2018 LCK Summer Playoffs Round 2: Griffin vs Afreeca Freecs

2018 LCK Summer Playoffs Round 2 will see Afreeca Freecs try and continue their upset streak against an even better team in Team Griffin.

The LCK continues to become increasingly convoluted as Afreeca Freecs have now snatched a victory from Kingzone DragonX forcibly. Kingzone didn’t even stand a chance from what we observed, which raises many questions about just how far Afreeca Freecs will go before their winning spree ends. The 2018 LCK Summer Playoffs Round 2 against Griffin is quite a difficult one for a team like Afreeca, but then again, so was Round 1 against Kingzone.

What makes this quarterfinals victory so perplexing is that Afreeca haven’t been able to pull something like this off for an impossible amount of time. They’ve never made it this far into the LCK playoffs, and they’ve taken literally more than a year and a half to defeat Kingzone in this manner.

What Afreeca are and aren’t capable of is now a question that virtually no one holds the knowledge to answer.

Afreeca’s Victory in Round 1: How it Happened

Spirit gave some rather daunting remarks after the game on their playmaking and decisions during the match. Afreeca kept on taking the red side, while any other team would have opted for the blue side of the Rift. They let Kingzone take whatever champions they wanted, and to this, all Spirit had to say was that they did this out of curiosity, and not confidence.

They were simply eager to know what Kingzone DragonX had in store for them.

Kingzone Were too Confident

2018 LCK Summer Playoffs Round 2

Kingzone still have a chance to make it to Worlds despite being thrown off the playoffs. (Image via kenzi Flickr)

Starting off, Kingzone seemed sure that their 1/3/1 composition would smash Afreeca Freecs in the early game, making them snowball to victory. Kingzone were all on their comfort picks, and were looking like they’d easily take the game before the 25-minute mark. None of that happened, of course; Afreeca Freecs completely out-drafted them, and the with their teamfighting composition they were able to counter Kingzone’s playstyle. They scaled successfully, and Kingzone could do nothing but watch as Afreeca took them apart piece by piece.

Afreeca Played Out of Their Minds

2018 LCK Summer Playoffs Round 2

Spirit will need to play with everything he’s got if he wants to beat Tarzan in the 2018 LCK Summer Playoffs Round 2. (Image via kenzi Flickr)

We’re highlighting Kiin specifically because his role was astonishingly well played. He went the opposite of everything he’s done in the split so far: instead of demanding resources and jungler time, he played it safe. His jungler was able to focus on the bot lane and get the Marksman ahead.

Kingzone tried their best by trying to shut Kiin down, but he was able to survive turret dives in two consecutive games! Not only did he survive, he took down one of the two opponents ganking him, buying valuable time for his team, and accumulating gold for himself. Without these two botched turret dives, Kingzone might have taken the games.

Everyone on AFS played spectacularly as well. While their performance was far from perfect, they knew what they had to do, and they did it marvelously. They were able to pull back and survive when Kingzone made advances, and they were also successful in catching Kingzone off-guard.

While the games were half decided in Afreeca’s favor during the draft phase, we can’t help but admire all the mechanically clutch plays they made during the games.

If we get to see the same amount of brainpower and mechanics coming from Afreeca Freecs in 2018 LCK Summer Playoffs Round 2 against Griffin, they’ll easily advance to the finals without any questions asked.

It’s difficult to discern whether if they have a similar read on their opponents this time around.

2018 LCK Summer Playoffs Round 2: The Predicted Winner

2018 LCK Summer Playoffs Round 2

Griffin are an incredibly strong team who’ve slipped up recently. Can they make a comeback? (Image via kenzi Flickr)

Afreeca and Griffin are miles apart when it comes to playstyle. AFS like to draft better than their opponents, and then play the game out patiently while looking for a potential weakness to exploit on the side of their opponents. Griffin are rash and aggressive, and play with a hard fist which has often landed them victories.

What everyone needs to know about Griffin is that their dominance is something of the past. Their summer split wasn’t as great as it seems. Most of their advantage developed in the first round robin, in which they had a perfect record. Everything changed in the second half of the split, however. Teams had a much easier time playing against them, and they went 5-4, which is pretty much average.

Had they gone 5-4 in the first half of the split, they’d be somewhere near Hanwha Life Esports and SK Telecom on the LCK ladder. On the other hand, they’ve had tons of time to prepare for this upcoming match, the victor of whom will have the chance to claim the Summer Split of 2018 for themselves.

The Bot Lane is the Main Difference

During the interview after the game with Kingzone, Spirit voiced his concerns about playing against Griffin. According to him, Griffin were clearly the superior team between the two, and Afreeca would have to rely on Griffin’s mercy to win. In his own words:

“Griffin is too good. I’m going to have the mindset of an underdog and prepare a lot” – Afreeca Freecs Spirit

He also pointed out that Griffin’s bot lane was much better than that of Afreeca Freecs’, which would be a serious problem for them to handle. Owing to how Afreeca were easily able to take Kingzone’s strengths and turned them against them, we can’t simply rule out the possibility that Afreeca have a grand plan brewing.

Afreeca Seem to Have the Upper Hand

Griffin have also begun to show weaknesses in their playstyle, and are no longer the undefeatable team they once were. Afreeca have had far more experience than them in the LCK, which’ll aid them in their battle against Griffin. The 2018 LCK Summer Playoffs Round 2 seems like it could swing either way, but perhaps it’s time that we started trusting Afreeca Freecs. They’ve shown that they’re capable of going up all the way, and have defeated seemingly two better teams consecutively in the playoffs.

We’ll trust that they’ll be able to pull of a similar feat with Griffin, and looking at how Griffin haven’t been doing too great recently, the odds are stacked against them. We think the game will go over to AFS, albeit with difficulty at 3-2.

Betting: Afreeca Freecs to win at 1.87 odds (ArcaneBet)


What do you think of our analysis of the 2018 LCK Summer Playoffs Round 2? Do you think Griffin have the upper hand in this fight, or do you think they’re predictable now? Let us know in the comments below!

All odds courtesy of arcanebet.com unless otherwise stated.

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