A contested series and two decisive 2-0s mark day 2 of LCK
The second day of the LCK saw no less than three Bo3 series, pitting some of the best Korean teams against each other. While Kingzone DragonX and Gen.G had a hard-fought series which saw Gen.G upset the champions, Afreeca Freecs and KT Rolster started their season with 2-0 wins.
Kingzone DragonX vs. Gen.G
The spring split champions faced the former KSV squad in their first official game after the unsatisfying (by Korean standards) second place at the MSI. Game one started with a growing advantage for Kingzone as CuZZ’s Xin Zhao was able to help his lanes and give them an advantage. Gen.G was hoping that Ruler’s Kog’Maw would eventually ramp up, but Kingzone were able to secure a baron after using Mordekaiser’s ultimate to get a “pet” drake, and aced Gen.G in the ensuing team fight. They broke the mid inhibitor and after another team fight win top two minutes later, took the first game.
Things started very differently in game two, however, as Ruler and CoreJJ were able to get a Level 2 kill on Gorill, and Haru’s Camille added a few more to Gen.G’s tally with her early ganks. Things went from bad to worse for the reigning LCK champions when they were aced at the cost of only the Gen.G top laner near the rift herald. With a large advantage and a fed AD Carry, Gen.G opted for a very early baron and, when Kingzone attempted to interrupt them, secured it with CuVee’s Cho’Gath and got 3 kills in the team fight, ending the game soon after and taking the series to a third game.
In the decisive last game, an early Kingzone tower dive top went very wrong in an extended collapse, which saw Gen.G get five kills for only two for their opponents. They continued to move ahead, moving better on the map and using CuVee’s Gangplank ultimates for extra presence. Kingzone had a déjà vu as Gen.G had a dominant gold advantage, dominated them in a team fight, took the baron and quickly ended the game.
Afreeca Freecs vs. SK Telecom T1
In their debut after the Asian Games, where Faker showed great skill on mid lane with Yasuo, he played it mid in game one against Kuro’s Leblanc, while the SKT bot lane went for a dual support build with Lulu and Alistar. Afreeca opened with a lead after getting kills in all lanes and Spirit was seemingly everywhere on his Nocturne. While SKT looked good at the start of the first big team fight, the Nocturne came up huge again, diving SKT’s carries and causing a ton of damage alongside Vladimir’s ultimate for a 3-0 fight that put his team 6K gold ahead before 15 minutes had passed. Afreeca continued looking dominant, acing SKT at the 23rd minute, taking the Baron and demolishing the SKT base while never giving their opponents a chance to come back.
Game two saw SKT keep up their double support bot lane, going for a Lulu-Shen this time. The game did not start quite as badly for SKT, who gave a few early kills but kept up in gold. A bad collapse from Afreeca allowed SKT to get 3 kills and an early baron for SKT. However, Afreeca still had plenty of damage, and a good wombo combo engage a minute later gave them 4 kills in an extended fight, leaving only Bang’s Lulu alive and denying SKT from getting a big lead. Afreeca got the next baron after another team fight win, breaking into the SKT base before retreating for an elder drake. SKT gambled on being able to stop them, but Afreeca took both the elder and the team fight, quickly closing for a win and a 2-0 series that silenced the SKT fans.
KT Rolster vs. Jin Air Greenwings
In a slow first game, KT had picked a better scaling comp against the grain of accepted wisdom on this patch, and they endured the storm. The team were slightly down in gold early on, but were able to endure the initial hardships and were able to turn the game with better teamfighting. It took them nearly 40 minutes and a second baron, but they finally pushed JAG in the base, won a hard-fought team fight and took the first game.
The second game started faster, with Rush helping his lanes get ahead and the Mordekaiser allowing KT to pick up objectives, and Jin Air’s Karthus/Nunu combo was not able to do nearly as much and the Kai’sa in the bot lane needed time to scale. KT kept increasing their lead and felt secure enough to take the baron about a minute after it spawned, with Jin Air unable to even get close. With such a huge lead, KT Rolster pushed top, got in the base, won the fight with JAG and took the second game in almost half the time it took them for the first one, finishing the series with a convincing 2-0.