LCK Power Rankings: How will Korea’s elite stack up in 2022?

The LCK season is back in action, with a new twist of franchising and playoff changes in the midst to really liven up the competition. To catalog those changes, we’ve developed a comprehensive LCK Power Rankings list that takes into account early season form as we predict the best ten teams in the division for 2022.

The 2021 offseason saw big changes to the team rosters. Some big names have left for other regions, while new stars have joined the fray. In particular, many academy players have been sold off to other organizations to become starters. The legendary organization T1 is mainly responsible for doing that, as all their T1 Academy players will be playing in other teams, raising the overall level of the competition.

To countdown the best teams in the region, we will look at current roster strength and what emerging talent is available on each roster as they compete for LCK glory in a newly franchised league. This list will also help you betting on LCK, increasing your chances of success! Without further ado, let’s jump right into our LCK Power Rankings!

10. Hanwha Life Gaming

  • Top: DuDu
  • Jungle: Willer
  • Mid: Karis
  • ADC: SamD
  • Support: Vsta

Hanwha Life saw the loss of Deft, Morgan and Chovy in the off-season. Aside from Morgan, considered by many the weakest link, the other two have definitely left a big mark on the roster. To complete the roster, HL decided to go for young talents, hoping they can make a good showing in the 2022 season. DuDu will now be the starting top, with Karis in the mid lane. He previously played for Gen.G’s academy team, but his worth is still unknown. Either way, he’s still a downgrade to Chovy. The most interesting player for me is SamD, who previously played in the LPL for a few years. He might not be a top-tier ADC, but I guess he won’t be the weakest of the lot.

Hanwha Life is putting a lot of faith in his jungler Willer after he was promoted to starters and participated at Worlds. Now that he lost Chovy in the mid lane, I have doubts he will shine as much as he did last year.

9. Fredit Brion

  • Top: Sw0rd / Morgan
  • Jungle: UmTi
  • Mid: Lava
  • ADC: Hena
  • Support: Delight

Morgan was booted from Hanwha Life and will be joining Fredit Brion for the upcoming season. He will be sharing game time with Sw0rd, the former Griffin top laner. Aside from the top lane change, the rest of the team has remained the same. I really doubt the two new entries will make the difference so Fredit Brion will still likely belong in the bottom pack of the standings. They finished 10th and 9th in Spring and Summer and I don’t expect them to move away from those two results. Between the two top laners, however, I think the team has slightly higher potential with Morgan: we’ll see if I’m correct.

8. DRX

  • Top: Kingen
  • Jungle: Pyosik
  • Mid: Zeka
  • ADC: Deft
  • Support: BeryL

After a disastrous end to the 2021 season, DRX is hoping to bounce back with a revamped roster. Aside from their jungler Pyosik and Kingen, DRX changed its mid and bot lane. Zeka is also returning to the LCK from the LPL, after playing on Vici Gaming and BiliBili Gaming. I don’t think he will be super good, but he’s still an upgrade to SOLKA. The exciting part of the roster, however, is the bot lane.

Deft returns to DRX once again after his year on Hanwha Life. He will be joined by former DK and World Champion BeryL. On paper, these two players are extremely talented and can elevate the roster. In reality, I’m afraid that both will not deliver their highest level of play, as both have been on a downward trend in terms of performance. I really hope I’m wrong, but I don’t see DRX reaching playoffs.

7. Liiv SANDBOX

  • Top: Dove / Howling
  • Jungle: Croco
  • Mid: Clozer
  • ADC: Envyy / Ice
  • Support: Kael

This roster is telling that Liiv SANDBOX is all about the young talents. They don’t really care about winning the LCK, as long as they growing and nurturing the youngsters. While it may not be the most ambitious thing, it is still a very hard and risky strategy.

Aside from Croco and Dove, who returns to LSB as the top laner, all the other members come from the Challengers Korea scene. They did pick up the winning bot lane from CK and I’m curious to see how good they are compared to the top LCK bot lanes. That being said, this team is not about winning so the results don’t really matter. What I’m hoping to see, however, is a new shining stars that can match the old guards of the LCK.

6. Kwangdong Freecs (Formerly Afreeca Freecs)

  • Top: Kiin
  • Jungle: Ellim
  • Mid: FATE
  • ADC: Teddy / Leo
  • Support: Hoit

Kwangdong Freecs is the only team to have rebranded its name for the 2022 season. Alongside their rebrand, the team made some changes to the roster. We mentioned that T1 let many of its players leave the team: three of them have landed on KF. Ellim, Teddy and Hoit will all be playing for the organization in 2022. I think they’re a decent team that can have the potential to fight for playoffs, but all the former T1 players have an unknown value right now. All of them were benched for a reason, and I think people are expecting too much from this team.

Kwangdong-Freecs-lck-2022-power-rankings
Image Credits | @KDF_LoL

5. KT Rolster

  • Top: Rascal
  • Jungle: Cuzz / GIDEON
  • Mid: Aria
  • ADC: Aiming / Noah
  • Support: Life

I’m very excited about this roster mainly for Aria. The Korean mid laner made a name for himself in the last Worlds 2021 when he was playing for DetonationFocusMe. His mechanics and strong understanding of the game are what allowed him to be recognized and brought back into the LCK. Alongside him, KT rebuilt its roster from the ground up. They brought in Rascal and Life from Gen.G, Cuzz from T1 and then proceeded to pick up Aiming after his year on BLG.

