Hanwha Life Esports vs. bbq Olivers
Hanwha Life Esports took down the bbq Olivers in 2-0 fashion during its second match of the League of Legends Champions Korea Summer Split early Thursday morning in Seoul, South Korea.
The series was a perfect microcosm for the patch 8.11 metagame as a whole, as both teams seemed perfectly happy to simply pick champions that looked strong in the laning phase and mid-game, without much regard for a "traditional" late game. Consequently, the closest thing to a Marksman that was picked all series was Kim "Lava" Tae-hoon's Lulu in Game 2, whose Lich Bane at least demanded that he auto attack from time to time.
That is not to say that the teams picked without regard for composition, however, as both sides entered the series with some rather interesting -- if dubiously effective -- ideas regarding how best to exploit the topsy-turvy patch. Hanwha started off the series with an extremely exciting composition that included four semi-global mobility tools that allowed it to play fast and loose around the map in a way that the Olivers simply couldn't answer.
Yun "SeongHwan" Seong-hwan's Nocturne was of special note in Game 1, as his performance was one of the few successful ones the champion has seen in the past year, and he ensured that Kim "Crazy" Jae-hee struggled to find even a single profitable use for Stand United when his Shen.
Game 2 was even more crazy, however, as when bbq found itself with its back to the wall, it pulled out the biggest cheese of them all -- the now infamous Nunu/Karthus. Hanwha did an excellent job of demonstrating why that strategy belongs in the solo queue and not competitive play, however, as their superior coordination made it a rather simple affair to simply kill Kang "Tempt" Myung-gu's Karthus and then either back off or press forward far enough that he'd find little use for his death-defying passive. Considering this strategy has, to date, lost every game in which it has been employed, it's safe to say that we're unlikely to see too many more games of Karthus following a poverty-stricken Nunu around the jungle, killing all of his camps.
Hanwha Life Esports will take to the rift once more at 7 a.m. ET on Sunday when it takes on the Jin Air Green Wings, while the bbq Olivers will face off against Griffin at 7 a.m. ET on Saturday.
Griffin vs. MVP
Griffin, the newest team to the LCK, took its second victory of the Summer Split early Thursday in Seoul, South Korea when it crushed MVP in a quick 2-0 stomp.
If you wanted a lesson on just why the 8.11 metagame has featured such unorthodox bottom lane picks, look no further than Game 1 of this series. MVP decided to match Park "Viper" Do-hyeon's Vladimir with an Ezreal pick for Oh "MaHa" Hyun-sik, and the mismatch became obvious rather quickly. While MaHa held full control over the lane thanks to his shorter cooldowns, the moment teamfights started in earnest, it was Viper's Vladimir that held the upper hand, as the heavily weakened base stats on Ezreal made MaHa an extremely vulnerable target. A single Hemoplauge was enough to remove either of MVP's carries from combat via gray screen, and MaHa's Ezreal simply couldn't do anything comparable. It took but one big teamfight for Griffin to take full control of the game and push straight to the Nexus for the 39-minute Game 1 win.
The second game was even less competitive, however, but not due to MVP's decision to once again run a Marksman in the bottom lane, this time Na "Pilot" Woo-hyung's Lucian. This time the mismatch was found in the top lane, where newcomer Choi "Sword" Sung-won crushed the veteran Kang "ADD' Geon-mo with, of all things, Doctor Mundo. With ADD all but out of the game, along with a complete lack of tanks on the side of MVP, it was easy for Sword to turn his rampage in the top lane into a map-wide affair. Before long, he was diving towers and chasing down anything on the side of MVP that dared move, which led to the match's early conclusion with a near perfect game on the side of Griffin.
Griffin's next match come at 7 a.m. ET on Saturday where it will take on the bbq Olivers. Team MVP will take to the rift once more at 4 a.m. ET on Sunday when it faces Gen.G.