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Esports: LCK Spring Thursday matches

This year's League of Legends LCK Spring in South Korea is into the penultimate week of the regular season and it is all but confirmed which teams are heading for the playoffs and which are set to crash out.

While at the bottom of the table, Kwangdong Freecs, DRX and Nongshim RedForce have already been eliminated, the first five playoff spots have already been confirmed with T1, Dplus KIA, Gen.G, Hanwha Life Esports and KT Rolster having progressed.

That leaves two teams - Liiv SANDBOX and BRION - in mid-table obscurity battling it out for the final playoff berth, although it is clear which way it is likely to go.

Liiv SANDBOX can secure a top-six spot with one more win and they are in action first on Thursday but face a Gen.G Esports team in contention for the regular-season title.

In the slightly later game on Thursday, T1 take on DRX in what would have been a pulsating contest last season with T1 dominating in South Korea and DRX going on to be crowned world champions.

But that is not the case anymore with T1 pulling clear at the top of the standings and DRX already eliminated and playing for pride at this stage.

Liiv SANDBOX could be made to wait for playoff berth by Gen.G

WhatLiiv SANDBOX vs Gen.G, LCK Spring
WhereSouth Korea
When03.00am EST, Thursday March 9, 2023
How to watchLCK Twitch channel
OddsLiiv SANDBOX +300, Gen.G -450

Liiv SANDBOX will be disappointed to be starting week eight of the LCK Spring having not yet qualified for the playoffs.

They had been one of the standout teams in the early weeks of the split, winning four of their first five matches in the opening three weeks, and at one stage looked like potential outside title challengers.

But they have since taken their eye off the ball a little and back-to-back defeats in week seven against Kwangdong Freecs and KT Rolster meant they slipped out of the top five.

It still looks an inevitability that they will qualify for the playoffs with only one more win required to pip BRION to the post but they are unlikely to pick it up against Gen.G Esports who have even bigger fish to fry.

Gen.G are one of five teams already through to the playoffs but they will not want to take their foot off the peddle, firstly to ensure they keep up a winning run but secondly because they could yet win the LCK Spring regular-season title.

It is again doubtful given T1's strong position but Gen.G will be determined to finish as well as possible.

Both have something to fight for in this contest and the way to play it could therefore be Gen.G to win in three maps at +210

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T1 a rock-solid selection to overpower DRX

WhatT1 vs DRX
WhereSouth Korea
When05.30am EST, Thursday March 9, 2023
How to watchLCK Twitch channel
OddsT1 -2500, DRX +800

These two teams clashed in the final of last year's League of Legends World Championship - arguably the biggest game in the Esport - with DRX prevailing 3-2 against T1 in a classic contest.

But since that encounter, these teams have gone in opposite directions and their upcoming matchup in the LCK Spring looks set to be a seriously one-sided affair.

DRX were hit hard by player departures during the offseason with duo Kim "Zeka" Geon-woo and Hwang "Kingen" Seong-hoon both heading for Hanwha Life Esports and the sweeping changes to their roster have had a major impact on their performance level.

They go into this match with a miserly 3-11 win-loss record, having made the playoffs in both splits last season.

It really is a case of how the mighty have fallen for DRX, whereas T1 are as sharp as they have ever been.

T1 were exceptional in both splits last year, posting an 18-0 win-loss record in the LCK Spring 2022 and then a 15-3 record in the LCK Summer 2022.

They of course went on to make the Worlds final as well and they have come into the new season equally as hungry for titles.

They are top of the LCK Spring standings with 13 wins from 14 matches and a 27-7 game differential.

There is now a gulf in class between these two and it is hard seeing past a 2-0 win for T1, which is -350.

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