Kongdoo Monster sweeps defending world champs KSV

Another top team struggled in the LCK the defending (and rebranded) world champion KSV eSports got swept by Kongdoo Monster on Saturday in South Korea. Provided by kenzi/FOMOS

Kongdoo Monster 2, KSV eSports 0

In an unexpected outcome, Kongdoo Monster (2-2) swept KSV eSports (3-1) to open up Saturday's competition in the 2018 League of Legends Champions Korea Spring Split.

Kongdoo Monster started out the series in the driver's seat, essentially taking the lead early and never allowing KSV to breathe. Kongdoo jungler Oh "Raise" Ji-hwan's Jarvan IV led the way for his team's methodical approach to the game, dominating vision control en route to posting a 1/1/12 KDA (kills/deaths/assists). Game 2 was a much closer affair, but this time it was KSV who couldn't maintain its lead going into the late-game. Led by mid laner Lee "Edge" Ho-seong's Zoe, who registered a 4/2/4 KDA, Kongdoo managed to hang around long enough for its offense to come alive, capitalizing on one blown teamfight to clean up the series. That particular teamfight was a microcosm of the entire matchup, as KSV appeared fractured and disjointed, falling 4-to-0 with members of its roster scattered in different sections around the Nexus.

Simply put, the reigning world champions were defeated rather soundly, particularly by a team that has struggled to consistently rank among the very best in the LCK. KSV looked alarmingly ill-prepared by Kongdoo's vision-heavy gameplay, despite earning most of its recent success with a similar playstyle. However, this series could simply be an indicator of how competitive the LCK currently is. Highly-ranked teams such as SKT have floundered to begin the season, which makes this prime time for traditionally weaker teams to finally make a run for the top.

KSV will bring its talent back to the Rift to play MVP on Tuesday at 3 a.m ET, while Kongdoo Monster will follow that series to play Jin Air Green Wings on Tuesday at 6 a.m ET.

Afreeca Freecs 2, ROX Tigers 0

Afreeca Freecs (2-2) swept ROX Tigers (2-2) 2-0 to close out Saturday's competition in the 2018 League of Legends Champions Korea Spring Split.

Afreeca kicked off Game 1 by slowly whittling down ROX Tiger's chances of winning the game, instead of the outright aggression that often defined Afreeca last season. A slow, controlled playstyle paid off in dividends for Afreeca as it cruised to victory thanks to significantly better rotations, claiming neutral objectives and towers with ease. Game 2 was a tighter affair due to ROX somewhat adapting to Afreeca's playstyle. Thankfully the ace in the back pocket was mid laner Lee "Kuro" Seo-haeng's Azir, who served as late-game insurance for Afreeca, eventually finishing with a 4/1/5 KDA. Despite complete control of the early game, ROX was forced to watch Afreeca slowly scale to the point where it became too much to manage. The final teamfight began with Afreeca eviscerating picking members of ROX without much consequence, and from the game was all but over.

Bringing versatility to the table would complicate how teams prepare for Afreeca, but ROX isn't exactly a tough opponent to beat. Afreeca even spotted ROX a 5-to-0 Drake lead in Game 2, but the consequences were minimal. Both of these teams sit tied for third in the standings at 2-2, but Afreeca owns the head-to-head, which is a deciding factor come playoffs.

ROX Tigers will return to the Rift on Wednesday to play Kingzone DragonX at 4 a.m ET, while Afreeca Freecs will finish off that same day against bbq Olivers at 7 a.m ET.