SANDBOX Gaming, still undefeated, takes down DAMWON Gaming in a close series. Afreeca Freecs sweeps Jin Air Green Wings.
Sandbox Gaming, JAG vs AFS 2019 LCK Spring Matches Recap
Day 1 of the 2019 LCK spring split’s second week featured a highly anticipated matchup between newcomers DAMWON Gaming and SANDBOX Gaming. DAMWON won the clash last summer in the Challenger Series, but SANDBOX Gaming had a better star to the LCK campaign, winning its first three series. In the end, SANDBOX Gaming came out on top to remain the only undefeated team along with Griffin. In the second series of the day, Jin Air Green Wings continued to struggle as the relegation favorites suffered yet another sweep, this time at the hands of Afreeca Freecs. Jin Air has only won a single game and sits on a 0-5 overall record.
DWG vs Sandbox Gaming
SANDBOX picked up the first blood with a three-men play in the mid lane. A roam from support Cho “Joker” Jae-eup (Galio) and a gank by Kim “OnFleek” Jang-gyeom (Lee Sin) turned the fight into a three-versus-one as the jungler secured the kill. SB then contested a Rift Herald execution by DAMWON, and a terrible Teleport by DWG’s AD carry Sin “Nuclear” Jeong-hyeon (Ezreal) gifted SANDBOX a free kill. The team did not waste the advantage and turned it into a crucial mid lane turret, freeing Kim “Dove” Jae-yeon (Le Blanc) to go around the map looking for pickoffs.
Top laner Park “Summit” Woo-tae (Urgot) found a good flank as DAMWON headed down the river, allowing SANDBOX to collapse. With two kills, SB headed to the Baron and secured the objective, but DWG made it back in time to take down three players on their opponent’s side.
DAMWON pushed SB back, but a good pickoff on Jang “Nuguri” Ha-gwon (Aatrox) meant that SANDBOX had the advantage to go for a second Baron buff. DWG tried to contest the call, but SB easily won the fight by securing four kills. As the team rushed mid lane to end the game, DAMWON fought back to barely stay in the game. With a rare third Baron in play, SANDBOX found a good fight to create a two men advantage and get the third buff. This time, however, DWG wasn’t able to hold the fort as SB destroyed the Nexus to take game 1.
Mid lane was once again the focus for SANDBOX as OnFleek (Lee Sin) went for an early gank and Dove (Akali) picked up the kill. Unlike the first game, DAMWON had some much better fights as the team built a sizeable lead, taking down the first three turrets as well as three elemental buffs.
As soon as the Baron spawned, DAMWON picked up a fight and walked away with three kills, setting up for the objective. Already 13,000 gold down in only 21 minutes, SANDBOX had no other choice and didn’t even bother contesting the execution. With a clean ace inside SB’s base, DWG went for the Nexus after only 23 minutes of play to tie the series.
A four-men play by DWG in the bottom lane set up the tone for what the rest of the game would be like. Ryu “Hoit” Ho-seong, giving the “reworked” Rakan its first go in professional competition, secured the kill on Joker (Thresh) as the SB support got chased down by three players. DAMWON tried to make another play down the bottom side with a pickoff on Jang “Ghost” Yong-jun (Kalista). The AD carry held on for long enough until the reinforcements arrived. With a four men collapse, SANDBOX Gaming secured two kills and a turret as well as an Infernal drake.
The series-decider suddenly became a huge kill fiesta, as the teams turned nearly every single play into an extended teamfight. SANDBOX Gaming however did a better job by turning the momentary advantages into objectives with three turrets and a further two elemental drakes. Relying on its quick execution thanks to the Kalista pick, SB made a risky Baron call 28 minutes in and somehow secured the buff with four players still alive.
DWG made sure to take the buff out of as many members as possible with a beautiful play in the mid lane. Well-executed flanks by both Hoit and Kim “Canyon” Geon-bu (Aatrox) turned into a great engage by the team as the huge fight ended with four kills for each side.
Following an extended teamfight around the mid lane, SANDBOX Gaming made a Baron call as DAMWON had to fall back. As SB checked the area around the dragon pit, DAMWON went for the engage. With a good initial burst by Nuguri (Vladimir), it looked like the fight would go heavily in DWG’s favor. But Ghost turned it around as SANDBOX Gamingscored an ace while keeping three members alive. Holding the Baron buff, SB went for the game and closed out the series, maintaning its undefeated record in the LCK.
JAG vs AFS
Afreeca Freecs might be the most interesting team in the LCK these past two weeks. With the players swapping roles all over, the Freecs have won two of their past three series to get back in the playoff hunt. After giving Neeko its debut in competitive play, AFS have also presented an “AD carry” Azir as well as an ADC Morgana played by jungler Lee “Spirit” Da-yoon.
Speaking of Spirit, the jack-of-all-trades played a fourth different role as AFS moved their former starting jungler to support. This time, Spirit presented us his Jarvan IV support. The unconventional pick worked well at first as Afreeca won a trade down the bottom side, with Spirit picking up the first blood while star top laner Kim “Kiin” Gi-in (Akali) secured a second kill.
JAG, running a classic Lucian-B
raum combo for Moon “Route” Geom-su and Park “Nova” Chan-ho used its lane pressure to take the first turret of the game, while AFS destroyed the outer turret on the top side to even the count.
Working off a great engage by Spirit, Afreeca slowly built a small lead as the team secured the Elder dragon 39 minutes in. With the additional damage, AFS finally went for Baron just past the 40 minute mark. The team secured the buff uncontested, but JAG still made it in time to force a fight. AFS ultimately came out on top and opened up two inhibitors on Jin Air’s side.
As Afreeca came close to ending the game, JAG found a good mid lane teamfight to keep their hopes alive, securing the Elder dragon in the process. As Jin Air executed the Baron, Kim “Aiming” Ha-ram (Ezreal) stole the objective with his Ultimate. AFS left three inhibitors open on JAG’s side and the Nexus completely exposed, but has to drop back as Jin Air fought bravely.
Going the safe route, Afreeca waited for the third Baron spawn. With JAG’s base completely exposed, there was nothing left for the team to do as AFS ended the longest game of the split in 57 minutes.
Repeating the Jarvan IV support pick from game 1, Afreeca once again secured the first kill as Aiming (Kai’Sa) and Spirit found themselves with a favorable two-versus-one fight against Route (Kalista). Lee “Dread” Jin-hyeok took a page out of the LPL book and picked Kayne. AFS snowballed the jungler and won one fight after another, quickly building a 10,000 gold lead less than 20 minutes in.
Afreeca’s advantage was so comfortable that the team secured an uncontested Baron just under the 21 minute mark. Just two minutes later AFS was already pressuring Jin Air’s bottom lane inhibitor. After 24 minutes, Afreeca completed the stomp with 23 kills to JAG’s three.