‘Genji, then KT, then you…’
LCK teams are on the verge of creating a homegrown Rold Cup jinx. The last hope is for T1 to break it.
The LCK’s KT Rolster suffered an upset loss to the LPL’s (China) strongest team, Jingdong Gaming, in the quarterfinals of the ‘2023 League of Legends World Championship’ (Rold Cup) at the Busan Sajik Indoor Gymnasium on Thursday. Despite taking the first set, they dropped the next two to four sets to end their Rold Cup journey in disappointing fashion.
They looked to be on top of the game, especially in the fourth set when they were down 1-2, but three kills in quick succession from Jingdong’s Jae-hyuk “Ruler” Park set the tone and they were unable to overcome it.
KT had previously reached the quarterfinals of the Rold Cup in 2018, also in South Korea, before falling to the LPL’s IG in three games to two. The match was held at the Busan BEXCO, but the team was unable to continue their good run in Busan. In addition, only KT and Afreeca Freecs reached the quarterfinals of the LCK at that time, and both teams lost, so from the quarterfinals onwards, teams from the three major regions – LPL, LEC (Europe), and LCS (North America) – could be seen battling it out. However, the previous day at the same venue, LCK’s No. 1 seed and favorite, Genji, shocked LPL’s Billabilly Gaming with a 2-on-3 loss, and KT also failed to cross the quarterfinals and the Chinese wall, so it was an emergency situation for the LCK.
While the LPL continues to dominate, sending three teams to the quarterfinals – Weibo, Billabilly and Jingdong – the LCK’s last remaining contender, T1, will face China’s LNG in a best-of-five series at the same venue on Friday. If T1 loses this game, it will set up an unprecedented situation where four Chinese teams will compete for the top four.
There have been four times in history that a region has placed three teams in the final four, with the LCK doing it three times (2016, 2021, 2022) and the LEC once (2011), and the LPL will 토토 be the fifth. However, it has never had four teams. While the LPL is trying to regain the pride of being the world’s strongest league by setting a record that will be hard to beat, the LCK is desperate not to lose to China on home soil. The LCK’s pride is on the line at T1.