KT and SKT rebound against Griffin and Hanwha

Kim "Deft" Hyuk-kyu and KT Rolster defeated Griffin several times during the LCK regular season. Provided by kenzi/FOMOS

KT Rolster 2, Griffin 1

KT Rolster found another win for itself early Saturday morning when it took down Griffin during the 2018 League of Legends Champions Korea Summer Split.

It was a victory that propelled KT Rolster (8-4) within spitting distance of Griffin's (9-3) place in the standings. When these two teams last met, it was the blistering early game from KT Rolster that proved too much for the more slow-paced Griffin to handle. While that certainly remained true during its repeat performance, simple laning phase dominance wasn't the only way KT Rolster made its mark.

Both of KT Rolster's wins came from games that were over 40 minutes, where KT Rolster found decisive leads. In fact, the only game to end before the late game was Game 2, in which Griffin's frankly bizarre lane assignments -- if you ever wanted to see a Kled bottom lane, look no further than Park "Viper" Do-hyeon's performance in Game 2 -- overwhelmed KT Rolster. The games that actually went to the late game told a very different tale than what would have been expected coming into the night: that KT Rolster were the better late-game teamfighters.

What it was not better at, however, was objective control, as the primary reason why KT Rolster were put into a position of needing to win late game teamfights was its disastrous Baron attempts. In both Games 1 and 3, KT Rolster tried to take down the objective but handed a life to Griffin, who not only won a smite battle but also managed to steal a Baron with something as trivial as the passive damage. Such uncharacteristic mistakes from Score, arguably the league's top jungler, made what should have been a 25-minute stomp into a 45-minute endeavor. And while KT Rolster managed to clutch its way out, it's hard to imagine the team going far in playoffs or, heaven forbid, Worlds 2018 if it fails to clean up its objective takes.

KT Rolster's next match is against Gen.G at 7:00 a.m. ET on Tuesday, while Griffin's next trip onto the Rift will be against Kingzone DragonX at 4:00 a.m. ET that same day.

--James Bates

SKT 2, Hanwha 0

No Lee "Faker" Sang-hyeok? No problem for SK Telecom (5-7), which found success with substitute mid laner Choi "Pirean" Jun-sik in the starting lineup.

Surprisingly, the rest of SKT looked just fine without Faker, as jungler Kang "Blank" Sun-gu played exceptionally well in Game 1 with Pirean's Galio playing second fiddle to his Taliyah. With Blank leading the way with a 3/0/5 KDA (kills/deaths/assists), SKT steamrolled Hanwha Life (6-6), prompting Hanwha to sub out its entire starting roster and put in the B-team for Game 2. While SKT fell behind early in Game 2, it showed great poise playing from behind, getting farm onto AD carry Bae "Bang" Jun-sik's Xayah. With Pirean's Lulu backing him up, and upward of 30 minutes of farm under his belt, Bang carried SKT to a win, overcoming a 9,000-gold deficit and wrapping up a 2-0 sweep. With this win, SKT pulls itself within striking distance of Hanwha Life in the standings.

On the other side of this stomp sits Hanwha Life, which looked worse for wear. Sure, Game 2 showed promise in terms of what the subs can offer, with top laner Lee "Brook" Jang-hoon looking impressive as Jayce in his LCK debut. But the fact that Hanwha had to sub out its entire starting lineup is disconcerting, to say the least. Hanwha Life started the season strong, displaying a strong grasp of the meta and bringing out a wide variety of wacky compositions, but those days seem to be over. With the postseason looming and a tough schedule ahead, Hanwha Life will need to find new life soon or risk losing its potential playoff spot.

SK Telecom next takes on the bbq Olivers at 1 a.m. ET on Wednesday, followed by Hanwha Life looking to recover against Jin Air Greenwings at 4 a.m. ET later that day.

--Noah Waltzer