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The 12,000 spectators at the Gangneung Ice Arena in Gangneung (Gangwon, South Korea) witnessed a historic final live. Gen.G has shown what he had been demonstrating throughout his summer: that he was going to change his idiosyncrasy as a club. Because, unlike what one might think of other organizations, both the South Korean entity and the spectators had a deep understanding that if they played a national final it was to lose it. A nightmare that has had the face of numerous players, of failed investments and even different shields until reaching the current one. But Gen.G has made all of that a thing of the past after claiming his first title of champion of the League of Legends Championship Korea (LCK) with a resounding 3-0 against T1.
Unlike other finals, in this Gen.G he started as the clear favorite without generating doubts. They had been the best team in the regular season and the smartest during the playoffs. He chose Liiv SANDBOX as his opponent for the semi-finals over DWG KIA because he knew it was stylistically better. Also that DK could put T1 in enough trouble to then be able to deliver the death sentence in Gangneung. The two 3-2s that the three-time world champions staged both in the quarterfinals against KT Rolster and in the semifinals against DAMWON left his critical condition present. Little was left for T1 of that level taught during the spring season. The weaknesses of that time were more unmasked than ever and the lack of the best individual performance made it impossible to cover them up through outplays.
Gen.G undoes the “what ifs”
Since 2020 Gen.G had accumulated three lost finals and some third positions that meant a disappointment for the club. The organization had missed ‘historic’ opportunities to undo its lack of national titles when DWG KIA and T1 were in low hours during 2021. For this same reason, the entity came wanting to like itself, to show that in this edition there was no room for suspicion. On the starting map Mun Hyeon-jun «Oner“and Lee Sang-hyeok”faker» built up a sizable lead in the early going, but T1 was impatient fighting for a Hell Dragon. Gen.G had an unfair advantage in their group fights: having Zeri in the hands of Park Jae-hyuk «Ruler«, in the fight for the title of the best marksman in the world.
That skirmish in the 20th minute for the neutral objective only had Gumayusi as a survivor in the T1 ranks, so Gen.G seized the moment to grab Baron Nashor. Precisely the Baron meant a trick for the three-time world champions: the organization took over the objective at the cost of a quadruple Ruler murder. Already with the Infernal Dragon Soul for Gen.G, the Faker club tried to prevent their rivals from trying to get the Nashor. However, fighting without Ornn made the comeback of the first game a mission impossible. The marksman shone again, but had to settle for a triple kill before drowning his opponents in his base.
— LCK (@LCK) August 28, 2022
The second map was the hardest for T1 fans to watch, but the most stable for Gen.G fans. The South Korean organization was giving the three-time world champions the medicine they had tried in the previous finals they lost. Faker left the unpublished image of Han Wang-ho’s simple but clever ambush deaths “peanut«. Leaving the Demon King’s Renekton behind, the jungler put Jeong Ji-hoon ahead.”Chovy» and the bottom lane as he wanted. Oner was misguided to the point of realizing face checks against Sejuani having in hands a champion like Morgana. Son Si-woo”Lehends» left his particular stamp by combining Nilah de Ruler with his charismatic Singed. Gen.G’s snowball effect was overwhelming and the seal of the 2-0 came with a great play by Chovy on Sylas. He stole Gnar’s ultimate and prevented the threat of a comeback.
In the last map Gen.G felt his superiority getting Zeri and Yuumi from the blue side. T1 tried to answer through a Mordekaiser for Choi Woo-je «ZeusBut it was insufficient. A champion did not solve all the problems of the three-time world champions to channel the game through their best player, the one in the top lane. The Demon King set was made with early advantages, but Gen.G was still superior in all aspects: individual level, coordination, vision, rotations… Everything that could be scored. Precisely the lack of coordination of the team to fight with Zeus was what ended up costing T1 the toughest final in its history.
The wait has been worth it
With this final Gen.G has changed its idiosyncrasy by leaving behind the image of a club that plays finals to lose them. However, the importance of this first title of the LCK It is not only born by the group, but also by the individual. Ruler, Chovy, Lehends and Choi Hyeon-joon «Doran» have won the first national trophy in their history. That the shooter and the midfielder took him was a matter of historical justice: two players of his individual excellence could not retire without savoring victory. The ADC has been trying for six years and has had a Summoner’s Cup before -with its respective World Cup MVP- rather than an LCK, being in 2017 a much more immature and imperfect version compared to the profile it is today.
If the national title for Ruler and Chovy was a matter of fairness, having three former Griffin players win was an exercise in historical memory. Three Gen.G players finally join Park Do-hyeon «viper«, EDward Gaming shooter. Until now the ADC had been the only former player of the extinct organization that had come to win titles. Now the four will wait to see if Lee Seung-yong «Tarzan“, jungler from LNG Esports, gets it at some point. The most curious of all is that most of the remnants of that Griffin have reached glory at the hands of Go Dong-bin «score«. The trainer was the executioner of him in the summer finals of 2018 to clinch his first and only title of champion of the LCK. As a player he needed seven years to win, but as a coach one was enough.
Not even Peanut is an exception in this story of redemption. As much as he was calm about lifting the title of LCK champion because he already knew that feeling, the jungler had a score to settle with Gen.G. Specifically, make us forget the bad 2019 that both club and player experienced together. the end of the summer-split of 2022 is a turning point for the competition. Leaving the “loser” labels behind, Gen.G is currently the region’s only threat heading into the next World’s.