gained an early advantage due to draft differences, and had late-game insurance with Aphelios. They maintained a slight lead until a pivotal moment at the 23-minute mark changed the series' outcome.
Oner attempted a backline kick Flash play, but Delight had saved Polymorph just for this. In that instant, Oner was taken down, opening the door for Gen.G's counterattack.
Eventually, the double AD carry composition had four completed items each, proving too much for T1 to handle. In 34 minutes, Gen.G defied expectations and defeated T1 in an LCK final, just as they did last summer with a different roster, sans Park "Ruler" Jae-hyuk.
At 17, Peyz becomes the youngest bot laner to win an LCK title, an incredible achievement in his debut season.
Gen.G's ability to adapt and persevere through challenging matchups against T1 led them to successfully defend their LCK title. Their unwavering determination and the impressive performance of their young rookie, Peyz, played a significant role in securing their victory, proving that talent and hard work can overcome even the toughest obstacles in the competitive League of Legends landscape.
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