2018 LCK Summer Playoffs Round 1: Kingzone DragonX vs Afreeca Freecs

It might be unexpected, but we’re going to have to deal with the fact that Afreeca Freecs just smashed Gen.G in the Wild Card round. Now, they’ve truly joined the playoffs; this is where the games start getting tough for them, and they don’t seem prepared for what’s coming. Kingzone DragonX are in their prime, and the only time they’ve looked more dominating and intimidating is in the finals for the LCK Spring split. Now that they’re in the 2018 LCK Summer Playoffs Round 1, Afreeca is going to have a really hard time dealing with them.

How Afreeca Freecs won against Gen.G

afreeca freecs 2018 LCK Summer Playoffs Round 1

Afreeca Freecs may have taken Gen.G down, but Kingzone are a far stronger team. (via kenzi Flickr)

Afreeca Freecs would love to think that they defeated Gen.G due to sheer talent and extensive outplays. Unfortunately for them, that wasn’t exactly the case. While it can’t be denied that Afreeca played far better than they’ve done so in the regular split, their performance still left a lot to be desired.

One of the main reasons that Afreeca Freecs were able to put this win under their belt is that Gen.G made some colossal mistakes which AFS were able to take advantage of. In our prediction, we mentioned how Ambition’s win condition was to make sure that Spirit didn’t snowball the game in his team’s favor. Well, as it turns out, Ambition was the one who willingly gave off first blood due to a risky invade which wasn’t necessary whatsoever.

In the second game, Ruler, who was supposed to play in a calm and collected manner, completely inted by flashing forward and missing his entire combo not 10 minutes into the game. By accidentally giving an early advantage to Afreeca Freecs two games in a row, Gen.G spelled out their obliteration from the playoffs of the LCK 2018 Summer Split.

What Afreeca got right

Afreeca did have great macro during this match, which is something we didn’t really give them much credit for. During the first game, although they had an early game composition as compared to Gen.G’s scaling comp, they were still able to skip about and outpace Gen.G through sheer macro movements.

Kiin came through massively for his team, roaming all across the map on his Quinn, and the structures which he took down while the enemy was focusing down neutral objectives paved the way for his team’s victory. Spirit was on fire, and fulfilled all his win conditions during the match, in both games. He took it upon himself to gank each and every single lane, and got his team ahead and kept them there. Afreeca Freecs ended the second game with a 20K gold lead, which speaks volumes for how much they destroyed Gen.G.

Comparing Afreeca Freecs and Kingzone DragonX

Gen.G was a relatively simple team to deal with, unlike Kingzone, who are in a whole other league in terms of their playstyle and composite skill level. Here’s how the players stack against each other for every position:

The Top Lane

kingzone khan 2018 LCK Summer Playoffs Round 1

Khan has been absolutely dominating this split, and it doesn’t look like he’s about to stop. (via kenzi Flickr)

CuVee was able to stand up to Kiin, and perhaps even asserted dominance over him for a few minutes or so. Kiin, Afreeca’s top laner, will have a bit more trouble against Khan, who’ll be facing him this Wednesday. We said that CuVee and Kiin were on par when it came to skill, and only differed in playstyle.

None of that is true when it comes to Khan, who’s even been called the best player in the world on some occasions. His brutally sharp mechanics, coupled with his ability to play in just about any style his team requires him to, make him an insanely formidable laner that no top laner wants to cross. He’s played champions like Mundo, and even solo killed his opponents on that pick. If anyone has a solid hold on the 2018 LCK Summer Playoffs Round 1, it’s Khan.

Kiin likes playing aggressively, but he’s simply outclassed by Khan, because Khan possesses great split pushing skills. His signature pick, Jayce, allows him to simply melt turrets when he’s given some alone time with them. He can even carry team fights, making him nearly impossible to play against.

The Jungle

kingzone peanut 2018 LCK Summer Playoffs Round 1

If Peanut plays to his full potential, his team won’t have any trouble winning. (via kenzi Flickr)

Spirit, Afreeca’s jungler, was able to steal away a victory for his team through aggressive plays. Ambition from Gen.G was unable to keep up with his ganks and clears speeds, which is something Peanut, Kingzone’s jungler, won’t be doing.

Peanut is one of the most celebrated junglers in existence. He fell off while playing for SKT, but that was far from a matter of skill – he couldn’t keep up because the meta swung away from his playstyle. Unfortunately for Spirit, the current meta favors his playstyle. Yes; Spirit is unlucky that the meta revolves around his comfort picks, because Peanut happens to thrive in the same atmosphere.

