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The will of man is his happiness

A Go Director’s View of the Championship Matchup… The Art of the Deal

By Kyu-bin Hong (Reporter) = Will the 2022-2023 KB Go League champions emerge from Suiryeo Hapcheon and Korea Prices Information?

The two teams received the most votes (two each) from coaches at the postseason media day held at Hankookiwon in Seoul on Wednesday as the teams most likely to advance to the championship game.

Sudam League runner-up Suryeol Hanhapcheon has the advantage of having won the title last year, while Nanga League leader Korea Mulga Information has the physical advantage of going directly to the playoffs (Season 3).

The postseason consists of a semi-final 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 top 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.

Go Geun-tae, head coach of Suuryeohan Hapcheon 스포츠토토 (center).
[Photo courtesy of Korea Origin, all rights reserved.]

“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 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 Chung and Kicks.

Park Jung-sang, director of Korea Price Information
[All rights reserved. Resale and DB prohibited].

The fact that Kicks, led by “absolute number one” Shin Dong-seo, only received one vote is a reflection of the relative weakness of the rest of the team.

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-finals against Celltrion.

“I hope I can spar with someone who can spar with me as much as possible,” Shin said, while Kim Myung-hoon replied, “I’ll do my best because it’s an opportunity to learn a lesson.”

Shin Shin Seo 9th Dan
[All rights reserved. Resale and DB prohibited].

There were also some witty victory promises at the event.

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.

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.

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