And we’re live.! Kick starting the competitive league of legends scene (the important regions anyway) is none other than LoL powerhouse league champions Korea. It feelsbadman for the departure of our beloved Kongdoo Monster and SBENU Sonic boom as they were unsuccessful in maintaining their LCK positions. Today we welcome the two teams that superseded their LCK predecessors ESC Ever and MVP.
While it is difficult to measure how well teams have changed or improved over their break, we will take a glance at the match ups this week and how these teams fair against each other.
Week 1 – Day 1
Afreeca Freecs vs. Long Zhu
Top: Statistically speaking, Expession was a much stronger performed during the laning phase with both a positive cs difference and gold difference at ten minutes. Both top laners had very mediocre performers in their previous splits and I look forward to how they have shaped up during the off-season.
Jungle: Super star Chaser had a very average split during spring. A stand out statistic of his is his participation in first blood (50%). Chaser is a much stronger jungler than lira and will likely have a significant impact on the early aggression that Afreeca will bring forth.
Mid: cyMax looks to debut his LCK career in the middle lane. I’ve never heard of him, but I’m sure he’s nothing short of brilliant, especially when it comes to the intensity of Korean mid laners. cyMax will have to deal with one of the most individually superior Korean mid laners ‘Coco’.
ADC: Sangyoon definitely has my vote for the most improved ADC. He boasts huge stats, big plays and a key ingredient in Afreeca’s victories. I look forward to Sangyoon having another standout season, and am very confident in him beating Fury in a 2v2 match up.
Support: Both very low key supports with very similar statistics in terms of their wards place per minute, kill participation and involvements in first blood.
Prediction: Afreeca Freecs 55% | Long Zhu 45%
CJ Entus vs. ESC Ever
ESC Ever has been itching to enter the LCK for a very, very long time. They beat SKT in the Kespa cup 6 months ago and had a decent performance at IEM Katowice.
While I do believe that CJ Entus is the stronger team in this match-up. Ever has had a very strong track record against their Korean counterparts.
I look forward to a very bloody game, with more stand out performances from CJ Kramer. This also represents Bubbling and Sky’s second LCK split and I expect them to demonstrate more confident and skilful gameplay.
Prediction: CJ Entus 55% | ESC Ever 45%
ROX Tigers vs. Samsung Galaxy
After a disappointing loss to SKT in the spring finals, ROX are looking for another strong season in the lead up to worlds. They are without a doubt going to showcase to us more aggression, quicker games and more focus on top-jungle and mid-jungle synergy and bloodthirsty kills.
While Samsung had a rocky spring split, they were very well known for making huge upsets especially when it came to games against SKT, ROX and Jin Air. The problem with Samsung is that they are heavily reliant on individual skill rather than working together as a team. Especially in the face of ROX who work so well together to set up early leads, it is very likely for Samsung to have an underwhelming early game. Should that weak early game snowball, it’ll be over by the time they can surrender.
Prediction: ROX Tigers 60% | Samsung Galaxy 40%
MVP vs. KT Rolster
I have honestly never watched or heard of these kids from MVP. While it is awesome to see new blood in the LCK, it sucks to know nothing about them aside from the fact that Max looked pretty keen on a photo shoot.
KT had a very impressive spring split finishing second place (they then proceeded to get destroyed by SKT in the gauntlet). KT are without a doubt a very methodical team that can adapt their play-style. Every individual on KT carries their own weight as they work together around objectives and dragon.
Prediction: MVP 40% | KT Rolster 60%
Jin Air Green Wings vs. Long Zhu
The final game of LCK week 1 is wrapped up by none other than what I predict will be a clown fiesta between two very strong teams. But the real question on everybody’s mind is, “why is SKT not playing in week 1”. And the answer to that question is, I don’t know.
Jin Air had a very impressive spring split, finishing fourth with a few moments where they held on to second place. Statistically speaking, they are THE slowest team in the LCK, ranking number 1 for average game time. Despite having such slow games, they are able to maintain sizeable gold leads for most of the game.
Jin Air are without a doubt going to have another very solid season, and I look forward to a very slow paced game in a standard 2v2 bot lane start and a lot of emphasis around dragon and rift herald control.
Prediction: Jin Air Green Wings 60% | Long Zhu 40%