Despite losing their first series against DK, Gen.G are still first in the LCK 2021 Summer Split. Here’s how they managed to bridge the gap to the competition.
Gen.G, the red-side lovers
After finishing second in the 2021 Spring Split, Gen.G are currently leading the LCK with a 7-1 match record and a total of 16 game wins and 9 game losses. While their win rate itself is nothing special (66.6%), what’s intriguing is that they have a 71.42% win rate when playing on the red side. In contrast, Gen.G only won 1 out of 4 games (25%) when playing on the blue side.
There are two tangible reasons for this. First of all, one of the major advantages is in the draft stage: by playing on the red side, the team picks the last champion to round off champ select. This allows them to see the enemies’ entire lineup, as well as choosing a possible counter-pick.
The other major advantage is correlated to the game itself. With how the Summoner’s Rift is shaped in League of Legends, the red side is favored in the bottom part of the map thanks to an easier access to the dragons and better ganking paths.
Gen.G loves playing around their bot lane. ADC Park “Ruler” Jae-hyuk is the main carry of the team and when given the resources, he becomes unstoppable. Basically, Ruler is Gen.G’s main win condition. As a result, everyone on the team plays in a way to ensure Ruler gets ahead, especially jungler Kim “Clid” Tae-min.
If Gen.G’s bot lane snowballs, it also becomes easier for the team to take control of the neutral objectives, i.e. the drakes. Indeed, according to gol.gg, Gen.G on average captures 2.7 drakes per game, and 1.16 drakes on average at the fifteen-minute mark.
In a nutshell, Gen.G’s identity and strengths as a team are further increased if the team plays on the red side of the map.
Players’ pocket picks
Another main strength of this iteration of Gen.G is that players excel at certain champions above the standard level. Ruler is notoriously famous for playing Ezreal, Jinx and Kalista. Mid laner Gwak “Bdd” Bo-seong has an exceptional Azir as the only mid laner actively playing him. Clid loves playing Volibear.
Not only that, but players can flex their own champions between each other. Lucian can be flexed between mid and bot, depending on the matchups while Volibear can technically be moved to the top lane if needed. Viego, Nocturne and Sett are also flexed between the team members. This allows Gen.G to make versatile drafts and hand out little information to the enemy team in the process.
While they have played in different ways from time to time, Gen.G tends to have a linear way of drafting. First, they put Clid on a strong early-game champion pair it with a bruiser top for Kim “Rascal” Kwang-hee, with the primary goal of helping his jungler in early aggression.
In the mid lane, Bdd is given a mage to balance the physical and magic damage output, with the primary goal of playing utility until he reaches his item spikes: Azir and Orianna are good examples that fall into this category.
Down in the bottom lane, Ruler is given pretty much freedom to play any carry, but it is usually matched with a tanky engage champion for his support, Kim “Life” Jeong-min. Alongside Ezreal, Jinx and Kalista, he also started playing Varus due to the buffs he received in this season.
Whatever champion he’s on, though, Ruler will deliver: his average KDA this Split is 5.6, with the lowest being 4.2 on Varus. No other ADC in the LCK is remotely close in this department and if Gen.G is in first place, a lot of merit goes to Ruler. Despite consistent top three performances, Gen.G Esports have been unable to win the LCK since their rebrand in 2018. With the Korean League struggling with consistency as a whole, this might be the best chance they have to break the curse.