DAMWON Gaming snaps its losing streak, sweeps Afreeca Freecs while SANDBOX Gaming bounces back from its first loss of the LCK split.
DWG vs AF, SANDBOX vs JAG 2019 LCK Spring Split Matches Recap
After a solid Challenger Series campaign, which saw the team promote itself to the LCK, DAMWON Gaming had a strong showing at the 2018 KeSPA Cup with a semifinals run and followed that up with a 2-0 start during the LCK season. DWG cooled off however, dropping four straight series to teams inside the top 5 – Griffin, SKT, SANDBOX and Kingzone DragonX. Things seem to be heading the right way once again as the team swept Afreeca Freecs, getting back into the playoffs conversation.
The second series of the way featured SANDBOX Gaming, coming off its first loss of the split, facing off against the still winless Jin Air Green Wings. SB got back to its winning ways and also swept the relegation-tipped JAG.
DWG vs AF
Playing through the top lane in order to get Kim “Kiin” Gi-in (Darius) ahead, Afreeca had a solid start with two kills onto Jang “Nuguri” Ha-gwon (Sylas). Despite his struggles during the lane phase, Nuguri’s Sylas pick paid off as the first teamfight broke out around the Baron pit. As the teams battled for the Rift Herald, Nuguri’s ability to steal Ultimates turned things around for DAMWON Gaming. AD carry Sin “Nuclear” Jeong-hyeon (Ashe) joined in and scored a triple kill, while DWG also destroyed the top lane tower.
DAMWON Gaming also built a win condition on the bottom side, securing two Infernal drakes. Relying on teamfights, DWG took control of the game. Following a fight in the mid lane, the team secured two kills and headed to the Baron pit, securing the buff as Nuclear stopped Lee “Dread” Jin-hyeok’s (Jarvan) attempt at stealing the objective. Pushing into Afreeca’s base through the bottom lane, DAMWON Gaming won another fight as Nuclear scored a quadra kill before destroying the Nexus to take game 1.
DAMWON subbed in jungler Son “Punch” Min-hyuk, who would make his LCK debut. And the rookie picked up the first blood with a top lane dive on Kiin (Urgot). Lee “Spirit” Da-yoon (Gragas), back at his original role, made it an even trade by taking down Nuguri (Jayce).
The second game was out of Afreeca’s hands less than 20 minutes in as DWG successfully contested an Infernal drake, securing four kills while also stealing the objective. DAMWON Gaming added a second Infernal and grabbed the Baron buff at the 27 minute mark. Two minutes later, DWG had already made its way to AF’s base. Adding four kills to the count, the CK champions won the final fight and took down the Nexus after 29 minutes.
SB vs JAG
Park “Summit” Woo-tae (Jayce) secured a crucial first blood onto Jin Air’s mid laner turned top laner Choi “CheonGo” Hyeon-woo (Urgot) following a gank by Kim “OnFleek” Jang-gyeom (Lee Sin). The SB player dominated the lane after that, taking down three plates from the turret. Meanwhile, on the bottom side of the map, the second placed team in the LCK standings also built another win condition by adding two Infernal buffs.
SANDBOX continued to grow its lead by taking down the three outer towers on JAG’s side. Working off Summit’s poke while AD carry Jang “Ghost” Yong-jun (Viktor) zoned Jin Air away from the objectives, SB added two more turrets while also securing an impressive total of five elemental buffs.
Inside Jin Air’s side of the jungle, Lee “Grace” Chan-ju (Zoe) went too far forward with his Ultimate and OnFleek did not waste anytime, turning the pickoff into a kill. AD carry Moon “Route” Geom-su (Vladimir) did everything in his power to stop SANDBOX, but he could not do much going up against five players. The JAG player still managed to take down Ghost, but DWG secured four kills and went for the mid lane inhibitor.
Playing it safe, SB fell back and quickly took down the Baron, being powered by two Mountain buffs. As SANDBOX pushed into the base, Grace still tried to lead his team to one final engage. It didn’t work out in the end as SB picked up four kills and went for the Nexus to end the first game of the series.
JAG used its composition’s dive potential early on as Kim “Malrang” Geun-seong (Elise) and Lee “Grace” Chan-ju (Jayce), now playing in the top lane, secured the first kill of the game onto Summit (Urgot) under the top lane turret. With a solid early game by Malrang, Jin Air built a minor lead while relying on pickoffs and dives. The top lane tower also went down, which allowed JAG to collect the bonus gold.
Just like the other games this split, JAG threw the lead out of the window. The team got too greedy and overextended inside SB’s bottom side jungle, losing three players in a long, drawn-out fight. SANDBOX took down two turrets as a response to regain the space it had lost earlier on. Following a pickoff on Grace, SB went for Baron and secured an uncontested buff.
Not even a pick onto Summit slowed SANDBOX down, as the team destroyed the three inhibitors on Jin Air’s side, powered by two elemental buffs. JAG managed to drive SB away from the base and even scored an ace, but the three minion waves had already made their way to the Nexus. The Jin Air players made a rather questionable decision and committed to chasing down the remaining SB members, leaving the base completely exposed. Just as the team completed the ace, SANDBOX’s minions took down the Nexus in order to close out the series.