LoL: T1 complete historic run, defeat Gen.G 3-1 to win LCK Spring Split undefeated

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T1 are the first team to win a split undefeated. (Photo: Riot Games)
T1 are the first team to win a split undefeated. (Photo: Riot Games)

South Korean juggernauts T1 have been crowned as the champions of the 2022 League of Legends Champions Korea (LCK) Spring Split after they routed Gen.G Esports, 3-1, in the playoff grand finals on Saturday (2 April), completing a historic undefeated run throughout the entire split.

T1 are the first team in League of Legends history to finish an entire split undefeated, winning a total of 39 games and losing just nine in a run of 20 won matches throughout the regular season and playoffs.

This also marks T1’s 10th LCK title, which happens to be superstar mid laner Lee “Faker” Sang Hyeok’s 10th LCK title as well, in the 10th year anniversary of the LCK.

The South Korean giants broke records all season, with Faker clocking in his 70th champion played in the LCK, his 1,000th game in his career, and his 2,500th kill as well in the same season. Ryu "Keria" Min-seok also managed to amass 2,000 assists in his career this season.

The team had a perfect regular season this spring, winning all 18 of their matches in the regular season, and automatically securing the top spot in the LCK Playoffs.

All members of T1 also received honours in the 2022 Spring All-LCK teams, with four out of five members — namely Faker, Keria, Choi "Zeus" Woo-je, and Lee "Gumayusi" Min-hyeong — being inducted into the All-LCK First Team. Moon "Oner" Hyeon-joon made the All-LCK Second Team.

Keria was also the first-ever support player to win the LCK Regular Season MVP award, which has traditionally gone to junglers and mid laners.

By virtue of being the regular season first seed, T1 automatically qualified for the semifinals, where they swept Kwangdong Freecs 3-0 in a best-of-five series to qualify for the grand finals.

Gen.G, on the other hand, have been plagued with mostly first runner-up titles in the LCK, and never a regional title.

That said, all of Gen.G’s members are veterans, some with titles under their belt as well like Park "Ruler" Jae-hyuk and Han “Peanut” Wang-ho, who used to be in T1 with Faker.

Gen.G took second place in the group stage with a 15-3 standing, and also automatically qualified for the semifinals.

They outlasted DAMWON KIA 3-2 to earn the right to challenge T1 in the grand finals. This was notably the first time T1 faced the full force of Gen.G, who had to field substitutes in their previous clashes because of COVID-19.

How the match went

In the first game, Gen.G tried to slow down the mid lane and the jungle to try to prevent Faker’s Ryze from scaling.

Both teams were smart in their exchanges, with Gen.G winning lanes and T1 taking objectives, to keep them on equal footing for most of the game. However, while Gen.G were successful in setting back Faker, a fed Gumayusi was able to carry the team throughout the game.

And in a fight to take the Infernal Dragon, Zeus baited Gen.G to give his team the opening to wipe the enemy.

After a 30-minute encounter and a 15-7 kill lead, T1 marched down base to win the first game.

Both teams tried to find opportunities at every turn in game two.

T1’s Keria took down Gen.G's Ruler and then punished support Son “Lehends” Si-woo’s overextended Alistar in the early game, all while Zeus was getting fed with 5 kills.

However, Gen.G managed to catch up by the midgame with a number of kills and dragon stacks, although T1 were able to take more turrets.

A little over the 22-minute mark, Gen.G started to overtake T1 with the kill and gold lead as the latter seemingly started to do some limit-testing in a grand finals game.

In this split, T1 had been famous for limit-testing while in actual games, and have always gotten away with it in their other matches. This proved to be fatal in game two of the finals, as Gen.G scaled and took control of the game.

Gen.G’s early dragon stacks pulled them ahead as they took Dragon Soul as well. With Choi "Doran" Hyeon-joon and Jeong "Chovy" Ji-hoon demolishing the members of T1 in skirmishes and team fights, Gen.G tied up the series with a 29-17 kill lead and a 4,000 gold lead.

Realizing how dire the situation was getting, T1 put their game faces on, prioritizing their comfort picks and creating a well-rounded team composition.

Oner outmanoeuvred Peanut in the jungle in the early game, making trades as Gen.G’s junglers tried to execute ganks but failed.

T1 then put pressure in the top lane, killing Doran repeatedly and denying him exp from minions in the laning phase.

Using the momentum established in the top lane, Oner's Viego kept pushing the advantage for T1 around the map, taking two turrets with the Rift Herald while facilitating the growth of Gumayusi's Jinx.

Gen.G fought to steal one drake and one Baron, but T1’s monstrous Jinx swept clean Gen.G in the Baron lane.

T1 then barreled down Gen.G’s base and destroy their Nexus, taking the pivotal third game of the finals in a lengthy yet one-sided 37-minute, 11-2 encounter.

Game four seemed to be a repeat of the previous one, with Zeus and Oner putting pressure in the top lane and T1 snowballing their lead throughout the entire time.

Faker’s lethal Ahri had been instrumental in closing out kills, and even end ended up acing Gen.G at the 20-minute mark.

With T1 already too far ahead, Gen.G were unable to bounce back.

T1 ended up taking the fourth game in 28 minutes with a 21-4 kill lead to claim the LCK Spring Championship title and the grand prize of US$164,566.

This also marks T1’s first split title since 2020 LCK Spring.

Oner was named the LCK Spring Finals MVP, especially with how he effectively choked the enemy all across the map.

With T1 winning the Spring Split, they will represent the LCK at the 2022 MSI. (Photo: Riot Games)
With T1 winning the Spring Split, they will represent the LCK at the 2022 MSI. (Photo: Riot Games)

Meanwhile, Gen.G ended up in second place yet again, taking home US$ 82,283.

T1 will continue in their quest for dominance, this time on the International Stage, as they represent the LCK at the 2022 Mid-Season Invitational in May, which will happen in their homecourt at Busan, South Korea.

Anna is a freelance writer and photographer. She is a gamer who loves RPGs and platformers, and is a League of Legends geek. She's also a food enthusiast who loves a good cup of black coffee.

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