The opening match of the League of Legends Champions Korea Summer 2018 play-offs is a best-of-three series between Afreeca Freecs and Gen.G.
Gen.G are 1.529 favourites with Dafabet, with the Freecs offered at 2.540 ahead of Sunday’s clash.
Afreeca still dangerous
After looking like one of the better teams in the league, Afreeca struggled down the stretch after their stint at Rift Rivals, narrowly making the play-offs ahead of Hanwha Life Esports.
Afreeca shifted their line-up in their final regular-season series against Jin Air, preferring both Spirit in the Jungle and more surprisingly Kramer in the Bottom lane. They remain incredibly dangerous, with one of the best Top-laners in the league in Kiin giving them an advantage seemingly every game.
Under the radar
Afreeca’s opponents are Gen.G, who have flown under the radar for most of the year. With the introduction of Fly into the Mid lane, Gen.G have looked solid, preferring Ambition in the Jungle down the stretch. One key note for Gen.G is that the meta is more and more in favour of a traditional Marksman, something Gen.G have exclusively run all season long.
The issue with Gen.G is they have generally lacked the high ceilings the other teams in the play-offs have shown, but their experience and consistency could bring them an edge.
Khan key for KING-Z
The winner of the opening match will a best-of-five against KING-ZONE DragonX, with every subsequent series continuing with the best-of-five format.
KING-ZONE have the Summer MVP in Khan, although by most accounts he has been less dominant in this split compared to others, but his consistency and flexibility overall remain the same.
The best sign for KING-ZONE has been the incredible run of form Bdd has shown of late, including his dismantling of SKT to close out their regular season.
The red flag for KING-ZONE this split has been the concern over the Jungle position, but that could have little effect on the game should Khan and Bdd play up to par.
The rise in Marksman also helps out KING-ZONE, with the likes of Ashe rising to prominence being just what the doctor ordered for PraY.
Are Griffin ready?
Griffin await in the semi-finals. They were edged out by kt Rolster for the top seeding (and an automatic place in the final).
Griffin have been a force all split long, with this incredibly skilled group of young guns willing to try new things with an astonishing success rate.
Griffin have playmakers all over the map, with the currently top-rated in Solo Q Jungler Tarzan at the forefront of their play. Tarzan has been solid all summer, with a long rough performance against kt Rolster in the latter half of the split being one of the few red marks thus far.
Alongside Tarzan is the Bottom-lane combination of Viper and Lehends, with each having their own time to shine. Viper is one of the best carries in the entire league, with Lehends having a small-yet-effective champion pool.
The obvious looming issue for Griffin is their inexperience on this kind of stage, but everything thus far has been pointing towards the squad being ready for the challenge.
kt Rolster top seeds
Finally sitting pretty with a finals berth already are kt Rolster, who claimed the number one seed position with a too-close-for-comfort 2-0 win over MVP.
Doubts will always remain with kt, given their historic issues with falling just when others begin to hype them up. However, at this point little could have been done better; they finished top of the regular-season standings with every team member appearing to fire on all cylinders.
All that is left for kt Rolster is to get the monkey off their back and finally claim the mantle of champions of the LCK.
It’s been a fascinating Korea LCK 2018 Summer Season already, especially with SKT missing the play-offs for the first time.
That has opened up things for the other teams and for the first time all five have a legitimate opportunity to win the title.
kt Rolster will, of course, have the advantage, but also must overcome any momentum that their final opponent brings to the match.