Today, the schedule for LCK 2018 Spring Split was finally confirmed and announced. Naver Esports reported that LCK Spring Split will commence on 2018 January 16th, 5PM, and that the matches will be held on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays. Naver Esports also confirmed that LCK will continue to be dual hosted, with SPOTV covering matches on Tuesdays and Sundays and OGN covering matches on Wed-Thurs-Sat.
Confusion over whether LCK will continue to be broadcasted online
After the news was announced, confused fans poured over Reddit and Twitter, asking if Korean online broadcasts of LCK matches will continue.
Kenzi, the FOMOS esports reporter, clarified to the confused fans on Twitter – “[The news] simply means that you won’t get OGN coverage during SPOTV days”.
OGN이 하던 스포티비게임즈 경기를 못 본다는거에요
— kenzi #worlds2018 (@kenzi131) January 4, 2018
OGN’s Korean broadcast team will no longer broadcast online on Tues and Sun, OGN matchdays (Wed-Thurs-Sat) will still be streamed online in Korean https://t.co/aPD1QSFKh8
— Joel Sophie (@JoeISophie) January 4, 2018
This is the summary of the broadcasting situation: OGN will continue to broadcast online on Wed-Thurs-Sat. However, OGN will no longer provide online broadcasts for the matches in Tuesdays and Sundays, the days when SPOTV is broadcasting the matches. The piggyback coverage was something that OGN had previously provided for LCK 2017, but will no longer continue to do so for LCK 2018.
Korean fans react to exclusive SPOTV broadcasts
After the news hit headlines, Korean fans have been coming forward with disappointments over the OGN-SPOTV decision. OGN online streams have been heavily favored by Korean fans over SPOTV broadcasts, attracting higher number of viewers. Korean fans have attributed the higher production quality of OGN streams, as well as their royalty to OGN’s iconic broadcasting trio – CloudTemplar, Jun Yong-Jun and Kim Dong-Jun – as a reason for preferring OGN streams.
“If OGN doesn’t broadcast online, what are we going to do on Tuesdays and Sundays? It feels like we are being forced to watch a specific channel”, the top comment on the Naver Esports article complained. Another top comment said, “Wow, these days that we have to watch SPOTV…I wish that none of the important matches fall in these days.”