ESPN Esports
August 9th, 2018

KT locks up No. 1 seed in the LCK, SKT falters against Kingzone

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Jungler Go "Score" Dong-bin is a key player on a star-studded KT Rolster roster. Provided by Yong Woo 'kenzi' Kim

KT Rolster 1, MVP 0

KT Rolster locked up the No. 1 seed for the upcoming League of Legends Champions Korea playoffs with a 2-0 sweep of MVP on Thursday.

It's officially time to get excited for KT Rolster (13-5). With the win, KT will get to kick back until the finals on September 8. It's been a long road filled with plenty of bumps and bruises, but everything has finally come together for this team this summer.

While the No. 1 seed was locked up in the end, it almost didn't end up that way as MVP (4-14) rushed out of the gate to an early lead in the first game of the series. As the contest progressed, though, KT eventually found its footing and started to win engagements and slowly turn things around. At the 31-minute mark, mid laner Son "Ucal" Woo-hyeon's Azir landed a massive Shurima Shuffle during a 4-vs-5 fight that turned the tide of battle, gave top laner Song "Smeb" Kyung-ho's Jarvan IV a quadra kill, and closed out the game in explosive fashion. That seemed to flip a switch for KT, as it rolled through MVP in Game 2 for a 30-minute win to punch its ticket straight to the finals next month.

For MVP, this series was nothing more than a microcosm of its entire Summer Split. Fleeting moments of success that quickly turn into despair led to an extremely rough outing for this team. Granted, it was going up against the best team in Korea, but the manner in which it completely folded after taking an early lead will surely leave a bad taste in the mouth of players and fans alike as the team wrapped up the split on an eight-game losing streak.

With its big win, KT Rolster will now have a month-long break to watch its competition in the playoffs before the grand final at 4 a.m. ET on Saturday, September 8. Meanwhile, the loss for MVP dropped it into relegation range where it will need to fight for its spot in the LCK along with the bbq Olivers.

Kingzone 1, SK Telecom 0

Kingzone DragonX dismantled SK Telecom T1 in a quick 2-0 sweep on Thursday in League of Legends Champions Korea.

SKT (8-10) had already been eliminated from playoff contention prior to this match, but many still expected this team to show signs of life heading into the Worlds gauntlet next month. Instead, the SKT that took the stage on Thursday was a shell of the team that has dominated this region since its inception. Gone was any semblance of aggression or cohesion as the team aimlessly wandered around the map, giving up kills and objectives with very little opposition. Even the decision to start mid laner Lee "Faker" Sang-hyeok for the first time since Week 5 did nothing to change the final outcome, as Faker didn't have much of an impact whatsoever with a 1/2/1 KDA (kills/deaths/assists). SKT subbed Choi "Pirean" Jun-sik in for Game 2 and it ended up even worse for the team, as he posted a paltry 0/9/2 KDA and looked completely disjointed with the rest of his team. SKT might still have a shot at making it to Worlds through the gauntlet, but it will take a complete turnaround from the team's recent form to do so.

On the other side of the series sits Kingzone (13-5), which has locked up no worse than the third seed with this lopsided win. From the outset of the series, it was clear that the gulf between these teams was quite large as Kingzone simply did whatever it wanted the entire time. Whether it was teamfighting, objective control, or just overall macro play, there was never a point where Kingzone wasn't in control of the flow. With jungler Han "Peanut" Wang-ho and mid laner Gwak "Bdd" Bo-seong combining to wreak havoc on the map during both games, there was simply no stopping this team. The win might have come against a floundering SKT, but it was a solid performance to close out the split nonetheless and should give the team plenty of confidence heading into the playoffs.

Kingzone will now await the outcome of the split's final series between MVP and KT Rolster to find out its final playoff seed, while SKT will look ahead to the regional gauntlet for its final shot at qualifying for Worlds.


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