Griffin ousts bbq Olivers, Afreeca denies Hanwha a playoff spot with win over Jin Air
Griffin 1, Bbq Olivers 0
Griffin didn’t waste any time dispatching bbq Olivers on Wednesday, picking up a clean 2-0 win to wrap up its inaugural split in the League of Legends Champions Korea in Seoul.
From the Korean Challenger circuit to a potential Summer Split finals berth, depending on the outcome of KT Rolster vs MVP on Thursday, the meteoric rise of Griffin (13-5) has been nothing short of spectacular. From top laner Choi “Sword” Sung-won’s ability to dominate top laner matchups throughout the season to jungler Lee “Tarzan” Seung-yong’s early game mastery in setting up his team for success, to AD carry Park “Viper” Do-hyeon and his deep champion pool limited only by his creativity, this team has been the most exciting thing to happen to the LCK in a while. Griffin showed just why it deserves all the hype and historical accolades against bbq, with each member contributing what you’d expect, save perhaps Viper, who played a pair of Kai’Sa games in lieu of a more crowd-pleasing pick like Teemo. Teamfighting like gods and never relenting when it got a gold lead, Griffin ended its first-ever regular season on a high note as it now prepares for playoffs and a chance to Royal Road, or win a championship in its rookie year.
Bbq (2-16) tried its best, and that’s all fans can ask of them at this point. Bbq even threatened to win Game 1 after a strong early game, accentuated by a perfect tower dive from jungler Kim “Trick” Gang-yun’s Trundle early on to give the Olivers a gold lead. Unfortunately for bbq, its teamfighting and decision making let it down the later the game went, as bbq looked unfamiliar with playing from ahead, eventually ceding control over to Griffin and finishing this split in dead last after a ninth placing during the Spring Split.
If KT Rolster (12-5) manages to 2-0 MVP on Thursday, KT Rolster will secure the No. 1 seed for the playoff gauntlet. If not, Griffin will take the number one spot for itself. Meanwhile, bbq Olivers prepared to play in the Promotion Tournament to try and fight for its spot in the LCK.
Afreeca Freecs 1, Jin Air Green Wings 0
Afreeca Freecs opened Wednesday’s League of Legends Champions Korea slate with a 2-0 win over the Jin Air Green Wings in a series with several postseason implications in Seoul.
It’s fair to say that Afreeca (10-8) was the clear favorite heading into this matchup given that top laner Kim “Kiin” Gi-in has been an absolute monster while the team’s veterans, like support Park “TusiN” Jong-ik, have been rocks for Afreeca. Considering how frantic Afreeca’s playstyle looks, having veteran leadership is worth its weight in gold, as shown in Game 1 where the Freecs demolished the early game en route to a lopsided 35-minute stomp. Much of the Game 1 dominance came from TusiN’s Gragas as, despite there being six support bans and Jin Air picking away TusiN’s famous Alistar, TusiN was still a playmaker for his team. In Game 2, Kiin’s Ryze was the most powerful person on the Rift, soaking up side lane experience and gold en route to carving through Jin Air in a low-action affair.
Meanwhile, the Jin Air Green Wings (4-14) wrap up yet another poor campaign in embarrassing fashion. Nobody on the team, apart from AD carry Park “Teddy” Jin-seong, did much of anything in the face of Afreeca’s aggression. By failing to secure even a single win, Jin Air not only let its fans down, but brought the hopes of Hanwha Life Esports (10-8) fans crashing down as the loss ensured that Afreeca would qualify for playoffs over Hanwha. Maybe next season will bring the winds of change for the Green Wings, and its second half of the Summer split wasn’t half bad but, until then, the SadPlanes are here to stay.
With the Afreeca win, the five LCK playoffs teams are locked in: Afreeca, Kingzone DragonX (12-5), KT Rolster (12-5), Griffin (12-5), and Gen.G (13-5). However, only Afreeca’s 5th seed is locked in as the rest of the playoff seeding will shake out over the next few matches. On the outside looking in is SK Telecom T1 (8-9), which still has a chance at qualifying for Worlds if it can somehow string together a miraculous gauntlet run.
Jin Air’s season concludes with this loss, while Afreeca will play in the Wildcard round of playoffs at 4 a.m. ET on Sunday.