KeSPA Postpones National LoL Team’s Exhibition Match
The selection process of the Korean LoL team for the 2022 Asian Games will no longer be broadcasted to the public
The Korea e-Sports Association (KeSPA) announced its decision to postpone the League of Legends (LoL) national team exhibition match that was scheduled for 22nd - 23rd April. Earlier last week, the association said that the LoL national team evaluation match would be held at the Gwangju Esports Stadium (Gwangju Dong-gu) for two days and it would test the team's strength against overseas teams. Now, according to the latest announcement, the KeSPA stated that the tryouts shall take place in Gwangju but will not be exhibited to the public.
Initially, the ten shortlisted players were to be tested against the teams that arrived in Korea, to participate in the 2022 Mid-Season Invitational (MSI), through a public event and the matches were to be broadcasted on various platforms.
The preliminary roster includes the following players:
Top: Kim "Kiin" Gi-in (Kwangdong Freecs) and Choi "Zeus" Woo-je (T1)
Jungle: Moon "Oner" Hyeon-joon (T1) and Kim "Canyon" Geon-bu (DK)
Mid: Lee "Faker" Sang-hyeok (T1) and Jeong "Chovy" Ji-hoon (Gen.G)
Attack-damage carry: Lee "Gumayusi" Min-hyeong (T1) and Kim "Deft" Hyuk-kyu (DRX)
Support: Ryu "Keria" Min-seok (T1) and Cho "BeryL" Geon-hee (DRX)
What did the KeSPA say in the announcement?
The KeSPA stated the Chinese teams were finding it difficult to enter Korea due to the strong quarantine measures in China. It added that the current domestic COVID-19 situation in Korea was also making it difficult for the foreign teams to extend their stay in Korea ahead of the MSI.
The association also said that it reflected on the pressure and burden that would be felt by the shortlisted players if the tryouts were done publicly.
“This call-up training will be held privately as an internal practice game, focusing on the test for final player selection, and the public evaluation match has been postponed after the final 6 LoL national team members have been decided,” the KeSPA said.
The exhibition matches will be scheduled only when the final six players, five on the starting roster and a substitute player, are selected. According to a , the final roster will be selected by a committee made of both esports and traditional sports experts. The committee will submit the lineup to the Korean Sport & Olympic Committee by the end of May or early June.
The announcement stated that the final team will not only be formed based on the results of the camp but also based on the players’ individual skills, experience on the international stage, performance at domestic and international competitions, individual awards received in the last four years, KDA (Kills/Deaths/Assists), kill-participation rate, damage per minute, experience gap per minute, gold gap per minute, among other stats.
“We plan to select indicators by reflecting them as quantitative indicators,” the KeSPA stated.
It is barely a secret and there is no doubt that the players are under tremendous pressure because of the tightly-packed schedule and the importance of performing well at the 2022 Asian Games. Notably, all the T1 players were included in the preliminary roster shortlisted by the KeSPA. The team is also representing the region at the 2022 MSI, making it even more complex.
On 17th April, Lee "Faker" Sang-hyeok reportedly said on stream that he was overwhelmed by the current schedule which includes fan meets, ad filming, Asian Games prep, MSI prep, and also live streaming. He reportedly added that it was affecting his game and that he could not even focus on playing League of Legends.
Following this, T1 received backlash from the community for subjecting the players to a heavy schedule. Later on, that were scheduled for 17th April.