Griffin and Hanwha Life score wins over Gen.G and KT Rolster, here is a breakdown of the matches from the second day of the 2019 LCK spring split
Day 2 of the 2019 LCK spring split saw the first and second place teams from last summer, KT Rolster and Griffin, make their debut. While Griffin, widely regarded as the favorites to take the 2019 LCK trophy, walked away with the win, KT did not have the same luck, dropping the opener to Hanwha Life.
Hanwha Life scores a surprising win over KT Rolster
Go “Score” Dong-bin is back, which means that KT’s new 2019 lineup finally made its competition debut. Things did not go as planned, however. While the team had a decent start, scoring a comfortable game 1 win, Hanwha Life came out on top of the series. There is a lot of work ahead for the reigning LCK champions.
- Other: 2019 LPL spring split [W1D1]
Game 1: A solid debut for KT’s new lineup
Following a relatively slow start, KT secured the first blood with Score (Gragas) hiding inside the top lane bushes while waiting for Park “Thal” Kwon-hyuk (Ryze). KT’s jungler caught the Hanwha Life top laner off guard and secured the kill. HLE tried to start a team fight, but both teams ended up walking away. KT picked off Kim “bonO” Gi-beom (Zac) while the HLE jungler tried to clear a control ward, adding another kill to the count while also securing the Rift Herald.
The first actual fight happened 15 minutes into the game. Hanwha Life went for a Mountain drake, but KT contested the call. While HLE almost immediately knocked No “SnowFlower” Hoi-jong (Tahm Kench) out of the fight, KT had a much better response and managed to walk away with three kills. Score hid inside one of the bottom lane bushes and managed to take out HLE’s support Kim “key” Han-gi (Braum). It gave KT the opening it needed to release the Rift Herald and take the bonus gold for the first turret.
KT built a solid advantage, clearing HLE’s outer turrets before committing to a Baron call. While Hanwha Life had a chance to contest, KT had three Mountain drakes on its side leading to a quick execution. The reigning LCK champions used the Baron buff to open the mid and bottom lane inhibitors and headed towards the Nexus, ending game 1 in just over 36 minutes.
- Other: 2019 LPL spring split [W1D2]
Game 2: Hanwha Life forces the tiebreaker
The second match of the series also got off to a slow start, but Hanwha Life took advantage of its river control to go for the Rift Herald, using it to destroy KT’s mid lane turret for the bonus gold. While the game continued without a single kill, HLE held the priority for all three lanes, which allowed the team to completely dominate the objectives around the map.
KT finally opened the kill score after Gwak “Bdd” Bo-seong (Zoe) landed a long-distance bubble on Kim “Lava” Tae-hoon (Lissandra). With four players around, KT went for the dive and the team’s new AD Carry, Jeon “Zenit” Tae-gwon (Sivir) secured the kill. Hanwha Life continued to dominate the map however, finding a pickoff onto Zenit and Snoflower (Rakan). KT still managed to hold on, but HLE found its fight inside the opponent’s jungle and headed towards an easy Baron.
Hanwha Life used the buff to completely expose KT’s base, taking down the three inhibitors. The team retreated and regrouped for a final, more organized push, and following a desperate engage by KT, cleared the fight in order to close out game 2 in 36 minutes.
- Other: 2019 LPL spring split [W1D3]
Game 3: HLE takes the series
Unlike games 1 and 2, the tie-breaker had a frantic start. Score (Xin Zhao) and Bdd (Galio) won a 2-on-2 trade at the mid lane, and KT’s jungler secured the first blood on Lava (Lissandra). The KT pairing won a second trade, building a minor lead.
But when KT tried to force a fight around HLE’s jungle, Thal (Sion) executed a beautiful Teleport, flanking KT with his ultimate. The reigning LCK champions had nowhere to go, and Hanwha scored an ace. While HLE only got an Ocean drake out of this, the team used the advantage to set up its minion waves. While the Rift Herald failed to secure the mid lane turret for HLE, Thal eventually secured the first turret bonus for his team after taking down KT’s top lane tower.
Hanwha Life slowly built a solid lead, taking down four turrets. The two teams continued to find an opening to go for an objective, until HLE decided to take the risk by going for a Mountain drake. KT contested and even stole the objective, but the decision proved to be fatal. Hanwha Life scored an ace during the fight that followed, and 32 minutes into the game, KT’s death timers were already quite high. HLE’s minions were already chipping at KT’s top inhibitor turret, so the team went for a base rush and closed out the game to win the series.
A first taste of what 2019 could bring for Griffin
Early favorites Griffin showed off once again that they might be the team to beat this year in the LCK. Following a perfect run to the KeSPA Cup title, the 2018 summer split runner-ups had little trouble sweeping Gen.G.
Game 1: Griffin still in top form
Griffin ‘s AD Carry Park “Viper” Do-hyeon went with a Vladimir pick, but the champion’s weak early levels made him an easy target. Park “TusiN” Jong-ik (Gragas) landed a Flash-slam combo and Kim “Deft” Hyuk-kyu (Kai’sa) secured the first blood. Griffin’s jungler Lee “Tarzan” Seung-yong (Xin Zhao) shifted his focus towards the top side, securing the Rift Herald. When Kingzone committed its five players to a bottom lane turret dive, Tarzan released the Herald to take down the first turret.
The lead soon grew to three turrets, and Griffin found a perfect team fight inside Kingzone’s jungle. With Deft being the first one to fall, KZ lacked a reliable damage source, allowing Griffin to easily walk away with four kills before heading for an easy Baron. The gold difference skyrocketed, as Griffin opened a sizeable 15,000 lead. At the 24 minute mark the 2018 summer split runner-ups broke into Kingzone’s base, scored an ace and destroyed the Nexus to close out the first game of the series.
Game 2: Lehends shows off his signature support Elise as Griffin completes the sweep
The team that brought Teemo back into professional League of Legends play had another one of its unconventional picks on display as support Son “Lehends” Si-woo showed off his pocket Elise pick. But when the Griffin support tried to ward deep inside Kingzone’s jungle, he became an easy target as KZ collapsed towards him and Heo “PawN” Won-seok (Urgot) walked away with the first blood.
Despite the early mishap, Griffin quickly seized control of the game, holding the priority for all three lanes. While Lehends had to play a suicide engage role, Griffin kept destroying turret after turret. With the two teams trying to control the vision around the Baron’s pit, Griffin picked off Deft (Kai’sa), bursting down KZ’s AD Carry and taking out four players. The reigning KeSPA Cup champions secured the uncontested Baron, heading straight towards Kingzone’s base to win the game and complete the sweep.