Five months, 96 games. The six teams that survived the grueling regular season will now begin the “Game of Thrones” in earnest.
At the 2022-2023 KB Kookmin Go League Postseason Media Day in Giwon, Korea, the coaches and players of the six teams that made it to the postseason gathered together. With a total prize pool of KRW 4 billion, the KB Kookmin Go League is the largest tournament in Korea. It’s about team honor, not individuals. All six teams said, “We are going to win the championship.”
The 2022-2023 season of the KB Go League, which kicked off on December 28 last year, featured two foreign teams from Japan and Taiwan for the first time, with a record number of 12 teams competing for the top spot. In the Nanga League, last season’s last-place finisher Korea Mulga Information (coached by Park Jung-sang) finished first, followed by Celltrion (coached by Baek Dae-hyun) in second and Kixx (coached by Kim Young-hwan) in a dramatic third place finish to advance to the postseason.
In the Sudam League, Jungkwan Jangcheonok (head coach Choi Myung-hoon) took first place, defending champion Sooril Hanhapcheon (head coach Ko Geun-tae) finished second, and newcomer Ulsan Goryeo Aeon (head coach Park Seung-hwa) joined the postseason in third.
The championship prize is 250 million won, the runner-up 100 million won. Playoff and semi-playoff teams receive 40 million won and 20 million won, respectively.
The road to victory is not easy. You have to win fierce opponents every day. The semi-finals will be held between Suiryeohan Hapcheon and Ulsan Goryeong Aeon from the 25th, and Celltrion and Kicks from the 1st of next month. The winner will advance to the playoffs, where they will face Jeonggwan Jangcheon Green and Korea Price Information, respectively, in the third round of the playoffs starting on March 4 to determine the winner of the championship match. The championship match will be held in three rounds starting on the 24th of next month and will be played in a best-of-five series.
The most notable player of the day was Kicks, who joined the postseason in a twist of fate. They barely survived against Shin Dong-seo, who is currently ranked as the strongest team in the world and won the regular season with 20 wins (2 losses). Kicks coach Kim Young-hwan said, “I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to keep Shin Shin-seo out of the postseason, but I’m glad that he came back dramatically at the end. We’ll approach the postseason with a reborn feeling. I’ve never won a championship before, but I really want to do it this time,” he said, predicting an upset.
Shin Shin-seo encouraged his teammates, saying, “Our team was not in good shape throughout the season, and my brothers felt sorry for us at first, but now that we are in the postseason, I hope they can put that aside and relax.”
When asked to predict their championship opponent, Shin said, “I remember struggling with Suiryuan Hapcheon because they were so persistent. I think it would be interesting to play against Byun Sang-il,” and then pointed to Celltrion’s captain, Kim Myung-hoon 9th Dan, who was on his team last year and whom he had to face in the semifinals, saying, “We have a lot of important world tournaments coming up. I hope I can spar with him as much as possible. I don’t think Myung-hoon Kim would like it, but personally, I’d like Myung-hoon to play against him,” he threw down the gauntlet.
However, when asked to predict the championship match, Kicks received only one vote.
Instead, Suryeohan Hapcheon and Korea Price Information received the most votes (2 each) as the teams most likely to advance to the championship match.
The second-ranked team in the Sudam League has a history of winning the title last year, while the first-ranked team in the Nanga League has a physical advantage as it will go directly to the playoffs (Season 3).
“It’s good to play against Kixx, which is a nine-dan rookie team, but we played a lot against them last year, so I think we’ll meet them in the championship match this year,” said coach Ko Geun-tae. “First of all, my name is ‘normal,'” said Park Jung-sang, head coach of Kixx, and then he responded, “Suiryeo Hapcheon has Park Jung-hwan 9th dan, but we have three players (Kang Dong-yoon, Han Seung-joo, and Kang Seung-min 9th dan) with double-digit wins.” “We will fight back with a one, two, and three punch,” he said.먹튀검증
Team managers also made promises and showed their intentions to win.
“If I win, I’ll give the fans a checkerboard gift, whether it’s picking my pocket or picking Kang Dong-yoon’s pocket,” said Park Jung-sang of Korea Price Information, while Choi Myung-hoon of Jung Kwan-jang Cheonok promised, “I said I’d do a cocaine dance if I won, but I’ve been practicing.” Celltrion’s Baek Dae-hyun also promised, “I’ll donate 10% of my prize money to the underprivileged.”