Out of all broadcast talents, only one person predicted that Gen.G would beat T1 3-1 in the LCK Spring 2023 finals.

That odd ball is Lee “Jonnastrong” Jin-sae, the main observer of the LCK.

Despite sweeping T1 in LCK Summer 2022 to qualify for Worlds as first seed, Gen.G lost to DRX 3-1 in the semifinals to finish in 3rd-4th place behind T1. For the new season, they overhauled their bot lane, taking a chance on 17-year-old rookie Kim “Peyz” Su-hwan from their academy squad.

Meanwhile, T1 continues to march forward and upwards with the same Worlds 2022 runner-up roster. They finished LCK Spring 2023 regular season in first place with an impressive 17-1 record, only dropping one series to Hanwha Life in the first round robin.

In the first-ever LCK double elimination playoffs, they had already beaten Gen.G in the upper bracket semifinal 3-1 in a match that many thought would be closer.

Hanging onto their tournament lives, Gen.G made quick work of KT Rolster in the lower bracket final, 3-1, to set up another rematch with their rivals in the finals — and showed just how much they’ve levelled up since their last encounter.

LCK Spring 2023 finals: Against all odds, Gen.G are your back-to-back champions!

Game one saw a lot of action in the side lanes in the early game. After a series of narrow misses and near death experiences, T1 wrestled control of the game by securing Baron at the 22-minute mark, which swung momentum and and gold in their favor.

However, just a minute after, they over extended into Gen.G’s bot side jungle and weren’t on the same page, handing Gen.G a free kill onto Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok’s Veigar, the first time he’s using this champion this season.

Kill after kill, dragon after dragon, Gen.G scaled and inched towards victory thanks to Choi “Doran” Hyeon-joon’s Gragas and Jeong “Chovy” Ji-hoon’s immaculate team fighting.

Both these solo laners got their hands on their comfort champions in game two again. This time, however, T1 were prepared with more nuanced responses in their draft.

They prioritised K’Sante mid for Faker to nullify Ahri’s early game, and picked Lee “Gumayusi” Min-hyeong and Ryu “Keria” Min-seok’s strongest bot lane combo: Caitlyn and Lux. Their raw early game damage was further backed up by Mun “Oner” Hyeon-jun’s Viego and Choi “Zeus” Woo-je’s Kennen, who maintained a CS lead over Gragas and kept his HP bar low.

As expected, T1 built up a gold lead in the early game, but Gen.G surprised by outmaneuvering their opponents in the mid game to keep it competitive.

At the 26th minute mark, T1 decided to start a 50-50 Baron which was super risky. This was something they didn’t need to do, especially since Kennen was looking to finish Deathcap before the next fight.

Gen.G saw an opening and immediately took it. Utilizing available Hexgates and a ward behind enemy lines, Doran’s Gragas showed up big with a game-changing Explosive Cask that sent Gumayusi’s Caitlyn straight into the waiting hands of Chovy.

Siezing back momentum, Gen.G went on to secure Hextech Soul and Baron to take a 2-0 lead in the series.

Finally in game three, T1 banned Gragas and Ahri — and it paid off well. They switched things up by denying Wukong and picking a safe Jinx-Tahm Kench bot lane against Xayah and Rakan. Faker went back to Veigar, which even more to their advantage this time because Gen.G’s composition, comprising Lissandra mid, Sejuani, and Gnar, were comparatively short-range.

No longer could Chovy dance around Veigar cages on Ahri, for Gen.G’s draft was meant to commit hard in team fights. Even though they were up by two dragons, T1’s pick comp became increasingly troublesome to deal with in the mid to late game.

Switching things up yet again, Gen.G on blue side opted to go full-scaling in game four with Chovy on Tristana and Peyz on Jinx. Because T1 blind-picked Braum, Yoo “Delight” Hwan-joong was free to counter-pick with Lulu, who also turns Lee Sin into naught during team fights with a single Polymorph.

Due to the difference in draft, T1 were once again ahead in the early game. They still had insurance in Aphelios for late game, and maintained a slight lead. However, a single turn of events at the 23rd minute changed the outcome of the entire series.

Oner was trying to find an angle to kick Flash someone from the backline into his team, but Delight had saved Polymorph just for him. In that one second, he got mowed down, which paved the way for Gen.G to go on the offensive.

Eventually the double AD carry composition had four completed items each, which was too much for T1 to handle. In 34 minutes, Gen.G defied the odds, and once again defeated T1 in an LCK final just like they did last Summer, albeit with a different roster without Park “Ruler” Jae-hyuk.

At 17, Peyz is now the youngest bot laner to ever win an LCK title, what more in his debut season. What a feat!

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