The Afreeca Freecs stayed alive in the 2018 postseason with a 2-0 win, defeating Gen.G on Sunday in the League Champions Korea playoff bracket.
The Freecs might not be the most intelligent strategic team in the playoffs, but it certainly got the job done through constant aggression and clever drafting on Sunday. From early on in Game 1, the Freecs dominated the series. Led by top laner Kim "Kiin" Gi-in, who had a huge performance throughout the night, ignite Quinn took over Game 1 as a splitpushing presence with unlimited opportunity to join teamfights and catch people off guard. Afreeca couldn't help but take a 47-minute win to go up 1-0 in the series. Kiin's excellent performance was bolstered by bottom laner Ha "Kramer" Jong-hun shirking the almost universally accepted marksmen in the bottom lane for mages like Swain, which put together a 3/1/4 KDA (kills/deaths/assists) in Game 2 for MVP honors.
Throughout the series, Afreeca's gameplan was simple: get in Gen.G's face early on, don't give jungler Kang "Ambition" Chan-yong an inch of space to get comfortable and overall limit the production of bottom laner Park "Ruler" Jae-hyuk. Afreeca's plan worked to perfection in both games, showing the Freecs had a more solid grasp on the meta while revealing some key weaknesses in Gen.G. It was hard to tell which team was the higher seed coming into the playoffs as Afreeca looked like a completely new team in the dominating win.
Poor Gen.G fell victim to a playoff patch change in the worst manner possible. Gen.G's compositions felt outdated, but it was Gen.G's adherence to old strategies that ended up being its undoing. Throughout the Summer Split, Gen.G has been the "take things slow" team, always putting Ruler on a marksman even when mages and bruisers were in vogue in the bottom lane -- but that proclivity for slow play would end up haunting it. Simply put, Gen.G needed to be more proactive early on to avoid getting swept, but it couldn't hang with Afreeca, and thus bows out of playoffs early. The reigning World Champions will now hope to qualify for Worlds through the regional gauntlet.
Afreeca, meanwhile, moves on to the next round to face Kingzone DragonX at 4 a.m. ET on Wednesday.