Griffin disbands LoL team after missing LCK franchise spot

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Griffin announced that it will be dissolving its League of Legends division after being kicked from the LCK and missing out on a franchise spot in 2021. 

As the LCK transitions to a franchise system in the 2021 season, and some well-known teams have been left out in the cold. One of them is Griffin, who climbed from the challenger scene and took LCK by storm in 2019. Sadly, it couldn’t keep up the pace in 2020 and has now missed one of the coveted franchise spots. Not making it into the LCK was a huge blow for an organization like Griffin, and it was enough to prompt the organization’s withadrawal from League of Legends. 

In the official announcement, Griffin thanked all its fans for supporting the team through thick and thin. The post also gives a quick overview of the team’s many accomplishments over a short span of time. Griffin managed to win the KeSPA Cup, make it to three LCK finals, and played at the 2019 World Championship despite being a very new team.

After some unfortunate event and public backlash, Griffin ended up in a pickle with too many scandals for any organization to handle. These problems behind the scenes clearly affected the team’s performance on Summoner’s Rift, culminating in a very poor 2020 LCK Spring Split. The team ended in the last place after the regular split and was later knocked out in the promotion tournament by SANDBOX Gaming. Griffin played the remainder of the 2020 season in Challengers Korea, where the team didn’t perform well. Griffin ended the split in fifth place, barely missing out on the playoffs. 

Even though Griffin has now officially disbanded, the organization will still be remembered as one of the biggest surprises in Korean LoL history. The team took the league by storm and produced a crop of talent that will likely be the future stars of the LCK. The most notable player from Griffin is mid laner Jeong “Chovy” Ji-hoon who will play for Hanwha Life in 2021 and is considered one of the best in the world. 

The 2021 LCK season will kick off on January 13, but it will be without Griffin on the team list. 


Is the LCK franchised?

Yes, the LCK is franchised as of 2021. The LCK is the last of the four major leagues to become franchised after the LEC, LCS, and LPL are already using the model. This means that the LCK will now consist of 10 teams that compete each year. The promotion tournaments will therefore be removed in 2021, meaning that no teams can work their way into LCK anymore. 

Which teams play in the LCK?

After several teams applied for an LCK franchise spot back in 2020, the LCK has decided the 10 final teams for the 2021 season and onward. Most of these teams are established LCK teams, but there are a few new faces as well.  

The LCK teams are: 

  • T1
  • Afreeca Freecs
  • Hanwha Life
  • KT Rolster
  • Liiv SANDBOX
  • DRX
  • Fredit BRION
  • NS RedForce
  • Gen.G