Griffin scores its eight series win of the LCK split, sweeps Afreeca Freecs. SANDBOX taken to three sets by KT but walks away with a victory
Another week of the 2019 LCK spring split is done with. Griffin unsurprisingly swept Afreeca Freecs for its eight series win of the year, surrendering a total of four kills and not dropping a single tower over the course of two games. The 2018 summer split runner-ups and KeSPA Cup champions have only dropped one game so far, and continue to dominate the competition. KT Rolster forced a tiebreaker against second place SANDBOX Gaming but ultimately fell to the LCK newcomers and continues its battle to escape relegation.
GRF vs Afreeca Freecs
First blood went to Choi “Sword” Sung-won (Urgot) following a three men play by Griffin in the top lane, taking down Kim “Kiin” Gi-in (Jayce). Sword snowballed the top matchup from there, taking down the first turret and cashing in on the gold from the plates. GRF needed a bit more time to take down Afreeca Freecs line of outer towers, but once it did, things went south rather quickly for Afreeca Freecs.
As Afreeca tried to face-check the Baron pit, GRF support Son “Lehends” Si-woo (Alistar) hit a perfect engage from the flank. Sword teleported onto the backline and Griffin cleaned out the fight, with Kiin the only one to make it out alive for Afreeca Freecs. In a matter of minutes, Griffin went from three turrets to the Nexus and closed out the first game.
Griffin opened the score with a four men dive in the bottom lane, with Tarzan (Noctune) picking up a double kill. The Griffin jungler continued to find one pickoff after another using his Ultimate as GRF obliterated Afreeca.
The only highlight of the game for the 2018 spring split runner-ups was successfully stopping two Baron attempts by Griffin, though the third attempt ultimately worked for the LCK leaders. After 30 minutes of play, Griffin worked its way inside AF’s base and closed out the series without any trouble, completed with a 23-3 kill score in the second game.
SB vs KT
KT had an unexpectedly dominant start to the first game. Gwak “Bdd” Bo-seong (Zoe) picked up the first kill on SANDBOX’s support Cho “Joker” Jae-eup (Shen), and the reigning LCK champions followed it with two kills on the top side as the teams battled for the Rift Herald. KT also destroyed the mid and bottom lane turrets while securing two Mountain drakes, building a solid 2,000 gold lead at 15 minutes.
SANDBOX got back in the game after two good fights in the mid lane, picking up four kills and giving AD carry Jang “Ghost” Yong-jun (Sivir) some much needed resources. SB turned the deficit into a 3,000 gold lead while also moving ahead of KT in the tower count, holding the priority for all three lanes to set up a Baron call at the 26 minute mark.
KT committed all five players to pickoff Park “Summit” Woo-tae (Aatrox) in the bottom lane, which in turn created a lot of space for Ghost and mid laner Kim “Dove” Jae-yeon (Le Blanc) to take clean out the mid and top lanes. KT suddenly found itself having to defend all three lanes at once as SB pressed for the three inhibitors. With their opponent’s base down to the Nexus turrets, SANDBOX forced the final engage and secured four kills, creating all the room it needed to end the first game.
Things went better for SANDBOX this time as the team managed to secure a kill on Eom “UmTi” Seong-hyeon (Olaf) following a failed jungle invasion by the KT Rolster player. SB also had a better setup for the sidelanes, taking down the outer turrets and moving on to turn a losing mid lane into its favor.
As top laner Song “Smeb” Kyung-ho (Yorick) fell significantly behind Summit (Jayce), KT saw one of its primary win conditions nullified. SANDBOX looked set to win the game, but failed to secure the Baron despite holding priority for both top and mid lanes while also having exposed KT’s bottom lane inhibitor. After a failed Baron attempt, the team had to fall back, which gave KT just enough space to go for the objective. A great Ultimate by AD carry Jeon “Zenit” Tae-gwon (Vladimir) stopped SB from contesting the objective and secured three key shutdowns for KT’s side.
Everything suddenly went south for SANDBOX as KT Rolster also secured the Elder dragon. Now in possession of the two major buffs and with Smeb finally coming online, KT pushed in through the bottom lane and made its way from the dragon pit to SB’s base in less than one minute. Having only two members up, SANDBOX could do nothing but watch as its Nexus went down and KT tied the series.
The game began with the teams trading kills onto the supports. Ghost (Ezreal) ended up with the first blood after taking down KT’s No “SnowFlower” Hoi-jong (Thresh). Bdd (Aurelion Sol) roamed to even the trade with a kill on Joker (Tahm Kench). KT established control over the bottom side of the map thanks to Bdd’s ability to push his lane and pressure the sides. SB in response shifted its focus to the top side, once again getting Summit (Aatrox) ahead of Smeb (Yorick). Working off a lane swap, SB secured the top and bottom lane outer towers to get an important early advantage.
SANDBOX exposed KT’s mid lane inhibitor and finally secured the Baron at the 30 minute mark. KT showed up too late to contest and SB picked up four kills in the ensuing fight. The team completed the ace after picking off Zenit (Viktor) in the top lane but still could not end the game as the KT players spawned in time to defend the Nexus. SANDBOX had to fall back but there was nothing KT, down two inhibitors, could do to hold off the second push. SB closed out the game and the series to keep its second place in the standings.