This puts Spirit in a grievous position because Peanut is a far more accomplished jungler than he is. While Spirit is having a good time in the current meta, Peanut is virtually in heaven. With Champions like Kindred, Olaf, Trundle and Lee Sin in the loom, there’s no limit to how much damage he’ll inflict upon Afreeca Freecs during the 2018 LCK Summer Playoffs Round 1. His plays could absolutely destroy his opponents, which is the likely scenario we’re about to witness this week.

The Mid Lane

kingzone bdd 2018 LCK Summer Playoffs Round 1

Bdd is in the zone, and he’ll be out for blood in the 2018 LCK Summer Playoffs Round 1. (via kenzi Flickr)

Once again, Afreeca Freecs find themselves heavily outmatched because the talent that Kingzone offers is seemingly far superior. Kuro from Afreeca Freecs was visibly having trouble keeping up with Fly, who wasn’t really playing as well as he could have. He kept getting bursted down by Fly’s Zoe even though he was in an even matchup on his Yasuo.

When it comes to Kingzone’s Bdd, very few midlaners on the planet can challenge him right now. He’s on his prime, just like his team, and his solo skills have gone through the roof. He’s been a highly dominant laner, and has been well known throughout the region for quite some time now. His champion pool is versatile, making him nigh on unstoppable. His coordination with Peanut is exemplary, and we’re expecting lots of kills going down in his name during the 2018 LCK Summer Playoffs Round 1 this week.

The Bot Lane

kingzone pray 2018 LCK Summer Playoffs Round 1

All PraY needs to do to win is not int. We’re expecting him to go aggressive, however. (via kenzi Flickr)

Aiming from Afreeca Freecs has been playing subpar to his usual standard, due to which Kramer had to replace him in the match against Gen.G. While his Swain picks worked perfectly against Gen.G’s Ruler, Kingzone DragonX’s PraY might have something else to say about it.

Marksmen are all the rage in the current meta, which is great for PraY, as it gives him the choice between playing something like an Ezreal, Varus, Ashe, or maybe even a Tristana. What’s for sure is that PraY and GorillA form a much stronger bot lane than Aiming and TusiN, and Kramer might have some trouble keeping up with this iconic duo too. There doesn’t seem to be much hope for Afreeca Freecs either way.

The Macro Game

The laning phase isn’t even Kingzone’s final form. They begin to shine once the laning phase has ended because their macro is on point. They don’t blunder about like Gen.G did today. Their macro is on point, and the viewer feels like their playing an elaborate game of chess with their opponents, slowly chipping away at them until there’s nothing left. They even know when to crash down on the enemy to end it all.

Khan can participate in team fights better than Kiin, and he’s a better split pusher as well. Peanut’s jungle pathing can end up failing, but more often than not is unmatched and results in plenty of early kills going in the way of his team. Afreeca Freecs have shown very little of this, and have rather depended on the mistakes that their opponents make to win.

2018 LCK Summer Playoffs Round 1: Match Prediction

kingzone 2018 LCK Summer Playoffs Round 1

Kingzone are definitely the better team in this matchup. (via kenzi Flickr)

Prediction: Kingzone wins 3-1
Time and Date: 13:00 PKT – Wednesday, August 15, 2018

There are plenty of reasons why Kingzone DragonX were on top of our power rankings for the LCK 2018 Summer playoffs. We’ve stated them above. As of now, there’s absolutely no hope Afreeca Freecs to win against them. Had Gen.G won the Wild Card round, there could have been a chance.

However, Kingzone knows exactly how to play around Afreeca Freecs, and AFS will have to fight with blood and tears if they want to win the 2018 LCK Summer Playoffs Round 1 and proceed to the next round of the playoffs. The only way we see Afreeca Freecs winning is if they can somehow manage to abuse Peanut’s aggression to their advantage. But seeing that the match is a best of 5, it’s unreasonable to expect that Kingzone will lose to a small mistake. We’ll give Afreeca some margin, and think they’ll win one match at best. The match should go 3-1 in Kingzone’s favor.

Betting: KDX to win at 1.418 odds (Pinnacle)

What do you think of our analysis of the 2018 LCK Summer Playoffs Round 1 match between Afreeca and Kingzone? Do you think Kingzone will sweep their opponents with as much force as we think? Let us know in the comments below!

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