LCK Tweaks COVID-19 Policies for 2022 Spring Split Playoffs
2022 Spring Split Finals Will Take Place in KINTEX and will have a live audience
The pandemic has been intensely problematic for players and teams competing in the League of Legends Champions Korea (LCK) 2022 Spring Split. The league is under pressure since a number of players have tested positive for COVID-19 forcing teams to call up players from their Academy rosters to fill in some huge shoes on the main rosters as the LCK does not allow remote play. These instances have been unfavorable for most teams, especially in the second round-robin and with the playoffs just around the corner. Now, the LCK has announced new COVID-19 policies for the playoffs and the finals. It also revealed that the finals would be hosted at KINTEX (Korea International Exhibition Center), Ilsan on 2nd April.
Earlier this week, Fredit BRION (BRO) had to forfeit its match against Gen.G (GEN) since the organization was unable to field a roster for the match. This was due to players of both Fredit BRION and its Academy team testing positive for COVID-19.
Following are the COVID-19 protocols that the league followed in the regular season:
Substitutions within the main roster
(If 1 is not possible) Emergency call-up/send-down
(If 2 is not possible) Rescheduling of match
Unfortunately, due to the timing of the match and given the fact that the league did not have the liberty to push the playoffs, the BRO vs GEN match was forfeited.
LCK announces new policy
With the number of COVID-19 cases increasing in Korea every day, the LCK has come up with a new set of guidelines for the 2022 Spring Split playoffs. The LCK that it has been in discussions with the teams since the end of February on ways to get COVID-19 positive players to participate in the playoffs. The LCK detailed that one of the reasons for not introducing these changes was the fact that according to government guidelines, a referee could not enter the quarters of a COVID-19 positive player.
The new guidelines are as follows:
In a case where a player in the playoffs tests positive and still wishes to play, the player can do so from an isolated location readied by their respective teams.
The rest of the team members who test negative can still play from the venue.
If the player who is affected by COVID-19 cannot play, then the teams will automatically follow the original guidelines and call up emergency substitutes from the Academy roster.
The League of Legends community has welcomed these new guidelines as they ensure that players and teams have a chance of playing with their starting lineups. The LCK has guaranteed that it shall ensure fairness and smooth gameplay, despite the obvious challenges that come with remote play.
Change in match timings on last day of Spring Split
In an announcement the LCK and Riot Games said, “In the match on the 18th, KT Rolster won 2-1 against Nongshim Red Force, creating the possibility of a ranking match between the three teams: KT Rolster, Fredit Brion, and Kwangdong Freecs. The ranking match will be held immediately after the last match of the regular league is over according to the league rules. As a result, the start time of each match on the 20th (Sunday), the last match day of the regular league, will be advanced by 2 hours each. All teams were informed before the start of the spring about the possibility of change in the start of the match due to the ranking match.”
The games scheduled on 20th March have been moved forward by two hours to consider the high possibility of tiebreaker matches between KT Rolster, Fredit BRION, and Kwangdong Freecs.
2022 Spring Split Finals venue
The 2022 LCK Spring Split Finals is scheduled to take place at KINTEX. The league has a deep connection with this venue since it was the place that hosted the first LCK finals back in 2012.
In a , “The LCK has changed and evolved over the course of 10 years. In order to honor the fans, teams, and players who make up the LCK’s glorious history, and to kick off the next 10 years together, we are bringing it back to where it all began.”
There is no doubt that fans of the LCK are excited to watch the playoffs in the coming weeks. This is also the first time fans will be present at the venue after two and a half years to watch LCK finals. The ticket details for the finals will be announced soon, said the LCK.
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