With the initial elimination round of KeSPA Cup 2018 set to start on the 18th, the rosters have finally been set. As such, fans are now able to get a better idea of how teams may look going into this tournament and beyond. While the first round isn’t always that exciting due to the nature of LCK versus CK teams. There are a few interesting matches to keep an eye on for fans. Here are just a few of those matches.
SK Telecom T1 vs APK Prince
As with previous articles, it’s hard not to mention SKT considering their stacked roster. While APK won’t be a huge challenge (they were 0-14 in CK Summer) for the SKT roster, there will be some very familiar faces for APK. Joining their roster for the upcoming season will be former Jin Air jungler Lee “KaKAO” Byung-kwon and former Golden Guardians mid laner Son “Mickey” Young-min. While all eyes will be on SKT, this match will also provide a good chance for fans to see how KaKAO and Mickey perform after limited play near the end of last season. If they can have a good showing even in a loss to a vastly superior SKT roster.
Meanwhile, on SKT’s side, this should be a fairly simple match for them, but it will provide them a great chance to begin developing synergy. On top of that, it’ll be the first chance fans get to watch this stacked roster in action. While this match won’t be any real indication of how the teams will do going forward, it should be a fairly entertaining match.
While the match will be fairly entertaining, the skill gap between the two teams is quite big. Because of this reason, I predict the series will go 2-0 in favor of SKT.
bbq Olivers vs ES Sharks
Unlike the match between SKT and APK, this one will provide a fairly good look at how these teams will match up against each other. As both teams find themselves in CK, this match will be a good chance for fans to start figuring out where each team will do once the actual season begins.
But the biggest story among these teams is bbq Olivers, who signed not only the first import player in Swedish jungler Sebastian “Malice” Edholm, but also the first import coach in Nick “LS” De Cesare. While the team on paper is fairly unknown, it’ll be interesting to see how Malice performs and how LS does with his coaching duties. If bbq Olivers succeed thanks to these two, LS’s goals of setting up a structure to foster Western talent in Korea may become a reality.
While my knowledge on the two teams are limited I’ll be giving the series edge to ES Sharks with a score of 2-1.
Hanwha Life Esports vs Seoul
Much like the match-up between SKT and APK, this match won’t have too much meaning in the long run for these teams. But it will provide a good look into two things. First off, it’ll be a good chance for viewers to see the new Hanwha roster in action. With a fairly new roster all around, the team will have a new playstyle to them. Along with that, it’ll provide fans a nice chance to see jungler Kim “Moojin” Moo-jin in action in Korea.
Meanwhile for Seoul, the winners of 2018 KeG Championship, this will give them a rare opportunity to experience playing in a highly competitive setting against some of the best that Korea has to offer. While they may not win, hopefully his unique experience with stay with them.
With all that being said, I predict a 2-0 stomp for Hanwha Life as the skill gap between the two teams is simply too big.
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Featured image courtesy of KeSPA.
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