Hanwha defeats Olivers, SKT shuts down Jin Air

SKT T1's Bae "Bang" Jun-sik plays AD Carry for SK Telecom T1. Riot Games

Hanwha Life 2, bbq Olivers 1

Hanwha Life continued its seemingly inevitable march to its first playoff run when it beat the bbq Olivers at the end of a three-game series during the 2018 League of Legends Champions Korea Summer Split.

Both teams have come a long way since the beginning of the split, back when Hanwha was still a Wild Card and bbq seemed incapable of winning a single game. While it was clear from the onset that Hanwha, who inherited the ROX Tigers roster from the 2018 Spring Split, was the better-rounded team, there was definitely signs of life from bbq. Hanwha certainly didn't have much time to secure a victory, as the return of Azir to the metagame enabled bbq since its mid laner, Kang "Tempt" Myung-gu, is one of the most fearsome pilots of the champion in the LCK.

Bbq would find its late-game chance snatched away time and again, however, as a race against the clock suited Hanwha just fine. No one benefited more from the free reign that Hanwha had during the early game than mid laner Kim "Lava" Tae-hoon, whose Ryze play wasn't simply masterful, but game-changing. A brilliant and aggressive chase from Lava is what shattered the Olivers' hopes of out-scaling Hanwha in Game 3 of the series and ultimately led to Hanwha being able to close out the series with ease. Lava earned the MVP honors once the dust settled and there was simply no other player on the Rift who could hope to match his impact.

Hanwha Life Esports will go on to face off against Kingzone DragonX at 7:00 a.m. ET on Tuesday while bbq Olivers will next play against KT Rolster at 7:00 a.m. ET this Sunday.

--James Bates

SKT 2, Jin Air 0

The series was a tale of two games, as the first game started out with almost 60-minutes of a marathon, something of a tradition where these two teams are concerned -- but ended with the fastest win that SKT have found so far this split. SKT proved quite capable of navigating both extremes, as its superior early game across the series ensured that even when the game went late, SKT were still the ones in the driver's seat.

What would stand out most to the casual observer from the series, however, would not be the result, but the members starting for SKT. The most recognizable face on SKT, Lee "Faker" Sang-hyeok, was nowhere to be found against Jin Air, and it was instead Choi "Pirean" Jun-sik who was starting in the mid lane for the team. Pirean proved a serviceable if unimpressive understudy for the All-Star mid laner, as he was neither a liability nor a particularly valuable asset over the course of the series, which left many lingering questions. Faker has still yet to play a game for his organization ever since its defeat during the most recent incarnation of the Telecom Wars, and as SKT come ever closer to making the playoffs, the question on everyone's mind is -- where's Faker?

Some would even say that SKT look like an even better team with its star working in the shadows, as Bae "Bang" Jun-sik has been performing at a level that has seemed unattainable for years now. This series was no exception, and the utter rout that Jin Air suffered in Game 2 was almost entirely due to Bang's Ezreal, which was legendary before the 20-minute mark had even passed.

Park "Teddy" Jin-sung, long considered one of the best ADCs in the region, couldn't help but succumb to Bang's onslaught in Game 2, a fact that leaves Bang as perhaps one of the most dominant ADCs in the region, a title he's not held since 2015.

SK Telecom T1 faces Gen.G at 4:00 a.m. ET on Sunday. The Jin Air Green Wings will face Team Griffin at 4:00 a.m. ET on Tuesday.

--James Bates