Jin Air 2, bbq Olivers 0
The Jin Air Green Wings recorded its first win of the League Champions Korea Summer Split on Thursday, taking a 2-0 win over bbq Olivers in Seoul.
Break out the "Glad Planes" -- the Jin Air Green Wings (1-8) finally won a series! With both teams entering Thursday's matchup without a win, something had to give, and in this case it was the bbq Olivers (0-9). Jin Air soared on the back of bottom lane carry Park "Teddy" Jin-seong, who posted two strong performances as Swain and Ryze in Games 1 and 2 respectively. Not only did Jin Air draft strong carry champions for a strong carry player, but the team buffed him up with heroes like Lulu and provided a solid frontline with tanks or beefy bruisers like Darius. It seems simple, but that's what gave Jin Air the edge over an uninspired bbq, culminating in a Game 2 win that saw Teddy deal roughly 28,600 damage to enemy champions, almost 18,500 more damage than the biggest damage dealer on bbq's side. Jin Air stumbled its way to a 2-0 sweep, earning a sigh of relief as the title of "Worst in the LCK" passes over.
While Jin Air celebrates a first series win, bbq still struggles to find even a map win. The problems plaguing this side are a dime a dozen. There were moments throughout the series, especially in the midgame of Game 2, where Jin Air faltered and potentially opened the door for bbq to take control of the game, but it simply never did. Nobody on bbq looked like they wanted to lead. Jin Air, for all its faults, had Teddy to lead the team to a win, but the Olivers haven't figured out what it wants to do and who to rely on. With the first half of the split done and a scant two map wins to its name, bbq will need to figure something out fast or else it will end up in danger of being relegated yet again.
Jin Air takes on Kingzone DragonX at 4 a.m. ET on Saturday, followed by bbq Olivers squaring off against MVP at 7 a.m. later that day.
Kingzone 2, MVP 0
Kingzone DragonX returned to form, bouncing back after a poor showing at Rift Rivals by taking a 2-0 sweep over MVP in Seoul.
After watching Kingzone (7-2) get shut down for an entire tournament, it was refreshing to see what the reigning LCK champions can do domestically. The game plan for Kingzone was straightforward: rely on dominant solo lanes and control the pace from there. Top laner Kim "Khan" Dong-ha was an utter nuisance as Kled and Dr. Mundo in Games 1 and 2, respectively, taking home MVP honors in both while smashing his opposite number on MVP. Khan's stranglehold on the top side of the map was commanding, preventing any MVP members from safely farming. Meanwhile, mid laner Gwak "Bdd" Bo-seong displayed great roaming habits, linking up with teammates to pick up kills as Talon and Zoe. All in all, the strength of MVP doesn't make for the best test of skill for a top tier team like Kingzone but, after a grueling Rift Rivals, a walk through the park against MVP is just what it needed to get back on track.
MVP (3-6) lost spectacularly to one of the best teams in Korean history, but it didn't do itself any favors. Trying to beat Kingzone at its own game requires that a team has world-class talent in multiple positions and winning drafts to neutralize Kingzone's many advantages, and MVP managed to do neither of those things. Sure, MVP had moments of brilliance when it picked up early kills but once the teamfights began, MVP's pick-based drafts fell flat.
Kingzone DragonX continues its Rift Rivals recovery against Jin Air at 4 a.m. ET on Saturday, followed by MVP looking to pick up a (free) win against the bbq Olivers at 7 a.m. later that day.