KT hands Griffin its first loss of the summer split

Kim "Deft" Hyuk-kyu and KT Rolster defeated Griffin several times during the LCK regular season. Provided by kenzi/FOMOS

KT Rolster 2, Griffin 0

KT Rolster handed Griffin its first loss of the 2018 League Champions Korea Summer Split on Thursday.

Griffin (6-1) had been on a tear, having won its first six series while only dropping two games along the way. Meanwhile, KT (4-3) struggled to find the form of splits past, coming off a rough loss to SK Telecom T1 (2-4) on Tuesday. Against those odds, however, KT trounced Griffin.

In both games, KT won the draft phase by miles and it showed in how fast each game played out. Game 1 was the quickest of the bunch and it was all because of the beastly Galio from mid laner Son "Ucal" Woo-hyeon. In just about every teamfight, he landed picture perfect skillshots to tear right through Griffin on his way to a 6/0/5 KDA (kills/deaths/assists) that garnered MVP honors. Griffin didn't manage to win a single fight in the 23-minute battle.

Game 2, while much closer this time around, ultimately ended up with the same result. KT made an early focus on the top lane that then translated into leads in every other lane across the map. The difference this time around, however, was that Griffin managed to stand up in a few fights of its own thanks to the Zoe of mid laner Jeong "Chovy" Ji-hoon and Darius of AD carry Park "Viper" Do-hyeon. These mid-game teamfights wins gave Griffin some hope at forcing a Game 3, but it wasn't long before KT's superior draft once again started destroying Griffin in the late game teamfights on its way to a 43-minute win. Griffin is still one of the best teams in the LCK, but it will need to work on its drafting skills in order to prevent this setback from turning into a losing streak.

Griffin face the Afreeca Freecs at 4 a.m. ET on Tuesday, while KT look ahead to the struggling MVP at 7 a.m. ET on Sunday.

--Wyatt Donigan

SKT 0, Kingzone 2

In an incredibly bloody series, Kingzone DragonX managed to cut through SK Telecom T1 on its way to a 2-0 victory.

As teams continue adapting to the ever-changing meta, Kingzone (5-2) and SKT (2-5) decided to simply teamfight with reckless abandon, combining for 59 kills in 69 minutes of gametime. The pace was fast and relentless, which played right into Kingzone's hands.

Kingzone opened the series with the popular funnel strategy that meant getting AD carry Kim "PraY" Jong-in as much CS possible. SKT tried to combat this by engaging whenever possible and, against all odds, it almost worked. SKT mid laner Lee "Faker" Sang-hyeok continued his resurgence this week with another explosive showing on Swain. He doled out damage in droves as SKT won its fair share of fights in the mid game, threatening to take hold of the momentum. Once PraY had time to get his items, however, it was curtains for SKT. Kingzone, on the back of PraY's 10/2/5 KDA (kills/deaths/assists), won the necessary fights that led to a 32-minute victory.

While Kingzone didn't opt for the funnel strategy again, it still owned the tempo for much of the game. SKT tried once more to stand up to Kingzone through plenty of teamfighting, but it could never turn the teamfight wins into objectives. The most telling sequence of this came when SKT picked up a 5-for-3 ace at 31 minutes only to let Kingzone spawn and secure the Baron just three minutes later. That Baron was all Kingzone needed to waltz into SKT's base and take the series. SKT may have taken a step forward with its win over KT Rolster on Tuesday, but this loss essentially countered any positive momentum it might have garnered as it continues to struggle with macro execution.

SKT will hope to gain some momentum when it faces the lowly bbq Olivers at 7 a.m. ET on Saturday, while Kingzone look to start a win streak against Hanwha Life Esports in the preceding game at 4 a.m. ET.

--Wyatt Donigan