It’s not a super team but it looks like a very solid roster for the 2022 season. It doesn’t matter what role you’re looking at, you have a mid-tier player. The bigger question mark is Aria himself: he shined in the LJL and at Worlds but how will he compare to all the other super talented Korean mids? Personally, I think that his performance will directly impact the standings of KT Rolster as a whole: keep an eye on him throughout the split.

4. Nongshim RedForce

  • Top: Canna
  • Jungle: Dread
  • Mid: Bdd
  • ADC: Ghost
  • Support: Effort / Peter

After a very positive 2021, Nongshim RedForce is continuing its goal of becoming a top-tier team in the LCK. Despite losing all of its members, the organization was still able to put together a very formidable lineup for this year. Actually, aside from the jungle role and arguably ADC, all the other positions are upgrades compared to last year.

Canna had some ups and downs in T1 but overall his year was decent, Bdd played for Gen.G in what felt like ages, Ghost was picked up by swapping Deokdam with him and Effort had a very solid year in Liiv SANDBOX last season. I don’t really know how Dread will perform this year, but this might be the redemption arc for him after playing for Afreeca Freecs for two and a half years. This roster has the potential to surprise a lot of people and I’m expecting them to be above the mid-pack throughout the split. Whether they can fight the top three or not, it will be up to how good their synergy is.

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3. DAMWON KIA

  • Top: Burdol / Hoya
  • Jungle: Canyon
  • Mid: ShowMaker
  • ADC: Deokdam
  • Support: Kellin

After losing to Edward Gaming in the Worlds 2021 Finals, DWG Kia also had to face major changes to its roster. Khan announced his retirement to join the military, while Ghost and BeryL had underperformed in some of the more important moments for the team. To fix these issues, DK not only picked up top laner Burdol from Gen.G and Hoya from Fredit Brion but also Nongshim’s bot lane of Deokdam and Kellin, who was considered one of the surprises in 2021.

With that being, I don’t think DK was able to upgrade or improve its roster with these changes. Yes, the bot lane is better, but for me Khan is a much bigger loss. Not only that, but the chemistry with the new players is still unknown. The only certain quantities are Canyon and ShowMaker, but I do struggle to see them carry DK to win the LCK. They are obviously still a top-tier team. However, there are other top teams with much higher potential and I’m afraid that DK won’t get the chance to redeem themselves for 2022.

2. T1

  • Top: Zeus
  • Jungle: Oner
  • Mid: Faker
  • ADC: Gumayusi
  • Support: Keria / Asper

If Faker is aiming for his 4th title with T1, I think this might be the year to do it. After reaching the semifinals at Worlds, and forcing DK to a 5-game series, T1 is returning to the LCK with much more confidence and awareness of their potential. Jungler Oner has been on the rise towards the end of last year, while Gumayusi and Keria form one of the best bot lanes in the Korean League.

t1-2022-lck-power-rankings
Image Credits | @T1LoL

I’m interested to see Zeus’ performance this year, now that Canna has left the organization. He will not be sharing his game time with anyone, giving him the time to get into the groove in preparation for the second part of the year. If you consider Faker’s legacy and leadership, then T1 has all the tools to transform Zeus and the rest of the roster into a superteam T1 fans has been dying to see in the last few years.

1. Gen.G

  • Top: Doran
  • Jungle: Peanut
  • Mid: Chovy
  • ADC: Ruler
  • Support: Lehends

Gen.G are the winners of the LCK 2021 offseason, period. They got their hands on the most talented mid laner in the world, Chovy. The Korean player finally has a strong roster to match his firepower, as he’s looking to finally start his legacy in the LCK.

Ruler is the only player left from 2021: the veteran will pair up with former AF support Lehends. He might have not impressed last year, but fans cannot forget his performances on Griffin. I still think they are a top 3 bot lane in the League, only behind T1’s and arguably DK’s.

Peanut earned himself another great chance in a super team, following his impressive year in Nongshim. This marks his return to the organization since he left in 2019. He’s not the young explosive Peanut anymore, but his level of play is more consistent than ever.

I’m not quite sold on Doran, but considering the lack of extremely good options in the top lane role, he’s still a solid player. The upside is that he has the synergy with Chovy, as both of them played for DRX in 2020. All of them have played with at least one other member of the team, so I’m quite confident that the team will come along just fine.

Considering that all these players are known quantities, Gen.G is looking like the strongest team for the LCK coming into 2022. Not only they are individually strong, but I also think they have the highest potential out of all the teams in the League. For this reason, Gen.G are the number 1 team on our LCK Power Rankings.

If you’re want to watch LCK live, then make sure to head over to the official broadcast on Twitch! The LCK offers both English and Korean commentary on the streaming platform, making the experience even more immersive for Korean League fans!