Griffin rebound against bbq, Afreeca topple KT

Griffin 2-1 bbq Olivers

Griffin rebounded from a mid-series scare to pick up a 2-1 victory over the bbq Olivers in League Champions Korea on Saturday.

For Griffin, this series was all about controlling the pace of the game with its teamfighting prowess. When it was getting ahead in teamfights, it was enjoying comfortable leads. But when bbq stood up to Griffin in fights, Griffin struggled immensely. For bbq, however, it was about trying to mind-game its opponent with powerful selections during the pick-ban phase.

In fact, it was those powerful picks that almost won bbq this series. After Griffin dominated the opening game of the series on the back of Shin "Rather" Hyeong-seop's Vel'Koz and his 5/1/6 KDA (kills/deaths/assists), bbq turned to Dr. Mundo in the top lane for Kim "Crazy" Jae-hee. The pick paid off from the very start as he picked up three kills in the early game to eventually give his team a 6,000-gold lead before 20 minutes had passed. Lending him a helping hand in the proceedings was Kim "Trick" Gang-yun whose Taliyah took control over the jungle and gave Crazy room to maneuver as bbq took Game 2 in 38 minutes.

Forced into a decisive Game 3, Griffin stuck with its strategy of going for teamfights early and often to combat another Dr. Mundo pick from bbq. While bbq tried to contest the focused gameplan from Griffin, it was powerless to stop it as Griffin found its groove in the opening minutes with a first blood. With the early advantage in hand, Griffin -- led by the 3/0/3 KDA from top laner Choi "Sword" Sung-won's Aatrox -- kept up the pressure until bbq crumbled in just 25 minutes. With the win, Griffin has finished its debut week in the LCK with a solid 2-0 record.

Griffin will now look towards a meeting with the Jin Air Green Wings at 1 a.m. ET on Wednesday, while bbq hopes to rebound against the Afreeca Freecs at 7 a.m. ET on Tuesday.

--James Bates

Afreeca 2-1 KT Rolster

The Afreeca Freecs brought home its second victory of the League of Legends Champions Korea 2018 Summer Split early Saturday morning when it took down KT Rolster at the end of a infinitesimally close three game series, securing itself as potentially the strongest team in the league thus far.

The man of the hour was none other than mid laner Lee "Kuro" Seo-haeng, as without his masterful control mage play Afreeca's victory would never have been possible. Indeed, he all but won the first game by himself, as his Anivia pick completely shut down the heavily short-range lineup that KT Rolster brought to the game. The combination of his ability to pick fights apart with his wall and his punishing persistent damage via Glacial Storm left KT Rolster with no way to assail the Freecs. His Vel'koz in Game 3 was no less effective, as it proved to be an effective "lite" version of Anivia, who spent the latter two-thirds of the series banned after Kuro's breakout first game.

Kuro's picks would not have been so effective had it not been for the unorthodox composition that KT Rolster seemed dead-set on running that focused on Mordekaiser and his ability to break open the map with Dragon ghosts to the exclusion of all else. KT Rolster had but one plan in all three games: group up and deathball the dragon pit every time the wurm showed its face. It was a plan that we've seen a few times in the patch 8.11 metagame now, but it's also one that's seen limited success, as selecting Mordekaiser in the marksman role simply introduces too many weaknesses to a team composition. With this strategy forcing AD carry Kim "Deft" Hyuk-kyu into a position where he was easily focused down, it wasn't a tall task for Afreeca to come away with the win.

Afreeca will next take to the stage when it faces off against the bbq Olivers at 7 a.m. ET on Tuesday. KT Rolster will spring back into action just a few hours sooner, however, as it next takes on Kingzone DragonX at 4 a.m. ET on Tuesday.

--James Bates