Kingzone struggles against AF, KT sweeps Olivers

Gwak "Bdd" Bo-seong is the mid laner for Kingzone DragonX. Yong Woo Kim

KT Rolster 2-0 bbq Olivers

KT Rolster evened out its season early Thursday morning after defeating bbq Olivers during League Champions Korea in Seoul.

The first game looked promising for bbq Olivers (0-5) out the gate thanks to their draft. In what seemed to be an attempt to hearken back to the success that Kingzone DragonX had earlier in the night against Afreeca Freecs, bbq simple drafted one of Kingzone's lineups. Unfortunately, the combination of Zoe and Varus that served Kingzone so well was useless for the Olivers, as the superior laning mechanics of KT Rolster (2-2) ensured that they stayed competitive in gold until their composition peaked in the mid game. Kim "Deft" Hyuk-kyu also didn't make the same mistake that Afreeca did and drafted a ranged bottom laner, Swain, to face off against Jang "Ghost" Yong-jun's Varus.

It was Game 2 that truly started raising eyebrows, as what had been a perfectly adequate performance from KT Rolster started to fall into shambles once the finish line was within sight. Yoon-jae "Rush" Lee and Woo-hyun "Ucal" Son in particular had rather mixed performances on Nocturne and Taliyah. Kang "Tempt" Myung-gu and Kim "Trick" Kang-yun both had their game of the season thus far, however, as Tempt's Irelia was nearly enough to carry the struggling team into a Game 3 against the suddenly disorganized KT Rolster. A bold Baron call by the Olivers went terribly wrong when Rush miraculously smited away the crucial objective while Deft cleaned up the ensuing fight with Mordekaiser's potent close-range damage. The Baron steal opened up the door to an uncontested Elder Drake for the side of KT Rolster, and in a blink of an eye, a winnable game for bbq Olivers turned into ashes.

KT Rolster takes on Gen.G at 3 a.m. EST on Saturday while bbq Olivers will challenge the rejuvenated Kingzone DragonX on Sunday at 7 a.m. EST.

--James Bates

Kingzone 2-1 Afreeca

Kingzone DragonX scrapped its way to a 2-1 victory over the Afreeca Freecs on Thursday during League Champions Korea.

It was the first victory for Kingzone (3-1) that was worth something, since so far the team's only matchup against one of the LCK's top teams, Gen.G, ended in complete tragedy.

Both AF and Kingzone came into the day eyeing victory, as another win for Afreeca (3-1) would establish it as the uncontested top team in the region. Meanwhile Kingzone was looking to simply recover what could certainly be considered a disappointing early start to the season. At the end of the day, however, Afreeca got ahead of itself and underestimated what may go on to be yet another sleeping giant in the LCK.

Afreeca's mistake was clear from the get-go, as its disrespectful decision to put Kim "Aiming" Ha-ram's Kai'Sa into the bottom lane alongside Bak "TusiN" Jong-ik was punished by Kingzone, who jumped at the opportunity to play a "standard" game. Kingzone utterly smashed the Afreeca bottom lane with its own Varus and Tahm Kench -- a feat made all the easier thanks to an unfortunate miscalculation by Lee "Spirit" Da-yoon that gave up his lead in the jungle. Afreeca ended up without a single truly winning lane.

The defending champs weren't going to coast to an easy win, however, as Afreeca immediately switched over from the standard bottom lane metagame in Game 2. The result was an entirely different contest, especially since Kim "PraY" Jong-in gave up a number of kills over to Ha "Kramer" Jong-hun's Swain, which proceeded to take over alongside both Lee "KurO" Seo-haeng on Zoe and, more critically, TusiN's Alistar, a champion that gave him far more tools to make an impact.

Afreeca seemed to learn nothing from Game 2, and completely outdrafted itself in Game 3 out of fear of Taric and Master Yi. Kingzone found itself once again in complete control of the bottom lane as Kramer picked up Mordekaiser, which matched up quite poorly against the double ranged bottom lane from the side of Kingzone. The critical mistake, however, was the decision to once again put TusiN onto the Shen he piloted in Game 1, and his impact in Game 3 was just as muted. Kingzone grounded the game into an easy victory using a plethora of poke, disengage and siege, and Afreeca had no choice but to watch and pray while its dream of taking first place for the first time in the organization's history was dashed.

Kingzone DragonX will take to the Rift on Sunday at 7 a.m. ET when it takes on the bbq Olivers. The Afreeca Freecs, on the other hand, will face off against Hanhwa-Life Esports on Saturday at 7 a.m ET.

--James Bates