Although only returning two week ago, Korea’s LCK has already begun its first break of 2017. Because of the Lunar New Year, the second week of the LCK was cut short, leaving us with only four games before the week long break.
Despite there only being a few games that occurred over this past week, there are still a couple of things that can be gleaned from the four matches. Without further ado, here are the [few] takeaways from the second week of the LCK.
After rebuilding their roster over the past offseason, a newfound hype was created for what was previously considered one of the most disappointing teams in OGN Champions/LCK history, Longzhu Gaming. Recruiting the ROX Tigers’ duo lane of Kim “PraY” Jong-in and Kang “GorillA” Beom-hyeon, as well as former KT Rolster mid laner Song “Fly” Yong-jun, LZ became a team on the community’s radar. People were once again beginning to hop on board the LZ hype train, believing that this could be the year LZ finally made playoff run.
But after finishing week two with a match record of 1-2, people have begun to question the Blue Dragons. In their match against KT Rolster last week, LZ looked as if they were still plagued with communication issues. This communication issue, which existed within LZ’s previous roster, has carried over and continued to persist into the new year. The fact that LZ continues to resort to having Koo “Expession” Bon-taek split-push relentlessly further indicates the lack of team coordination. It is unknown if this problem stems from the coaching staff or team infrastructure, but hopefully it’s fixed promptly. It may be too early in the season to call something like this, but after seeing the collapse of LZ in 2016, you can never be too careful.
LZ has a pretty lax schedule for the next couple of weeks, playing only Kongdoo Monsters, ROX Tigers and BBQ Olivers. LZ’s true test will come in week five, when they have to play against the Afreeca Freecs and SKT. Hopefully, these communications issues LZ is suffering from are fixed by then.
The Rise of Haru
2016 was not a great year for Kang “Haru” Min-seung, competitively. Playing for the sinking ship that was CJ Entus during the 2016 summer split, there was very little Haru could do to turn the team around. Eventually getting relegated to the Korean challenger series, things were looking bleak for Haru. But nearing the end of 2016, Haru was offered a miracle opportunity to join Samsung Galaxy, the team that just recently finished second at the most recent world championship.
Fast forward to present day and Haru is doing very well for himself. Sharing playing time with Kang “Ambition” Chan-yong, Haru has been playing fantastically in the games he gets to play. In Samsung’s most recent match against MVP, Haru was able to best Kim “Beyond” Kyu-seok, who many considered one of the better LCK junglers at the end of 2016. While Ambition is still the jungler being predominantly played by SSG, keep an eye out for Haru. With the amount of playing time SSG is giving him, Haru will definitely be a player to watch out for in the future.
SK Telecom T1 2-0 ROX Tigers
Samsung Galaxy 2-0 MVP
KT Rolster 2-0 Longzhu Gaming
BBQ Olivers 2-0 Jin Air Green Wings
1. KT Rolster (3-0)
1. SK Telecom T1 (3-0)
3. Samsung Galaxy (2-1)
4. BBQ Olivers (2-1)
5. Afreeca Freecs (1-1)
6. MVP (1-2)
6. Longzhu Gaming (1-2)
8. ROX Tigers (1-2)
9. Kongdoo Monster (0-2)
10. Jin Air Green Wings (0-3)
What was your favorite moment of week two? Let us know by commenting below or tweeting us @GAMURScom.
Article by Malcolm Abbas. Follow him on Twitter @SmashhLoL.
Photos courtesy of INVEN Global, and Samsung Galaxy