Image for Nikhil Kalro Nikhil Kalro - January 12, 2023

LCK Spring 2023: Hanwha Life Esports Enter the Season With a New Roster

  • Hanwha Life Esports enter the season with a new roster

  • Fredit BRION and Nongshim RedForce are almost dead-even on stats

  • All-stars T1 lose long-time player Khan, who retired in the off-season

  • DPlus KIA have a secret weapon in the form of Canna

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LCK Spring Predictions

Kwangdong Freecs vs Hanwha Life Esports Pick 

Hanwha Life Esports

Kwangdong Freecs vs Hanwha Life Esports Prediction 

Hanwha Life Esports enters the season with a greatly strengthened roster and look set to improve their results

Kwangdong Freecs - The Long-Time LCK Staples Face an Uphill Battle

Kwangdong Freecs, the team owned by AfreecaTV, have been part of the LCK circuit since 2016. They currently go by the name of Kwangdong Freecs, as they are under the sponsorship of the Korean pharmaceutical giant Kwangdong. We have Freecs as underdogs against Hanwha Life Esports. Let’s take a look at their statistics to understand why.

Freecs’ best-ever result came last year, with a 4th place finish at the LCK Spring 2022 tournament. Outside of the S-Tier LCK, Freecs also have several top 5 finishes in smaller A-Tier Tournaments. 

In the 2022 season, Freecs had an overall win rate of 31%, with 29 losses to 13 wins. While the win ratio leaves much to be desired, the team dealt an impressive 1705 damage per minute rating, clocking in an average of 8.9 kills per game. 

In terms of economy, Freecs collected an average of 1689 Gold Per Minute and had their first tower established 35% of the time. The team also had 1.9 Dragons per game in the 2022 season. Players to watch out for in the upcoming season are toplaner Kiin and midlaner FATE, who had dealt 27.3% and 24.6% overall damage, respectively.

Hanwha Life Esports - Could Be Their Year

In 2022, Hanwha Life Esports participated in both seasonal LCK tournaments, finishing 10th place both times. Despite dropping out of the group stages, they are the team to pick in their matchup against Kwangdong Freecs. Let’s take a look at their statistics from the last season to see how they match up against their rivals.

Over the course of the 2022 season, Hanwha had a win rate of 26%, losing 24 and winning 12 of the games that they played. The team dealt an average of 1700 damage per minute and clocked an average of 7.5 kills per game, making them relatively evenly matched with Freecs in the numbers game.

On the economy front, the team obtained an average of 1669 gold per minute, once again nearly dead even with Freecs. The team won first tower 34.8% of the time while getting 1.6 Dragons per game over the season. 

Despite the numbers putting them on par with Freecs, we would bet on Hanwha Life Esports because they have been more consistent in reaching the upper rungs of S-Tier tournaments. With the addition of Sayho, DanDy, Mowgli and Kezman, all of whom joined in November 2022, the upcoming season could be huge for Hanwha. Maybe they’ll finally get a coveted LCK win in the bag. 

Nongshim RedForce vs Fredit BRION Pick

Fredit BRION

Nongshim RedForce vs Fredit BRION Prediction

With stats that pretty much cancel each other out, we pick Fredit BRION due to their record of finishing narrowly ahead.

Fredit BRION - Almost Dead Even Against RedForce in The Group Stages

Fredit BRION have been in the LCK since 2019 after they acquired the spot owned by Kongdoo Monsters. Since they entered into the ultra-competitive LCK circuit, BRION have been a steady mid-to-bottom table team, finishing 9th and 6th in the last two seasons, respectively. 

In season 13 of the LCK, Credit Brion had a win rate of 26%, winning 11 and losing 31 of the games that they played, with an average game duration of 33 minutes and 32 seconds. The team drew first blood 50% of the time and dealt 1715 Damage Per Minute, leading to an average of 8.6 kills per game. 

BRION enter the season with an average of 2.2 dragons per game while also obtaining 1718 gold per minute. They will start S13 with a stable roster, which should help them pip Nonshim RedForce to the win.

Nongshim RedForce - Have Historically Been Able to Edge out Fredit BRION

Nongshim RedForce came into existence by acquiring the roster of ES Sharks. They then went on to enter the LCK by acquiring Team Dynamics. Let’s take a look at how they hold up against Fredit BRION. Nongshim RedForce finished 2022 in 8th, just one spot ahead of their rival in this comparison.

