MVP falls to Afreeca Freecs while ROX Tigers outlast Jin Air Green Wings

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Afreeca Freecs 2 - MVP 0

Afreeca Freecs grabbed hold of second place in League of Legends Champions Korea after a decisive 2-0 series victory over MVP on Thursday.

The Freecs earned one of the quickest victories in the LCK so far this split, and while it certainly wasn't without it's hiccups -- MVP looked to be on the verge of winning Game 1 before it threw the opportunity away -- it was as lopsided as you'd expect from a matchup of a title contender and the team ranked 10th.

Game 1 was a rollercoaster that only ended when MVP opted for a 50-50 Baron attempt that ended in disaster when Afreeca jungler Lee "Spirit" Da-yoon stole the Baron. The resulting teamfight also resolved in favor of the Freecs, which left MVP so far behind that a comeback was nearly impossible. Even MVP's significant scaling advantage couldn't help rescue the team, as the Freecs kicked the game into high gear once it took Baron, catapulting themselves to a 10,000-gold lead over the course of the buff -- a Baron power play that yielded 9,800 gold. It took a second Baron from the Freecs to finish the job, but MVP never had any realistic chance of winning after the objective steal.

The second game proved a far less interesting affair. Support Park "TusiN" Jong-ik proved why he is the current favorite for the LCK MVP when he turned around a gank in the bottom lane by flashing aggressively, rather than defensively, a move that so bewildered MVP that it reversed the play entirely. The Freecs came away from what should have been an easy gank for MVP with three kills of their own and the resulting disparity between the two teams' junglers was such that MVP simply couldn't make the plays needed to get back into the game. The Freecs coasted to an early and easy victory thanks to TusiN's efforts.

The Afreeca Freecs will next take to the stage after the Lunar New Year holiday at 3 a.m. ET on Wednesday, February 21 against the Jin Air Green Wings. Team MVP's fans will next get to see its team play at 6 a.m. ET on Saturday, February 10.

--James Bates

ROX Tigers 2 - Jin Air Green Wings 1

The ROX Tigers defeated the Jin Air Green Wings in a middle-of-the-pack battle in the LCK on Thursday.

ROX pushed its way up the standings by defeating Jin Air in a long and tumultuous series. While it was nothing compared to the now legendary match between the Green Wings and SKT T1 from earlier this year, it was still a long series, complete with multiple hour-long games.

Jin Air started off the series completely contrary to expectations. The team that's best known for forfeiting the entire early game in order to play out the late game instead came out swinging against the Tigers. AD carry Park "Teddy" Jin-sung ended the 35-minute game with a double-digit KDA and most of his team weren't far behind as all of their stats were padded in the one-sided contest.

Alas, Jin Air's success was short-lived. The ROX Tigers entered Game 2 with the dream late game composition that included both Kog'Maw for AD carry Kwon "Sangyoon" Sang-yun and Zoe for mid laner Kim "Lava" Tae-hoon, a combination of champions rarely seen on the same team. Those two champions on the ROX side simply did more than their rivals on Jin Air, whose draft didn't include any countermeasures for the hypercarries.

Game 3 was the most even and bloody game of them all, as both teams did a wonderful job of showing off their strengths. For the ROX Tigers, that strength was the ability to play through Kim "Lava" Tae-hoon, who put forward another carry performance on Ryze. Meanwhile, Jin Air enabled AD carry Teddy early on and unleashed him against the Tigers. Unfortunately, Teddy's Varus simply wasn't a hard enough carry, and some misplays around major objectives -- most notably Baron -- cost Jin Air the chance to take the series, and it was the ROX Tigers who stood tall when Game 3 drew to a close.

The Jin Air Green Wings' next showing on Summoner's Rift will be at 3 a.m. ET on Saturday when it takes on Kongdoo Monster. The ROX Tigers, on the other hand, won't play again until after the Lunar New Year holiday when it will face Team MVP at 6:00 a.m. ET on Wednesday February 21.

--James Bates