After an exciting wildcard round, the true playoffs begin as Kingzone DragonX is set to face off against DAMWON Gaming in the quarterfinals. While both teams started the season in different situations, they now face off with a shared goal: Win and move on to the semifinals where SK Telecom T1 awaits them. Who will win and move on? Let’s take a look and find out now!
DAMWON Gaming: The Run Continues
After a hard-fought victory over SANDBOX Gaming, DAMWON Gaming has managed to reach the quarterfinals.
During their series against SANDBOX, fans were able to witness DAMWON’s improvements through the regular season finally come together. The team as a whole looked perfectly in sync, making amazing calls like their sneaky baron in game 1. On top of that, the individual play of their players has continued to be impressive. Top laner Jang “Nuguri” Ha-gwon looked very comfortable on Ryze and often made game-winning plays. Meanwhile, mid laner Heo “ShowMaker” Su was unstoppable on Corki, ending with an 11/0/10 statline after two games.
For DAMWON there isn’t much the team needs to change heading into their match against Kingzone. As long as they maintain the same level of play, it should be an easy win for the squad.
Kingzone DragonX: Not Just a One Man Show
Against all odds and expectations, Kingzone DragonX finds themselves in the quarterfinals. Out of all the teams in the playoffs, Kingzone may be the team that has improved the most as time went on.
While the team was once considered a one-man army with the great play of ADC Kim “Deft” Hyuk-kyu. Luckily for Kingzone as the season progressed the Deft show became less apparent with the slow improvement of a few players on the team. The most notable improvement came from jungler Moon “Cuzz” Woo-chan, who slowly became one of the best junglers in the region. Along with Cuzz, the return of form by mid laner Heo “PawN” Won-seok was very welcome as well. While PawN isn’t quite at the same level as his Samsung White days, he has become one of the top tier mid laners in Korea once again.
While the team no longer has to rely on Deft to completely take over the game for a victory, it still is one of their main win conditions. In a must-win scenario like the playoffs, nerves could be high for the team. Because of this, it would be surprising if Kingzone decides to not focus their resources on Deft.
This series will likely come down to which carry can take over the game. Kingzone have a clear advantage in the bot lane as Deft and support Park “TusiN” Jong-ik over their counterpart in Sin “Nuclear” Jeong-hyeon and Cho “BeryL” Geon-hee. Meanwhile, DAMWON have a clear advantage top side as Nuguri should have a very easy time against Kim “Rascal” Kwang-hee. In the long run, DAMWON as a whole looks like the stronger team and has what it takes to shut down Deft. If Deft does get shut down, it’s hard to imagine any other player on Kingzone being capable of dominating their lane and taking over.
Despite that, the series will likely be close and could go either way. But I do see DAMWON taking the series 3-1.
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