SK Telecom stumbles against Kingzone, MVP takes a win over ROX

Kwak "BDD" Bo-seong, Kingzone's mid lane prodigy. Riot Games

Kingzone DragonX 2 - SK Telecom T1 0

Kingzone DragonX tightened its grip on the pole position in the 2018 League of Legends Champions Korea Spring Split by crushing SK Telecom T1 in an unceremonious 2-0 series that didn't even reach a full hour of game time.

SKT (6-7) came into the series riding high after a number of victories against some of the lesser teams in the LCK, but that didn't last long after the two teams clashed. From the beginning it was clear that Kingzone (11-2) were simply playing on a different level from SKT, as not only was its draft far better suited to the new patch's metagame, but its aggressive playstyle as more in line with the new, faster gameplay that patch 8.4 introduced. Gwak "BDD" Bo-seong reintroduced Korea to Sion mid lane in Game 1, which was effective enough that it shut down Lee "Faker" Sang-hyeok's legendary Ryze.

If there was any player who benefited from the new patch most of all, however, it was Kingzone's jungler, Han "Peanut" Wang-ho. The notoriously aggressive jungler looked quite at home in a metagame where games are projected to last little more than a half hour. There was no question which team's jungler had the better read on the patch, as Peanut was one of the first junglers in the LCK to make Park "Blossom" Beom-chan look like the rookie that he is. SKT's humiliating defeat in Game 2 can easily be traced back to the mismatch between Blossom and Peanut, as Peanut ended the game Legendary with an 11/0/6 KD (kills/deaths/assists) on his pocket Olaf, while Blossom's Camille ended the game 1/8/1 after having almost no impact on the game whatsoever.

Kingzone's next match will come at 7 a.m. on Sunday against the bbq Olivers. Fans of SKT T1 will have to wait far less to see their team retake the stage, as its next plays against KT Rolster in the second round of the Telecom Wars at 3 a.m. on Thursday.

--James Bates

MVP 2 - ROX Tigers 0

MVP picked up its fourth victory Tuesday when it defeated the ROX Tigers in a 2-0 sweep in League of Legends Champions Korea.

If the first series of the day was a contest of who could better adapt to the new patch, this series was the complete opposite. MVP (4-8), in defiance of the patch's emphasis on early-game compositions, simply opted to draft the same sort of late game compositions that were a common sight on the Rift last patch. That decision put the pressure upon the ROX Tigers (7-5) to make as few mistakes as possible, as any games that went beyond the half-hour mark would be MVP's by default. It was a dangerous gamble to make -- especially considering the vast disparity between the two teams in the standings -- but one that paid off in spades for MVP. The Tigers stumbled just enough that MVP managed to stall in both games, then win in the late game once its composition was fully unlocked.

Make no mistake, however -- this was far from a convincing victory for MVP. The greatest accomplishment that MVP can claim was that is stayed in the game long enough to let the ROX Tigers trip over its own feet with the new patch. Still, even that would have been beyond the old MVP, as the team that took to the Rift on Tuesday were equipped with a secret weapon in AD carry Na "Pilot" Woo-hyung. Pilot was the key to MVP's success, as his was the basket in which MVP invested all its chips. As his stratospheric series KDA of 18/1/14 proved, that was an excellent decision on the part of MVP, who looked completely in control of the late game once it was able to completely play around its newest addition to get the much-needed win.

MVP will get its chance to test this newfound mastery of the late game at 3 a.m. on Saturday when it faces the Jin Air Green Wings. The ROX Tigers will go on to once again try to climb up the standings when it takes on the Afreeca Freecs at 6 a.m. on Thursday.

--James Bates