The Korean team may have defeated China, but the popularity of LCK players among the Chinese has skyrocketed.
The South Korean League of Legends (LOL) team, led by head coach Kim Jung-gyun (55), will face Chinese Taipei in the LOL final of the Hangzhou 2022 Asian Games at the Hangzhou Esports Center in Gongsu District, Hangzhou, China, on Monday at 8 p.m. ET.
Kim “KimJungKyunHo” Jung’s Korean team is just one step away from gold. They got over the hump by defeating hosts China in the quarterfinals.
On the 28th, South Korea punched their ticket to the long-awaited final with a 2-0 victory over China in the semifinals thanks to the sensational play of Park “Ruler” Jae-hyuk and Chobi “Chobi” Jeong-hoon.
After starting Chobi in the quarterfinals against Saudi Arabia the previous day, South Korea entrusted him with the key role of starting midfielder in the semifinals against China.
스포츠토토 The result was a 2-0 victory for South Korea. The South Koreans swept aside their biggest rivals, China, without dropping a set.
The final will take place shortly afterward at 8 p.m. on the 29th. Two hours before the match, the esports center was packed with Chinese fans. Even though China was eliminated, LCK fans were there to cheer on the likes of Lee “Faker” Sang-hyuk, Ryu “Keria” Min-seok, and Jung “Chobi” Jeong-hoon.
In fact, they came to the stadium wearing jerseys with names like Faker and Zeus on them, and at the entrance to the stadium, they shared photos, merchandise, and more with the fans who came with them. Ryu “Keria” Min-seok and Chobi “Chobi” Jeong-hoon were especially popular with female fans, and Faker Lee “Faker” Sang-hyuk was so popular that everyone said they came to see him.
One Chinese fan commented, “China lost to Korea yesterday. Korea played a good game. Korea was really strong,” one Chinese fan said, referring to the power of Kim Jung-kyun-ho.
Of course, not all fans were allowed into the stadium. “They’re out there to get tickets,” explained a female Chinese fan who spoke fluent Korean. When asked if there was a way to get them, he replied, “There’s no way. But they’re out in front of the stadium,” he said, explaining that they had come to the stadium without any way to get tickets.
With ticket prices ranging from 400 yuan to 1,200 yuan ($74,000 to $220,000), they weren’t cheap by any means, but the first-come, first-served tickets went fast enough that they were hard to come by.
Korean fans were also present, and while there weren’t many of them, those who identified themselves as student fans said they were able to get tickets through their school and won them in a raffle.
About an hour before kickoff, some fans showed up “cosplaying” as LoL’s in-game champions, and others took photos with them.
Meanwhile, South Korea, which advanced to the finals with a 2-0 sweep of its fiercest rival, China, will face Chinese Taipei, which it swept without dropping a set in the previous trials. With an objective power differential, Korea is favored to win, but they can’t let their guard down.
Especially after the victory over China, head coach Kim Jung-gyun said, “It’s not over yet, so we have to prepare well until we win the gold medal, until we win the championship. We can’t let our guard down. We have to prepare well,” and reiterated his commitment to thorough preparation.
“Even in the league, there are times when we beat a strong team and then lose in the next league. We will prepare well until the end,” he added.
Jung “Chobi” Jeong-hoon, who started in place of Lee “Faker” Sang-hyuk, also said, “I think we shouldn’t let our guard down. It’s okay that there’s a lot of excitement around us. Still, I’m going to do well without letting my guard down,” he emphasized.