The Afreeca Freecs continue their march through the LCK playoffs with a 3-1 series win against Kingzone DragonX.
Kingzone DragonX has been the Freecs’ kryptonite ever since they came together as a team last Summer. Afreeca has actually lost seven consecutive matches against them up to this point. The Freecs were definitely the underdog coming into this match. Afreeca were coming off of an impressive 2-0 series sweep over former World Champions Gen. G. Their aggressive, in-your-face style of play would help them neutralize the calm style of Gen. G. Their top laner Kim “Kiin” Gi-in is showing that he could be the best in his position in the world. Even their bottom lane carry Ha “Kramer” Jong-hun would play great on non-traditional bottom lane champs.
However, Kingzone were looking very strong going into the playoffs, with a 13-5 regular season record. The combination of Kim “PraY” Jong-in and Kang “GorillA” Beom-hyeon is always reliable for Kingzone. Also, Kim “Khan” Dong-ha continues to fight for his position as one of the best top laners in the LCK. Han “Peanut” Wang-ho is also one of the best junglers in the world and has been able to show it over the past season. They also play a similar style to Afreeca Freecs, where they are super aggressive in all moments of the match. However, who could come out on top? The high seed Kingzone DragonX? Or would Afreeca Freecs use their momentum from their previous win to carry them into the next round?
Most fans knew that this match would be an exciting one to watch. Both teams adopt an aggressive style of play, and so fights were guaranteed. However, for the first match, it was the Afreeca Freecs who came out on top. After several roams from Freecs’ mid laner Lee “Kuro” Seo-haeng, as well as a couple of surprising solo kills across the map, it was the underdogs who would come out on top, with a 20-7 scoreline. Kramer would actually not die this game, also netting himself eight kills as well.
The second match wasn’t even close, with Afreeca constantly roaming together as a squad. They did not let up any of the pressure and put a lot of focus into the bottom lane early. Additionally, Kiin’s Cho’gath was unkillable during the second game, face tanking multiple Kingzone members. Jungler Lee “Spirit” Da-yoon also had a great Gragas game, with multiple great ultimates to disrupt the KZ carries.
However, it was all Kingzone DragonX in the third match, with Peanut doing work with his Kindred. They were able to adjust their gameplan from using Ryze and the 1-3-1 strategy, to a more team-centric style of play. This would allow Peanut and mid laner Gwak “Bdd” Bo-seong to freely exercise their will and damage upon Afreeca Freecs. They would take the match, 10-6, and force a game four. Unfortunately, game four was a reversal of fortune. Afreeca puts Kuro back on a mobile, roaming champion in LeBlanc and with superior team fighting, they roll Kingzone DragonX over in a 15-5 stomp.
Now, the red-hot Afreeca Freecs are moving on to face off against the new kids on the block in Griffin. This rookie squad has been one of the best teams in the world, taking the LCK by storm. They were actually undefeated for most of the split, but they did lose steam heading into the LCK playoffs. We will see if the Freecs can continue their dominance and take down the fiery Griffin squad in the next matchup.
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