SANDBOX Gaming moves into second with a sweep over 2018 LCK spring split champions Kingzone DragonX while Hanwha Life defeats Afreeca Freecs
The fifth and final day of the 2019 LCK spring split’s opening week saw SANDBOX Gaming carry on the momentum. After a strong debut, the reigning CK champions swept their opponents once again, with Kingzone DragonX being the victims this time. The final matchup of the week saw Hanwha Life make it a five-way tie at the top-half of the standings, as the team also secured a 2-0 series win over Afreeca Freecs.
SANDBOX wraps up its impressive debut week with another sweep
SANDBOX Gaming’s LCK campaign is off to a dream start. The 2018 summer split Challenger Series champions now sit at a 2-0 record at the end of the first week with wins over Gen.G and Kingzone DragonX.
Game 1: SANDBOX plays to its strengths, wins a chaotic first game
SB showed off its aggressive style with a bottom lane consisting of Draven for AD Carry Jang “Ghost” Yong-jun and Thresh for support Cho “Joker” Jae-eup. Kim “OnFleek” Jang-gyeom (Kha’zix) joined the pairing for a bottom lane dive and Ghost secured the first blood following a beautiful Death Sentence by Joker. The SANDBOX trio went too deep however, allowing KZ to respond with a Teleport by mid laner Heo “PawN” Won-seok (Sion). In the end, Kingzone grabbed three kills.
As the two teams continued to fight all over the map, SB found the room it needed to take down two turrets. KZ did a better job during the skirmishes, but as Kim “Deft” Hyuk-kyu (Lucian) went for an aggressive play trying to take down Joker, SB’s top laner Park “Summit” Woo-tae (Urgot) found a way onto Kingzone’s flank. SANDBOX walked away with three kills and went for the Baron. KZ’s top laner Kim “Rascal” Kwang-hee (Akali), who had already stolen an Infernal drake earlier, tried to take the Baron from SB as well but did not succeed this time around.
Thanks to support Park “TusiN” Jong-ik (Ornn) landing a good Ultimate, Kingzone secured two kills to slow down SB’s advance. Last summer CK champions continued their push while setting up for the second Baron. The team secured the objective at the 29 minute mark, while KZ forced a fight to take the buff away from SB’s players. SANDBOX returned much more damage this time around, and Kingzone suddenly found itself down two members.
SB’s push opened up two inhibitors, and the teams picked up a final fight inside KZ’s base. Up 7,000 gold, SANDBOX ultimately won the battle with three kills to one and destroyed Kingzone’s Nexus.
Game 2: SANDBOX wins in dominant fashion
This time around, SB turned its attention towards the top side of the map, as OnFleek (Camille) helped Summit (Jayce) with two ganks, taking down Kingzone’s Rascal (Sion) on both occasions. Unlike the first game, it turned out to be a much more controlled affair for SB as the team picked good fights around the map, immediately turning them into objectives.
At the 22 minute mark, SANDBOX found a good flank onto KZ’s five players and went for the fight around the Baron pit. While Kingzone did a good job returning the damage, SB ultimately scored an ace with support Joker (Thresh) being the only loss on its side. SANDBOX nearly doubled its gold lead, up to 10,000, and set up the siege on KZ’s base. With TusiN (Tahm Kench) and Moon “Cuzz” Woo-chan (Kha’zix) caught out of position, SB had the advantage to force its way in. The team did pick up a rather unnecessary fight instead of going for the Nexus, but Ghost (Draven) and Summit eventually managed to do enough in order to close out the game.
Hanwha Life takes down Afreeca Freecs to make it five undefeated teams
While Griffin, DAMWON Gaming, SK Telecom T1 and to an extent SANDBOX Gaming had already been drawing some early hype during the preseason, it’s fair to say that the expectations for Hanwha Life Esports weren’t quite the same. But the former ROX Tigers have won their first two series of the year, making it five teams sitting on a 2-0 record to end the first week.
Game 1: HLE pulls ahead mid game to open the series score
An early skirmish between junglers Kim “bonO” Gi-beom (Xin Zhao) and Lee “Spirit” Da-yoon (Nocturne) for the Rift Scuttler turned into the first kill of the game for Afreeca as top laner Kim “Kiin” Gi-in (Aatrox) roamed towards the river and took down HLE’s jungler. AFS had a better start, but when the team secured a Mountain drake, Hanwha Life immediately collapsed onto them to force a fight. Walking away with three kills, HLE would eventually turn that advantage into the game-deciding factor.
As HLE picked up the first turret, it created the space for their players to roam and help other lanes. Mid laner Kim “Lava” Tae-hoon (Galio) got a huge help from support Kim “key” Han-gi (Tahm Kench), who brought AD Carry Gwon “Sangyoon” Sang-yun (Kai’sa) along to pick off Son “Ucal” Woo-hyeon (Lissandra).
Hanwha Life secured the first Baron buff of the game and used it to set the map in the team’s favor while waiting for the second Baron spawn. AFS tried to contest the vision around the top side of the river only to run into HLE. Holding a solid lead in gold with 7,000, Hanwha Life secured two kills and the buff. The powerplay began with HLE rushing down the mid lane before rotating towards the top side. Spirit got picked off while trying to ward the jungle, and HLE used the advantage to force a final fight before closing out the first game.
Game 2: Hanwha Life snowballs to sweep Afreeca Freecs
bonO (Olaf) had a great early game, going all over the map to create an advantage for Lava (Le Blanc) and Park “Thal” Kwon-hyuk (Aatrox). HLE’s jungler grabbed the Rift Herald and released it on the mid lane, securing the first turret of the game. The Herald still managed to hit Afeeca’s inner turret, while Hanwha Life’s bottom lane also destroyed a turret.
Having freed two lanes, and more importantly allowing Le Blanc to roam, HLE could play to its composition’s pickoff potential, which also had a significant help from key’s Tahm Kench. Working to clear the side lane waves, Kiin (Viktor) became HLE’s favorite target.
Hanwha found a perfect flank inside AFS’ jungle as Thal and Lava wrecked havoc. Sangyoon (Kai’sa) arrived to clean the fight as HLE walked away with three kills and an uncontested Baron. Afreeca left its base behind to pickoff key as everything fell apart. The team made it back to force a final fight with only one turret still standing. However, HLE led by an unassailable 15,000 in gold and simply brushed off the engage, going for the Nexus to complete the sweep.