Dragonslayers: The Meteoric Rise of Team Griffin

In the first day of the third week of the League of Legends Champions Korea, Team Griffin stunned everyone following the Korean League of Legends professional scene. They managed to defeat King-Zone DragonX, the two-time LCK champions, with a score of 2-0, effectively securing first place in the summer split so far.

Mind you, what set their win apart was how they did it. It wasn’t just a simple fluke. Both of their wins came in convincing fashion, one-sided even.

Lest we forget, defeating King-Zone is no easy feat. After all, they ended the spring split with a 16-2 record. But, what makes Team Griffin even more impressive is that this is an all-rookie team. This means that all six of their players have never had any competitive experience in South Korea before, and they’re already taking down seasoned veterans who have carved their names into the history of competitive League of Legends.

Team Griffin was just recently promoted from the Challenge scene, and this is their first time playing in the LCK. Once dubbed as the “King-Zone DragonX of the Challenger scene” as they swept the competition in the lower league, they have yet to drop a single series this year. Their current record is a whopping 22-0 match wins, only having dropped a few games here and there.

Seeing as these are fresh faces in the LCK, how could we begin to make sense of their strengths?

What Makes Team Griffin So Good?

Team Griffin

Lehends was able to use Shen to effectively start fights, assist teammates, and make great escapes when his life was in danger. (League of Legends)

What sets Team Griffin apart is their grasp of the current meta game.

With them having entered the LCK on patch 8.11, they showed that they had the capability to play a plethora of strategies, whether it’s a gold-funnelling composition, a bottom lane with bruisers or mages, or our more “standard” compositions. What is interesting here is that the members possess the champion pools to match these strategies.

In this respect, Griffin’s bottom lane shines the most. Son “Lehends” Si-woo is known in Korean solo queue as a Singed main, and that he picks off-meta champions like Elise for the support role. Park “Viper” Do-hyeon has shown a functional mastery of any viable champion class in the bottom lane— he has shown he can pick bruisers, mages, or even traditional marksmen. Drafting against them is quite difficult as many picks rest in their pockets.

Two Is Better Than One

Another thing worth mentioning is their middle lane. This is the only position where they have two players: Shin “Rather” Hyeong-seop and Jeong “Chovy” Ji-hoon. Rather can be seen to be the more supportive mid laner, as he usually picks champions like Lulu who help other members of the team, or champions like Galio which could be counted on to initiate fights or turn the tides of an ongoing one. Chovy, on the other hand, is the more mechanically skilled laner: with picks like Zoe or Irelia, he has dominated matchups and is counted on to deal the most damage in team fights.

Overall, everyone in the team is very capable of either sitting back and letting someone else carry or to do the carrying themselves. True, they are not perfect. Their macro and map play are sloppy at times. But, those issues are fixable. More so when their team fighting is almost always on point — when Team Griffin find themselves in a fight, you best expect that they will come out on top.

Final Thoughts

Team Griffin ar emaking history as the first ever all-rookie team to take the LCK by storm. What’s even more amazing is how old these players are — they are only 17 years old!

This means that at the time that the legendary player Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok was just beginning, these players weren’t even teenagers yet! For an esport like League of Legends to ensure its longevity, some young blood needs to be in the scene from time to time.

How Team Griffin progresses this split will be a point of interest. Of course, the season has only started yet, and we have yet to see the rest of it unfold. We may have seen Team Griffin slay a dragon, but the question now is if they can do it again, and again, and again.

What do you think of the performance of Team Griffin in the LCK? How will they fare against other top teams? Let us know in the comment section below!

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