2018 LCK Summer split runner-ups Griffin sweep DAMWON Gaming in order to advance to the 2018 KeSPA Esports Cup finals; will face Gen.G.
It’s fair to say that 2018 was Griffin’s year. The team kicked things off with an undefeated run to the Challenger Series title in spring. Following that with a promotion to the top-tier of the Korean League of Legends scene. Griffin finished its debut campaign with a stunning second place in summer, narrowly missing out on a World Championship spot in the Regional Finals. And now, the team is set for another title-decider. They swept longtime Challenger Series rivals DAMWON Gaming in order to advance to the 2018 KeSPA Cup finals.
Game 1: A dominant showing by Griffin Esports to kick off the series
DAMWON’s Kim “Canyon” Geon-bu (Camille) went for an aggressive start, invading Griffin’s jungle. While he did steal Lee “Tarzan” Seung-yong’s (Sejuani) Blue Sentinel, nothing came out of the play. Both teams eventually reset the map. DAMWON then tried to dive Griffin’s bottom lane duo Park “Viper” Do-hyeon (Lucian) and Son “Lehends” Si-woo (Alistar). And while the first blood went for Canyon, Griffin responded by having the remaining four players committing to the fight. Griffin grabbed three kills.
Canyon tried to go for the Rift Herald, but Lehends was able to roam towards the top side. This lead DAMWON’s jungler straight into Tarzan’s path. With Griffin setting up a top side dive, DAMWON’s support Ryu “Hoit” Ho-seong (Tahm Kench) teleported in trying to help out top laner Jang “Nuguri” Ha-gwon (Urgot). They were unaware that Griffin had committed four players to the play. When Tarzan went for a Mountain drake, DAMWON tried to engage onto the enemy team’s jungler with the classic Camille-Galio combo. But Griffin found an opening straight into DAMWON’s backline, which led to another four kills going their way without losing a single member. Griffin won another two fights to build a massive lead and quickly walked into DAMWON’s base to open the series’ score.
Game 2: Griffin Esports dominant once again, takes 2-0 lead
Tarzan, repeating his Sejuani pick from game 1, took advantage of Viper (Lucian) and Lehends (Morgana) lane priority to go for an early solo Infernal drake. The two teams remained relatively even for the first 15 minutes. Griffin was holding a marginal gold lead. Chovy (Sion) managed to push ShowMaker (Galio) back. Roaming towards the bottom side of the map along with Tarzan for a four-men dive onto DAMWON’s Nuclear (Ezreal) and Hoit (Soraka). A perfectly placed Ultimate by Tarzan froze Nuclear in place, handling an easy first blood to Viper.
Chovy secured a second kill on Hoit, while Canyon (Kha’zix) got one back for DAMWON after bursting down Griffin’s jungler. Meanwhile, Choi “Sword” Sung-won (Jayce) got a solo kill on Nuguri (Viktor), giving Griffin an important advantage. The team took advantage of the momentum to take down the first turret. A lane swap allowed Griffin to go for a second turret and the Rift Herald.
The summer split runner-ups quickly built a massive lead, with four elemental buffs and five turrets to a single tower on DAMWON’s side. It gave Griffin plenty of space to go for a game-deciding Baron buff. DAMWON did try to contest the call, but Griffin had little trouble to clear the fight with a clean ace. They grabbed the neutral objective and rushed inside DAMWON’s base to end the game in 32 minutes.
Game 3: Griffin Esports completes the sweep, advances to the finals
Griffin went for an aggressive four-men play top side, forcing Nuguri’s (Urgot) Flash one minute into the game. Sword (Jayce) and Tarzan (Camille) exploited the advantage to draw first blood at the four minute mark. The play set Nuguri significantly behind, allowing Sword and Tarzan to go for another kill on the top laner. Being joined by Chovy (Galio) to complete the classic combo. DAMWON tried to respond towards the bottom side of the map, going for an Infernal drake. But the team did not have the necessary lane priority, and Griffin successfully contest the call. They grabbed the buff instead and added two more kills to its count.
Turret Bonus Gold
Tarzan released the Rift Herald towards the top lane, and while Griffin got the first turret bonus gold. Canyon (Lee Sin) responded by taking out the jungler along with Sword. Nuguri became Griffin’s favorite victim for pickoffs, and the team quickly snowballed out of control. With an impressive 25 kills (including ten on Nuguri), the team only needed a single Baron buff to go for DAMWON’s base and complete the sweep 31 minutes into the third and last game.
Griffin’s third title-decider in 2018 will be against Gen.G. The 2018 KeSPA Esports Cup comes to a close on December 31.