Kingzone 2, KT Rolster 1
Kingzone DragonX took the first step towards redeeming its flagging record with a 2-1 victory against KT Rolster on Thursday in a hardfought series in the 2018 League of Legends Champions Korea Summer Split.
It was clear both teams would be focusing on one thing: the early game. KT Rolster's ascension through the ranks of the LCK has come largely on the back of its dominant early game, which it controls thanks to the pathing of jungler Go "Score" Dong-bin. Kingzone's early game is not to be taken lightly either, however, as Han "Peanut" Wang-ho has proven himself to be more than an equal to Score a number of times over the course of their careers.
Both junglers had their chances over the course of the series, though it was Peanut who ended up taking home the victory. Score certainly had the more impressive individual performance of the two, however, as Game 2 was decided entirely by his Taliyah, which picked KT Rolster (9-5) apart all across the map. Peanut, while mechanically unimpressive, picked Trundle in Games 1 and 3 so his team wouldn't need to rely on him to make a flashy carry performance. He was where he needed to be, and that proved more than enough, as simply surviving to the late game proved to be a win condition for Kingzone (9-5). Kingzone managed to clutch a late game victory in the final game, proving once again that KT Rolster's weakness remains its general lack of cohesion in the late game.
Kingzone goes on to face yet another strong opponent in the Afreeca Freecs at 4 a.m. ET on Saturday. KT Rolster, on the other hand, will have the pleasure of doing battle with the bbq Olivers in what is expected to be a one-sided match at 7 a.m. ET on Sunday.
Gen.G 2, Griffin 0
The defending World Champions were one of the final obstacles that Griffin (10-4) needed to prove itself against. The question at the forefront of conversation was whether Gen.G (10-4) had overcome its own recent shortcomings -- poor early game and inability to play along with the new meta -- while exploiting Griffin's own weaknesses.
The question was answered in the affirmative once these teams squared off, as Gen.G burst out of the gates with an Ashe-centric composition that not only leveraged one of the greatest strengths of Gen.G, the pixel-perfect laning of Park "Ruler" Jae-hyuk, but also set that strength on a collision course with Griffin's greatest weakness, its early game. The results spoke for themselves, as Griffin struggled to make even a single play happen over the first game, as Ruler's lane priority put Griffin on the back foot and prevented Griffin from doing anything to prevent the 36-minute defeat.
What is truly alarming for team Griffin, however, is the way in which Game 2 played out. Current logic would dictate that Griffin are almost certain to win any game that is even by the 20-minute mark, but Gen.G proved that logic dead wrong after finding a 55-minute victory thanks to the superior shotcalling of jungler Kang "Ambition" Chan-yong. Despite having advantages in many key objectives for Griffin, it was no match for the defending World Champions in the late game. A single moment of lacking concentration from Tarzan was all it took for Ambition to swoop in, steal the Baron, and initiate a teamfight, sealing the series and Griffin's hopes of remaining the uncontested best team in Korea along with it.
Gen.G's next match is a 2017 Worlds Finals rematch against SK Telecom T1 at 4 a.m. ET on Sunday, while Griffin will battle with MVP at 7 a.m. ET on Saturday.