League of Legends Champions Korea’s 2020 summer season kicked off Wednesday, to the joy of many fans watching from home.
Although the seats were empty in the LoL Park Arena in Jongno, Seoul, to prevent the spread of COVID-19, thousands of fans watched the opening games online.
Although they felt bad about having no audience, players expressed joy at being able to play at the LoL Park Arena again after COVID-19 forced them to play in team facilities for the second half of the spring season.
“Our team definitely plays better in the stadium. It’s a bit sad, because we’d like fans to be here too,” said Kiin of Afreeca Freecs to The Korea Herald.
“I think playing at the stadium is better because playing at team facilities feels like I’m just doing scrims and lacks the tension,” said Doran of DRX.
When the broadcast started at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, fans were first presented with the 2020 LCK Summer Split title video, the promotional video for the season.
“The whole production crew in charge of this deserves a pay raise lol, gave me chills watching this,” said one comment on YouTube.
Indeed, the opening video dispelled all the criticism that had followed the production crew around since last year after Riot Games took over production.
In the video, the most iconic players from each of the 10 teams in the LCK appeared as realistic animations, dressed in their team uniforms while holding the weapons of their iconic characters, or champions. The new title video also featured Faker sitting on a throne -- to the applause of many fans.
However, the spectacular title video was only the start.
In the opening game between Afreeca Freecs and Sandbox Gaming, Afreeca Freecs’ marksman, “Mystic,” took the first pentakill of the season. A pentakill, when one player kills all five enemy players, happens only a few times during a season if it happens at all, and is one of the most exciting moments in LoL. Afreeca beat Sandbox 2-0.
Anticipation for the following match between spring champions T1 and third-place DRX was sky-high even before the game began, with CGV showing the match on 22 screens across the country.
In the end, DRX proved superior, winning against T1 for the first time this year with a score of 2-1.
“I played against T1 many times since I debuted last July, but I never won until today. I’m very happy since T1 almost became a trauma,” said Doran.
By Lim Jang-won (email@example.com