Griffin bounces back in the LCK while KT Rolster continues to rise

Griffin's success as a rookie squad in the toughest League of Legends region in the world has caught the eye of fans both in South Korea and abroad. Photo by Yong Woo "kenzi" Kim

Griffin 1, Kingzone DragonX 0

Griffin kicked off Week 6 in the League of Legends Champions Korea on Tuesday with a 2-0 win over Kingzone DragonX in Seoul.

It's hard to imagine that the Spring Split champions would be handled so thoroughly by a rookie team but Griffin (10-3) simply had Kingzone's number throughout this series. Kingzone focused its draft strategy around sticking support Son "Lehends" Si-woo on a character he's not comfortable on but that was hardly effective as Lehends still managed to play Morgana and Pyke well. Elsewhere across the series, jungler Lee "Tarzan" Seung-yong played phenomenally as Taliyah in Game 1, leading Griffin to its first 44-minute win, and had a good Trundle outing in Game 2 as well, shutting down both of Kingzone's junglers. This win wasn't the result of any one player, though, as all of Griffin combined to dismantle KT, as shown by a nearly perfect Game 2 win. Though it didn't look pretty, Griffin proved again that it can hold its own against the best in Korea, moving to 4-0 in game score over the defending LCK champions.

Kingzone DragonX (8-5) showed some signs of life throughout Game 1 as both top laner Kim "Khan" Dong-ha and the bottom lane duo of carry Kim "PraY" Jong-in and support Kang "GorillA" Beom-hyeon secured heads-up kills in their respective lane matchups. Unfortunately for Kingzone, though, that's about all it would show for the entire series. Kingzone seemed to be off its game against the newcomers, losing some of its crisp shotcalling for sloppy, uninspired play that set it behind once the midgame rolled around. From simply getting kited to death in Game 1 to getting shut out in Game 2, where Kingzone managed to prevent a perfect game by taking out a tower, Kingzone looked outmatched from start to finish. With the top of the standings in the LCK being as close as it is, a loss like this will sting Kingzone come postseason as the defending champions try to reclaim its former dominance over the region.

Kingzone looks to recover by the time it takes on KT Rolster at 4 a.m. ET on Thursday, followed by Griffin preparing for another top-of-the-table matchup against Gen.G at 7 a.m. ET later that day.

--Noah Waltzer

KT ROlster 1, Gen.G

KT Rolster closed out Tuesday's League of Legends Champions Korea slate with a 2-0 win over Gen.G in Seoul.

After this important win, KT (9-4) has moved itself into a tie for second place in the LCK with Gen.G (9-4), closely trailing Griffin (10-3). With the way KT played on Tuesday, though, it's clear which 9-4 team was better. KT Rolster looked like it would get rolled over in Game 1 as it failed to take control of the game early on, but it bounced back late on the back of bottom lane carry Kim "Deft" Hyuk-kyu, who posted a 4/0/6 KDA (kills/deaths/assists) as Xayah in the 50-minute comeback win. Deft kept the pain coming in Game 2 as Kai'Sa, picking up kills early and often en route to a 5/0/5 KDA. Of course, Deft had plenty of help, with top laner Song "Smeb" Kyung-ho having two great games as Jayce and Gnar, respectively. Meanwhile, Deft was served up two game MVPs by support Cho "Mata" Se-hyeong, who dazzled in Game 1 as Rakan, breaking the game open for KT late. It took some poor play from Gen.G but KT took home a statement win, proving that it belongs at the top of the standings and that fans have a right to get excited about KT.

Things were looking good for Gen.G in Game 1, with bottom lane carry Park "Ruler" Jae-hyuk's Ezreal farming up a storm while KT's early game composition faltered. Unfortunately, everything fell apart about 40 minutes in when Ruler pushed ahead too far and gave up a game-changing death that allowed KT to swing the game in its favor. Even besides this mistake, however, Gen.G struggled against the mechanical prowess of KT, failing to create much pressure in a more convincing Game 2 loss. The burden to carry was severely heavy on Ruler's shoulders and proved to be too much to handle. Ultimately, Gen.G will learn from this experience about how to best avoid getting momentum turned against it, but one must think that if this team wants to stay competitive, Ruler can't do all the work by himself.

KT Rolster takes on Kingzone DragonX at 4 a.m. ET on Thursday, followed by Gen.G battling league-leaders Griffin at 7 a.m. ET later that day.

-- Waltzer