LCK 2018 Summer Playoffs Preview: Everything You Need to Know

The qualifying teams for the LCK 2018 summer playoffs didn’t really come as a surprise to anyone. We’ve all been observing as the top teams have held their places rigorously, not allowing any of the bottom tier teams to cause major upsets. The few upsets that did somehow occur were ultimately meaningless due to their small numbers.

Perhaps the only big surprise about the LCK 2018 summer playoffs is that we won’t be seeing SK Telecom T1 playing. While they obviously haven’t been in top form for quite some time, SKT have always found a way to fight their way to the split playoffs. But, now, they are nowhere to be found. Worse still is that a potential comeback from them is virtually impossible this year, seeing as to how they’re simply so outclassed by their competition.

However, SKT’s demise is the least of the LCK’s worries right now. The entire region seems to have lost its suave. They aren’t the unstoppable, stylish force they once were. That much was obvious during this year’s Rift Rivals and Midseason Invitational. For the longest time, Korea was the region to win it all, but now, the LPL has become a major contender.

What’ll happen in the upcoming international stage will be greatly determined by the performance of the Korean teams during these playoffs, and we’re here to analyze what will go down in the upcoming weeks.

LCK 2018 Summer Playoffs: Schedule

Sunday, August 12, 2018: Wild Card (Afreeca Freecs vs. Gen. G)

Wednesday, August 15, 2018: Round 1 (Kingzone vs. TBD)

Saturday, August 18, 2018: Round 2 (Griffin vs. TBD)

Saturday, September 8, 2018: Finals (KT Rolster vs. TBD)

The LCK 2018 summer playoffs will be comprised of 4 rounds of King of the Hill elimination bracket.

The first round will be the Wild Card, with Afreeca Freecs taking on Gen.G in a best-of-three series. After that, each match will be a best-of-five, with the winner proceeding to the next round.

The winner of the LCK 2018 summer playoffs will automatically earn themselves a ticket to Worlds 2018, along with ₩ 100,000,000 (roughly $88,581 USD) in prize money.

Power Rankings for LCK 2018 Summer Playoffs

Here are our thoughts on how the teams in the playoffs stand right now, lined up from weakest to strongest based on our analysis of their strengths and weaknesses.

5. Afreeca Freecs

LCK 2018 Summer Playoffs

Afreeca might be in for a short run during this year’s playoffs (via kenzi Flickr)

This team barely made it into the playoffs, but that is not the only reason we’ve placed them right at the bottom. The problem with this team is that it’s been horribly consistent. Their place as 6th in the regular season wasn’t just a coincidence. Afreeca have successfully been able to take out all the teams below them regularly. At the same time, they’ve lost to team above them in a similar pattern.

Ki In “Kiin” Kim, the team’s top laner, and Jonghoon “Kramer” Ha, the ADC, have had their moments during this split. They’ve managed to stand out, but we’ve seen multiple mistakes coming from the team’s topside. Occasionally, Kiin will become undependable, given his aggressive, yet unsteady playstyle.

A single mismanaged play could easily cost this team a game or three, and that’s exactly what we think will happen with them this split.

4. Gen.G

LCK 2018 Summer Playoffs

If Gen.G want this year to be anything like the last, they’ll have to step their game up (via kenzi Flickr)

While the start of the year was terrible for Gen.G, they’ve done an immaculate job of getting back up, unlike a certain other team who were in the same league as them. However, they’re still not cut out to win the split. Not in their current shape, at least.

Gen.G’s bot lane has been under-performing when compared to the top teams. They’ve also been lacking when it comes to the top lane.

Overall, which we think Gen.G is likely to win against AFS, they might not go much further.

3. kt Rolster

LCK 2018 Summer Playoffs

kt Rolster may or may not win the split. However, they’re definitely making it to Worlds this year (via kenzi Flickr)

We’re excited for kt Rolster. Everyone’s excited for kt Rolster. Their victory against MVP earned them something that they had craved for so long: being on top of the LCK ladder. However, this is only the beginning of their troubles.

The LCK 2018 summer playoffs is where the real games begin, and kt Rolster don’t seem to be quite prepared.

It’s easy to get hyped after kT rolster won 2-0 against MVP, but what most fans don’t know is how much difficulty the team faced against a team that’s headed for relegation. We simply cannot ignore kt Rolster’s tendency to throw games when the stakes get real.

This year, they’ve certainly worked on improving their weaknesses. They don’t rush into the enemy team and int, for instance. However, they’re still looking unstable, and might need another year to solidify their form.

2. Griffin

LCK 2018 Summer Playoffs

Griffin have a chance to take it all. Will they capitalize? (via kenzi Flickr)

When Griffin came into the LCK scene, they weren’t even expecting to be able to defeat the likes of MVP and Jin Air. Little did anyone know that they’d almost have a perfect split without a single loss. However, as we’ve mentioned before, Griffin was a new team with brand new players that no one knew how to deal with.

Now that teams have had 2 rounds of playing with them, the teams in the LCK are much more comfortable playing against them, and that could be a problem. Unlike other teams in the LCK, Team Griffin lack the veteran feel that so many teams have.

Having said that, their future could go in one of two ways. One is that they’ll take off to the skies like SKT did years ago, and they’ll dominate the League scene for a long period of time. The other is that they’ll be defeated by Kingzone or kt Rolster, and will bide their time to make a bigger splash next year. We see the latter happening this year.

1. Kingzone DragonX

LCK 2018 Summer Playoffs

The current meta heavily favors Peanut, and Kingzone in general (via kenzi Flickr)

Kingzone is the only team among the qualifiers that doesn’t seem to have a weakness. Their top laner, Dongha “Khan” Kim, is the kind of player that every other team wants — a dependable top laner that can play tanks and carries gives Kingzone so much leverage over other teams.

It certainly doesn’t help that the current meta heavily favours Kingzone, and because of this, it’s easy to see them truly asserting their dominance. They’ve already given us a teaser during their match against SKT, in which they absolutely obliterated their opposition.

It’be a huge surprise if Kingzone DragonX don’t end up walking away from the LCK 2018 Summer Playoffs with a win and a berth in the 2018 Season World Championship.

What do you think of our analysis? Do you believe that Kingzone DragonX will push their way to the top? Or do you think they’ll be crushed by Griffin, or perhaps even another team? Let us know in the comments below!

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