KINGZONE DragonX hand Afreeca Freecs their first loss of summer

KINGZONE DragonX debuted the jungle Nidalee on patch 8.11.

screengrab via OnGameNet

KINGZONE DragonX claimed their third consecutive win earlier today after defeating Afreeca Freecs in a close three-game series.

Yoday’s match had last split’s runners up Afreeca as the favorites to take the series, a rematch of the Spring finals. Afreeca are tied for first place alongside Griffin and Gen.G, and their read on the current meta in combination with laning prowess has put them in contention for the best team in the league. But as the LCK’s back-to-back champions, KINGZONE were not going to let their throne be overthrown so early into summer.

KINGZONE opened this series with one of the most methodical game wins of the new split thus far. Instead of forcing fights and engaging in risky tower dives, KINGZONE chose to play the match slowly with a focus around their composition’s power spikes. This strategy eventually paid off for KINGZONE, who easily picked off parts of Afreeca using Zoe’s sleepy trouble bubble in tandem with Varus’ chain of corruption once the two champions had their core items built.

Afreeca quickly responded with a dominant game two victory, however. Able to get an early double kill in the bot lane with the help of jungler Lee “Mowgli” Jae-ha, Afreeca AD carry Ha “Kramer” Jong-hun then proceeded to snowball this initially lead as Swain. Kramer and Afreeca support Park “TusiN” Jong-ik found another solo kill onto KINGZONE’s duo lane, which allowed them to travel the map and give assistance to their teammates. KINGZONE’s inability to generate a rival lead elsewhere on the map created a big enough gold disparity for Afreeca to easily take the Baron once it spawned and close out the game.

With picks like Swain and Zoe banned in game three, KINGZONE elected to put their match hopes on a risky snowball composition comprised of Nidalee jungle and Kled top lane. Luckily for KINGZONE the risk paid off, and Han “Peanut” Wang-ho’s Nidalee found first blood in the mid lane. This first blood in tandem with the sizeable creep score lead accumulated by Kim “PraY” Jong-in and Kang “GorillA” Beom-hyeon bot lane gave KINGZONE enough of a lead to play and eventually end game three in a similar methodical fashion to game one.

Now just one point behind Afreeca in the standings at fourth place, KINGZONE will try to extend their winstreak to four on June 24 when they face bbq Olivers.