The halfway point of the LCK 2019 Spring Split gave us some exciting matches for the first day of the week. The LCK is shaping up to reclaim the world throne, as Griffin and SANDBOX continue to steam ahead of the rest.
Griffin vs. Gen G
Griffin took another step toward history as they met Gen G for the first time in this split. Game one started off with a rerun of picks and bans, but it looked like Gen G finally had a comp they could be comfortable with. Fly decided he would play Aurelion Sol, but was never in a position to roam freely as the champion is want to do. Tarzan started off the festivities with a double-kill at ten minutes, and Griffin simply ran away with the game after that. Sword managed a spotless 6/0/1 KDA and was the only member of Griffin who didn’t die.
Gen G just wasn’t able to bring their comp back into the game. Fly was picked on all game long, and Peanut couldn’t influence the game on his signature Lee Sin. Gen G’s last desperate play at Baron only delayed the inevitable, and Griffin would close quickly. The blue nexus fell at 31:17 as everyone felt it would.
Is Sylas good or is Chovy just too good? 🤔 #LCK
— Max Anderson (@Atlustv) February 20, 2019
If game one was a good one for Sword, then game two was his playground. Fly wanted to try the Aurelion Sol again and performed much better than game one. It wasn’t enough of an improvement though. Sword took Urgot and said “Roach, this is how you play this champion,” and proceeded to run rampant on the Rift. He finished the game with another spotless 9/0/4 KDA.
There wasn’t much to talk about for Gen G in game 2. The team as a whole had a bad time, and Fly was once again unable to utilize his roaming power and put the side lanes in favorable positions. Gen G was constantly behind on timing and decision making. Griffin speedily killed every Gen G structure by 27:39, capping off an abysmal round one for the 2017 world champions.
We finished LCK Round 1 with 2 wins 7 losses. It is disappointing, but we will come back in Round 2 and be a different team.
— Gen.G LOL (@GenGLoL) February 20, 2019
SKT Telecom T1 vs. KT Rolster
The telecom first telecom war of 2019 certainly did not disappoint. We got all of the back-and-forth, emotion-filled action we could have asked for.
Game one was one of the longest of the split so far. From the start, it looked as though SKT would have a smooth path to victory, but some early skirmishes shifted the game in KT’s favor. Smeb’s Vladimir was KT’s hope as he took control of the midgame. The game stalled for almost ten minutes until Clid caught Zenit under the mid tier 1 tower, and SKT scored three kills, another Infernal Drake, and two inhibitors.
It all seemed to be over as SKT won a decisive team fight at the baron pit at 40 minutes, but Zenit redeemed himself and delayed the end just a bit longer. KT actually nearly had the win when they won a teamfight in mid at 45 minutes, but Zenit and Smeb couldn’t quite close out the game. In the 49th minute, Bdd tried a teleport flank, only to be sniffed out and snuffed out by Clid. Two minutes later SKT was finally able to get a clear advantage at the second baron and ended the game shortly after at 51 minutes.
The next game was a relatively easier one for SKT. They once against pressed hard for the early advantage, and got the maximum. A collapse on Smeb by SKT secured them a kill on the KT toplaner. Faker and Clid were immediately able to summon the Rift Herald and take both turrets in the top lane. KT responded with a tower kill of their own. SKT then attempted another collapse on BDD in the bottom lane, only to find all of KT was there as well and gave over 4 kills.
At the 20 minute mark, Bdd and UmTi once again found themselves being collapsed on, as UmTi fell to Faker, and SKT turned to the baron. The next five minutes were filled with team fights as SKT and KT traded sets of kills back and forth. A second baron went to SKT, and they were finally able to find their way into KT’s base. They would need a few more minutes and a heroic quadra-kill from Faker to seal the series away at 30:53.
오늘 경기 2:0으로 승리하였습니다. 오늘 경기 응원 감사합니다.
— SK telecom T1 (@sktelecom_t1) February 20, 2019
As Round one draws to a close tonight, there’s a sense that times are changing in the LCK. Griffin is at the forefront of a new generation of LCK superstars. SANDBOX is a part of that too, but even they are miles behind Griffin.
"We are not an LPL-style team. We are the next generation of what an 'LCK-style team is."
— Ashley Kang (@AshleyKang) February 15, 2019
If Griffin can keep up the dominance till November, the World Championship may be as good as theirs. Being able to even consider that idea this early in the year speaks volumes about how good Griffin is and how much better they’ll become.
Image Via: Riot Games