The team ended the last edition with a win rate of 33%, losing 28 and winning 14 of the games that they entered. Like their rivals in BRION, RedForce are an aggressive team who drew first blood 50% of the time and dealt 1968 damage per minute throughout the season. The team also obtained 1722 gold per minute and had 2.4 dragons per game. 

We believe Nongshim RedForce are at a disadvantage against Fredit BRION because the latter have historically been able to narrowly edge out victories against them. 

T1 vs KT Rolster Pick

T1

T1 vs KT Rolster Prediction

T1 will enter 2023 with a point to prove as the returning second-place team.

T1 - 2022’s Second Place Winners Return With a Vengeance

The former LCK winners narrowly missed out on first place to Gen G. Gaming in 2022. They will be out for blood with a chip on their shoulders in the upcoming season. Let’s examine some of their most impressive stats from the last summer split.

T1 had a highly impressive 67% win rate, losing 23 and winning 47 of their games. The team dealt a superlative 2142 damage per minute, leading to 12.9 kills per game. With an average kill/death ratio of 2.2, the team had the ability to obtain 1878 gold per minute and get 2.3 dragons per game. 

The numbers don’t lie: T1 are a force to be reckoned with and it will take a miracle for KT Rolster to pull off the upset. 

KT Rolster - A Potential Breakthrough to the Top Awaits

Despite being a long-time presence at the LCK, KT Rolster have also been a long-time mid-table team since their last win in the summer of 2018. In the two splits of 2022, they finished in 5th and 4th, respectively. 

Like T1, KT Rolster sports some impressive statistics like a win rate of 53%(29W - 26L). The aggressive team drew first blood 54.5% of the time, dealing 2033 damage per minute and landing an average of 12.3 kills per game with a kill/death ratio of 1.9 

The team fared better on the economy front than T1, obtaining 1812 gold per minute and getting 3.1 dragons per game. However, we believe T1 are in nearly unbeatable form at present, and it will be hard for KT Rolster to overcome them. 

Liiv SANDBOX vs DPlus KIA Pick

DPlus KIA

Liiv SANDBOX vs DPlus KIA Prediction

DPlus KIA have a new star toplaner that they are bound to put to full use

Liiv SANDBOX - Will Need to Find Winning Consistency to Stay Afloat

Liiv SANDBOX or SANDBOX gaming finished 9th place in the Spring split and 3rd place in the Summer split of 2022. While it’s a huge improvement, only time will tell if they can be consistent over another season. 

The team had an impressive win rate of 59% in Summer of 2022, winning 34 and losing 24 of their games. Liiv SANDBOX landed 12.7 kills per game to get a kill/death ratio of 1.8. The team also obtained 1792 gold per minute and 2.7 dragons per game. While these stats are impressive on their own, we believe that DPlus KIA are on another level - let’s find out why. 

DPlus KIA - Rebranded Team With a New Star Toplaner

The off-season saw a couple of key changes for DWG KIA. Firstly, they enter the new season rebranded to Dplus. More importantly, longtime star toplaner Khan retired, with Canna taking his spot. They came fourth and third in the two splits of 2022, losing both semi-final matches in narrow 2-3 point tallies. 

The team won 39 games and lost 28, for a win rate of 58%. DPlus KIA dealt 2168 damage per minute in the summer split of 2022, racking up 12.6 kills per game for a kill/death ratio of 12.6. DPlus KIA or Dplus as they’ll be known from now on obtained 1804 gold per minute, topping off their stats with 2.6 dragons per game. 

With Canna as toplaner, we find it hard to see how SANDBOX can beat them. DAMWON Gaming are sure to be in great form since scoring a 5th-8th place finish at the 2022 World Championship too. 

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How To Watch LCK Spring 2023

  • Teams: Kwangdong Freecs vs Hanwha Life Esports, Nongshim RedForce vs Fredit BRION, T1 vs KT Rolster, Liiv SANDBOX vs DPlus KIA

  • Location: Korea

  • Time: Thursday, 19 January at 3 am ET onwards

  • How to Watch: LCK Twitch channel

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AUTHOR

Nikhil Kalro

280 Articles

With an interest in strategy and mathematics, applying that to sports writing was the natural progression. A writer at night and the founder of a gaming company, Nikhil’s previous experience includes working with ESPN for five years. His specialization includes soccer, basketball, tennis, and esports betting. Email: [email protected]

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