Jin Air upsets Kingzone, MVP trounces bbq Olivers

The League of Legends crowd plays with thundersticks. Provided by Riot Games

Jin Air 2, Kingzone 1

The Jin Air Green Wings picked up their second win of the 2018 League Champions Korea Summer Split when they upset Kingzone DragonX at the end of a hard-fought 2-1 series early Saturday morning.

In a game that was supposed to highlight just what lessons Kingzone learned from their defeat during Rift Rivals last week, fans were instead treated to perhaps the weakest form that Kingzone (7-3) has shown all year. Kim "Khan" Dong-ha, Kingzone's star top laner, was outlaned by Kim "SoHwan" Jun-Yeong across the entire series, a worrying prospect. To make matters worse, Kingzone's compositions were almost entirely reliant upon finding decisive engagements with a number of layered ultimates, while Jin Air (2-8) showed that its hadn't been slacking off during Rift Rivals either and unveiled Eom "Umti" Seong-hyeon's Kindred. Lamb's Respite once again came to define the course of a series, as Kingzone's reliance on hard engage over the course of the series found its answer in Kindred's game-changing ultimate.

Credit is also due for Jin Air's mid laner, Lee "Grace" Chanju, who earned a well-deserved MVP. Regardless of the matchup, Grace knew just what his role on the team was supposed to be. While a lesser player would have been tempted to simply dive in with Renekton, Grace had the presence of mind to turn his damage not toward the Kingzone backline, but to the Kingzone frontline. With Kwak "Bdd" Bo-seong's Kled pressured, it was easy for Jin Air to clean up fights. It was Grace's Anivia in Game 3 that proved most impressive, however, as he expertly navigated around the Camille/Galio combo that Kingzone was sporting in the laning phase and managed to not give up a single kill, despite innumerable attempts by Kingzone to take him off the Rift. His zone control was then critical for Jin Air's victory, as it was ultimately a well-placed Crystallize that split Moon "Cuzz" Woo-chan apart from his teammates, leading to an easy kill, an easy Baron and a series win for the struggling Jin Air.

Kingzone's next match will be against Gen.G at 4 a.m. ET on Wednesday. The Jin Air Green Wings will look to capitalize on its newly gained momentum when it faces off against bbq Olivers at 7 a.m. ET that same day.

--James Bates

bbq Olivers 1, MVP 2

Each game was a race against time for the bbq Olivers (0-10). If the game crossed the threshold into the late game without the Olivers having already put things away, then the veteran shotcalling of MVP (4-6) proved a decisive factor. This was no more obvious than over the course of Game 1, where the Olivers managed to accrue an enormous gold lead and even take two Baron buffs for itself, but still managed to choose a losing teamfight directly before the third Baron and Elder Dragon spawned -- a maneuver that instantly lost it the game thanks to MVP's marksman-centric composition. This formula more or less repeated itself over the course of the entire series: Game 2, the Olivers managed to smash the early game so thoroughly that they ended the game before the 30-minute mark while MVP wrestled control of Game 3 back after a hardfought struggle and took the series.

That is not to say that there wasn't a lot to like on both sides, however, as even though it was MVP who took home the win, it was definitely the Olivers who looked the most improved. After showing a lack of coordination, this performance at least shows that the team's early game shotcalling has improved immensely.

Meanwhile, MVP also showed growth in this series, as both AD carry Na "Pilot" Woo-hyung and mid laner An "Ian" Jun-hyeong proved themselves to be solid late-game carries throughout this series.

MVP will fight SK Telecom T1 in its next match at 7 a.m. ET on Tuesday, while bbq will instead take on the revitalized Jin Air Green Wings at 7 a.m. ET on Wednesday.

--James Bates