Big Changes on the Horizon for LCK Viewers

by James Bates

Korea Logo
(Photo: Riot Korea)

For viewers of the LCK, 2016 may end up being the year of unintended consequences. The beginning of the LCK Summer split saw OGN lose their monopoly on the LCK English broadcast, and a new player entered the scene as a result. Beginning with the Summer Split, SpotTV, a domestic competitor to OGN, began to split broadcast days with OGN. 

At first, the results of this change were minimal. Both OGN and SpotTV agreed to let each other piggyback off each other's broadcasts, with the result being that viewers could choose to view whichever show they preferred. Unsurprisingly, OGN's show proved dramatically more popular thanks to its combination of established talent and more reliable broadcasting. 

That uneasy equilibrium has come to an end, however. SpotTV, in response to the fact that OGN's broadcast has remained the broadcast that the lolesports broadcast hub redirects to, has put an end to broadcast piggybacking. Come the LCK 2017 Spring Split, the two broadcasters will no longer be able to cover each other's designated broadcast days.

The practicl result is simple: viewers will no longer be able to simply turn into whatever stream they wish. Instead, viewers will be forced to either watch the OGN broadcast or the SpotTV one, depending on which day of the week it is.

Fans of the extremely popular OGN broadcast have been up in arms the last couple days, as the decision means that many fans of the higher quality broadcast will now be forced to endure the SpotTV broadcast to see their favorite games, including the first clash between Samsung and SKT T1, which will air on a SpotTV day. Additionally, the sole caster from the SpotTV broadcast who has thus far aired in international events, Nick "LS" de Cesare, recieved significant negative feedback from the fans. Since the SpotTV broadcast has, to date, only two available casters, many fans are anxious about being forced to view some of the biggest game of the split with only the SpotTV casters to commentate on them.

Riot Korea has thus far abstained from remarking on the events, and whether or not they will come up with another compromise -- the piggybacking compromise that was used throughout all of last split was, after all, an invention of Riot Korea -- is one of the hottest topics in the english-speaking Korean fan scene. 

By James Bates

A wanna-be novelist turned coach turned journalist, James is living proof that you never know where you'll end up. He's in love with narrative-heavy games, which he proves by spending his days writing about a game with less lore than Doom. His greatest regret in life is not having his name in the credits of Life is Strange, and it's galvanized him to truly pursue developing games that don't begin in packed taverns and use D20s.