Kicks, led by ‘absolute number one’ Shin Shin-seo, received only one vote in the coaches’ poll for the favorite to advance to the championship match.
At the 2022-2023 KB Go League postseason media day in Hankookiwon, Seoul, on Nov. 23, Suiryeon Hapcheon and Korea Logistics Information received the most votes (two each) from coaches as the teams most likely to advance to the championship match.
The second-ranked team in the Sudam League has the advantage of having won the title last year, while the first-ranked team in the Nanga League has the physical advantage of going directly to the playoffs (Season 3).
Kicks, led by Shin Shin-seo, only received one vote because the rest of their teammates are considered relatively weak.
In fact, while Shin was the most prolific player this season (20-2), the likes of Baek Hyun-woo (8-6) and Park Jin-sol (6-11) struggled.
The postseason is a best-of-five, best-of-three series, so even the “strongest” Shin Dong-seo can’t win without the help of his teammates.
“There is no ace deciding game in the postseason, so the team with the strongest captain is at a disadvantage compared to the regular season,” Shin said, adding, “My brothers were sorry and struggled at first, but I hope they can relax now that we are in the postseason.”
He also mentioned Kim Myung-hoon 9th dan as a player he would like to face in the semi-playoffs against Celltrion.
“I want to play with someone who can spar with me as much as possible because we’re about to go to an important world championship,” Shin said, while Kim Myung-hoon replied, “I’ll do my best because it’s a chance to learn a lesson.”
The postseason consists of a semi-playoff (third round) between the second- and third-place teams in each of the two major leagues, with the winner advancing to the playoffs to face the first-place team.
The winners of the playoffs in each league meet in a championship game to determine the overall winner.
The first through third place finishers in the Sudam League are Jeonggwan Jangcheon Green, Suryeohan Hapcheon, and Ulsan Goryo Aeon, while the Nanga League is led by Korea Price Information, Celltrion, and Kicks.
“It would be great to play against Kixx, who have a strong 9th dan, but we played against them a lot last year, so I think we’ll meet them in the championship match this year,” said coach Ko Geun-tae.
Last year, the team defeated Celltrion, then led by Shin Shin-seo, in the championship match to win its first title.
“They have Park Jung-hwan 9th dan, but we have three players with double-digit wins (Kang Dong-yoon, Han Seung-joo, and Kang Seung-min 9th dan),” Park responded, “and we will fight back with a one, two, and three punch.”
The remaining two votes were split between Jung Kwan-jang and Kicks.
The event also featured some witty victory promises.
Choi Myung-hoon promised to perform the “cocaine dance,” which has recently become popular online, and Baek Dae-hyun of Celltrion promised to donate 10% of his winnings to the underprivileged.스포츠토토
Park Jung-sang of Korea Price Information also got a laugh when he said, “I will give the fans what they like, whether it’s picking my pocket or Kang Dong-yoon’s pocket.”
The postseason kicks off with the semi-finals on May 25, when Suiryuhan Hapcheon and Ulsan GoRoYeon will face off.
The prize pool is 250 million won for the winner and 100 million won for the runner-up.
Teams eliminated from the playoffs and semi-playoffs will receive 40 million won and 20 million won, respectively.