Griffin topples Hanwha in 2-0 sweep, KT takes down SKT

Griffin's success as a rookie squad in the toughest League of Legends region in the world has caught the eye of fans both in South Korea and abroad. Photo by Yong Woo "kenzi" Kim

Griffin 2, Hanwha Life 0

After losing to Afreeca on Tuesday, Griffin returned to its winning ways and locked down Hanwha Life Esports in a 2-0 sweep to open up Thursday's League of Legends Champions Korea slate in Seoul.

Bouncing back beautifully after getting smashed by another team at the top of the table, Griffin (9-2) made a statement against Hanwha Life (6-5). It's been the case all Summer Split -- Griffin gained early leads through strong laning phases across the map, with its bottom lane securing both first bloods in 2-vs-2 skirmishes. Once the team got rolling, all Hanwha could do was try to find a consolation prize. With breathtaking teamfights, Griffin bullied Hanwha across the map, showing off how it could turn mechanical advantages into map-wide objective control. Everyone on Griffin played well in a pair of sub-35-minute wins but support Son "Lehends" Si-woo shined the brightest, posting a 2/1/12 KDA (kills/deaths/assists) in Game 1 as Morgana before taking Shen into Game 2 and helping his bottom lane partner, Park "Viper" Do-hyeon, earn MVP honors. Make no mistake about it, Griffin's second loss of the season stung, but if this series was any indication, Griffin won't stay on the mat for long.

On the other side of this series was Hanwha Life, a team that has snuck into the top half of the standings. Before this outing, Hanwha had yet to fail at taking a game in any of its series, thanks in large part to the team's willingness to embrace some of the new age strategies introduced. Indeed, it was strange to watch Hanwha not reach for some kind of cheese strategy with its back against the wall, but that wouldn't have changed the fact that Hanwha simply couldn't hang with Griffin. While Hanwha plays well as a team, making solid rotations and playing around objectives as a unit, it lacks individual firepower.

Griffin takes on KT Rolster at 4 a.m. ET on Saturday, followed by Hanwha Life facing SK Telecom T1 at 7 a.m. ET later that day.

--Noah Waltzer

KT Rolster 2, SKT 1

KT Rolster rebounded from an early hiccup to take a 2-1 series win over SK Telecom T1.

From the outset, it looked like SKT (4-7) was going to show it owned the Telecom War matchup against KT (7-4), as it took a big win in Game 1 and looked very much in control. While it wasn't very flashy, SKT buckled down in the late game to come away with the win on the back of a late teamfight that sealed the deal. Game 2 looked to be more of the same as SKT held a sizable lead through 25 minutes while KT looked completely dazed and confused. KT would not be denied that easily, though.

All it took was one teamfight around the Baron pit at 25 minutes for KT to stabilize and start to close the gap. It then secured the game's only Baron 32 minutes in on the back of a steal from jungler Go "Score" Dong-bin, but still struggled to close things out as SKT was swarming and trying to press the issue. It was that swarming that ended up being SKT's undoing, however, as it over-committed to a fight in the mid lane at 35 minutes that saw four members get cut down, allowing KT to march right into the base to lock up the game. That Game 2 turnaround seemed to completely break SKT's spirit, as KT dominated the third and final game from start to finish. By the end of the 29-minute game, SKT narrowly avoided getting hit with a perfect game with just two kills to its name and no objectives to speak of. This rough loss was yet another reminder that SKT has plenty of ground to make up as the Summer Split begins to wind down.

SKT will now look to a matchup with Hanwha Life Esports at 7 a.m. ET on Saturday, while KT will prepare for a tilt with Griffin in at 4 a.m. ET that same day.

--Wyatt Donigan