As domestic league champions from around the world prepare for the Mid-Season Invitational in Shanghai, four Korean League of Legends teams will square off in Seoul this week for the right to play in the LCK this summer. The bottom two teams from LCK Spring will face the top two teams from Challengers Korea Spring, with the two winners qualifying for Korea's top league next season.
Both series will be best-of-fives.
Thursday, April 28, 5 a.m. ET (6 p.m. KST): SBENU Sonicboom vs. ESC Ever
Friday, April 29, 5 a.m. ET (6 p.m. KST): Kongdoo Monster vs. MVP
SBENU Sonicboom finished in ninth place in the LCK Spring, with a 2-16 series record and a 9-32 game record. As the ninth place team, SBENU was able to choose which Challenger team it would face in the promotion series. It chose ESC Ever, the top-seeded Challenger team. ESC Ever went 8-3-3 in the Challenger regular season, finishing in second place, but upset MVP in the Challenger finals. Ever also notched upset wins in the KeSPa Cup and at IEM Cologne earlier this season.
Kongdoo Monster finished in 10th place in LCK Spring, with a 1-17 series record and an 8-35 game record. Kongdoo will face MVP, which went 10-4-0 in the Challenger season before losing to ESC Ever in the finals.
Both LCK teams in this series have had a rough go of things of late. From PVPLive's Obscurica:
NaJin [Kongdoo's predecessor] had pulled out of the esports scene after most of their veteran roster, including Watch, Ggoong, Cain, and head coach Reach, were dropped last November, and struggled under the alias e-mFire until getting title-sponsored by Kongdoo.
Their current roster, constituting mostly of rookies and support player Do-yeop ‘GuGer' Kim (formerly known as Taipei Assassins AD carry ‘Lupin'), struggled to make in-roads through the Korean circuit. The Sonicbooms, in contrast, technically never lost their sponsors - though, given reports of lack of pay, "keeping a sponsor" isn't quite the same as "being well-supported," and they ultimately performed even worse than the Monsters.
These will be the first matches played in OnGameNet's new esports stadium in Sangam-dong, Seoul, per The Score's Emily Rand.