January 13, 2021
League of Legends

5 LCK players to watch during the 2021 season

The offseason is finally over and we have the opportunity to yet again enjoy the greatest competition that League of Legends has to offer (outside of Worlds): the LCK! Coming off a Worlds victory and a brand new face after a great rebrand, the Korean competition has a lot of hype behind it.

In this article, we will take a look at some of the players that you might want to keep a close eye on throughout the upcoming season. While the offseason has taken some great players away (most notably ex-DWG and now FPX toplaner Jang ‘Nuguri’ Ha-gwon), who understandably are tempted by the LPL’s deep pockets, there is still plenty of talent to keep an eye out for in the upcoming split. We’ll share some of the players we are most excited about – both new and old!

Lee ‘Gumayusi’ Min-hyeong

Making his debut during the LCK 2020 Regional Finals, Gumayusi has already generated an immense amount of hype behind him. As part of the main roster of T1 he is already facing an amount of pressure that is intrinsically tied to being part of the most successful League of Legends organisation of all time. What we have seen from him thus far is the promise of greatness – his Draven play and his general laning and skillcheck mechanics are exceptional, but at the same time he seemed unable to turn this lead into an impact on the game and his positioning had been generally subpar.

Regardless, we have seen players like Gumayusi turn into absolute menaces with time, effort and enough resources. Fortunately for Gumayusi, he is going to be offered all of that. Also, for any oldschool Starcraft 2 fans out there, Gumayusi is the little brother of Lee ‘Innovation’ Shin Hyung.

Kim ‘Croco’ Dong-beom

Watching the KeSPA Cup is always a fun exercise for an LCK fan – However the Cup is generally considered cursed, meaning who wins it generally does terribly in the following split – it does allow you to take a glimpse at some of the upcoming talent. A great example of such talent is Croco.

While I’m fairly lukewarm on Liiv SB as a whole, their jungler has already shown very little respect for his opponents, absolutely bodying them on picks like the Nidalee. Korea traditionally is the birthplace of a great amount of jungle talent, ranging from players like Kim ‘Canyon’ Geon-bu and Seo ‘Kanavi’ Jin-hyeok to the Hand of God, Bae ‘Bengi’ Seong-woong.

Kim ‘Canyon’ Geon-bu

Talking about great junglers, how about the most recent world champion? Canyon has been the instigator of a million jungle gap jokes and his claim to being the best jungler in the world is further solidified by the fact that we’re in the midst of a jungler meta at the moment. The main question coming into the split is not whether or not Canyon will perform, but how well.

Will he be able to keep developing himself throughout the 2021 season, or will he have the same issue that plagued countless Worlds winners the past few years – burnout, roster swaps, or a shifting meta?

Yoon ‘Hoya’ Yong-ho

One of the more understated roster moves of the split. Fredit BRION acquired Hoya after he had played with Griffin throughout 2019 and 2020. Hoya has been one of the most consistent leaders of Korean soloqueue, and has been consistently able to pull of a variety of picks, ranging from Jayce and Renekton to the Ornn – unfortunately for him, in competitive it has mostly been Ornn. 

We did not get a very good view at his potential during KeSPA Cup, as Fredit BRION had to pull out midway through the tournament due to a possible COVID related issue. I’m personally looking forward to seeing him on a carry in the regular split, as well as how he will match up against some of the greater and more well known names.

Lee ‘Faker’ Sang-hyeok

The greatest player of all time. A transcendent sportsman who has become the most iconic player that we have – no other name is used so consistently as a dedication to greatness. It has been a rough 2020 split for Faker. T1 failed to make Worlds despite a great spring split, and the absolutely insane pressure that is on him to always perform can not be understated. With Lee ‘Clozer’ Ju-hyeon, an incredibly gifted 17 year old League of Legends prodigy hot on his heels, combined with rumours of his retirement, it is always intensely interesting to see this player perform. No matter what, everyone always watches Faker.

Who is your LCK player to watch this year? Join the discussion on Social Media or our Discord

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Image Credit: Riot Games
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