Quick thoughts from the LCK – 1/17

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The defending LCK champions suffered a setback and the presumptive favorites secured an easy win. What did we learn from today’s LCK action?

After yesterday’s first LCK matches, everyone was excited to see what day two had in store. The defending champions – KT Rolster – were set to take on Hanwha Life and everyone was ready to see what Griffin had in store. After the results, what lessons have we learned about the four teams in play?

Greater than the sum of its parts (Hanwha Life Esports vs. KT Rolster)

We got our first three-game series of the LCK season and our first major upset. KT Rolster was coming back after their first LCK championship in the summer of 2018, while Hanwha Life had missed the playoffs. It should have been an easy warm-up game for KT.

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Unfortunately, it was not so, as Hanwha Life took down the defending champions 2:1 thanks to some superb team fighting. After winning the first game of the series, KT fell in Game 2 thanks to some outstanding play from Thal on Urgot and Sangyoon on Ezreal.

In Game 3, Hanwha proved their team fighting superiority, getting a clean ace on a dive at the 12-minute mark. Another well-played team fight at the 33-minute mark around dragon gave Hanwha all the wiggle room they’d need to push into the exposed base and take the game.

While Hanwha did look sharp, it is worth noting that KT did not particularly Score and Smeb, who went a combined 2/11/7 in their two losses. Another KT member to note is Zenit, the rookie who replaced Deft. In his first LCK matches, the young ADC did not look impressive, putting up some of the lowest damage numbers on his team in their two losses.

Griffin is just good (Griffin vs. Kingzone DragonX)

While the first series of the day was a back-and-forth affair, the same could not be said of Griffin’s rout of Kingzone. To say that Griffin dominated the series would be an understatement. Across the board, each member of Griffin mechanically trounced his opponent.

Tarzan and Chovy went deathless throughout the series, with Tarzan picking up 14 kills in the two games on Xin Zhao and Chovy massively outplaying PawN on Akali. The only player on Griffin who died more than two times in any game was Lehends, who posted a still decent 2/4/10 scoreline on support Elise. No, you did not misread that, Griffin picked support Elise, who ended up with more gold than Kingzone’s mid laner.

In watching the game it was completely obvious that Griffin will be the team to beat. Kingzone may not have been ranked at the top of our preseason power rankings, but they were still considered to be a fairly formidable LCK foe. But Griffin ran circles around them nonetheless.

If a team is to take games off Griffin, they’ll have to figure out a way to shut down that mid/jungle synergy. Kingzone tried exploiting the bottom lane, getting their main carry in ADC Deft off on the right foot, securing him first blood in Game 1 and early bot-side pressure in Game 2. It didn’t matter, though, as Viper finished both games with a better scoreline, more gold, and fewer deaths (only three on the day).

Next. What to expect from the start of the LCK. dark

What were your impressions from today’s LCK games? Let us know in the comments!

The LCK resumes Friday at 3 AM EST.