Afreeca Freecs stall to victory

The view from above at the 2016 League of Legends World Championship at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco. Riot Games

In a series filled with ups and downs, Afreeca Freecs overcame bbq Olivers to pick up a 2-1 win to close out the second day of Week 2 in League of Legends Champions Korea on Thursday in Seoul, South Korea.

The pick/ban of the first game of the series saw a large focus on the jungle, but the story of the game was the performance of the solo lanes. Afreeca (2-2, 6-6 match record) had a great start with two kills on bbq top laner Kim "Crazy" Jae-hee's Kennen in the first three minutes of the game. This led to a massive snowball as the game progressed, with the pressure in top lane allowing mid laner Lee "KurO" Seo-haeng's Syndra to have his time in the mid lane. Picking up his 1,000th kill over the course of his 4/0/0 performance, Afreeca used its leads in both the mid and top lanes to grab the sole Baron of the game. The buff was the final piece of the puzzle that Afreeca needed to put together the perfect Game 1 win, not giving up a single objective or kill in the 26-minute stomp.

In stark contrast to the lightning fast victory in Game 1, Afreeca was slow coming out the gate in the second game of the set. Drafting a composition that needed time to scale, Afreeca needed to stall the game long enough to come online. The only problem was that, on the way to that point, bbq (0-3, 2-6 match record) completely dominated the map. The Olivers controlled objectives with extreme vigor and took teamfights with ease well into the late-game. Afreeca tried to take some late fights to turn the game around, but bbq had already knocked down all 11 turrets, putting the game on a razor's edge. AD carry Jang "Ghost" Yong-jun and his Xayah were perfect in every teamfight on his way to a flawless 4/0/12 KDA (kills/deaths/assists) as bbq finally locked up a marathon 56-minute win to force Game 3.

Spurned by the rough loss in Game 2, Afreeca bounced back with a commanding, if slow, victory in the final game. Afreeca opened Game 3 with a kill and Rift Herald secure 12 minutes in for an early lead. Despite the strong start, bbq stayed close behind Afreeca in gold, but shot itself in the foot when it forced a fight 21 minutes in after Afreeca had secured the Baron. Afreeca easily dominated the fight and took a big lead from then on out, methodically chipping away at bbq's defenses. It may have taken another 18 minutes, but the end result was never in doubt in this 39-minute Afreeca victory to secure the series.

Bbq Olivers will be back in action on Sunday at 4 a.m. ET to take on the ROX Tigers, while Afreeca will hit the stage next Thursday at 4 a.m. ET to also face ROX.