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League of Legends: LCK Summer Week 1 Power Rankings

The LCK Summer Split has finally begun! With it came a lot of surprises to start off the final half of the LCK season. With a couple of roster changes, some teams showcased new starting rosters while some teams stuck with what works. In the end, as with any power rankings at the start of a split, there was a lot of movement, so let’s find out where every team ended up! As always, if you missed last week’s power rankings, you can find them here!

10.Jin Air Green Wings (-)

Courtesy of: LCK Flickr
Current record: 0-2
0-2 vs KT Rolster
1-2 vs SK Telecom T1

Will this be the split that Jin Air Green Wings go winless? As expected at this point, Jin Air remains at 10th in the power rankings after yet another 0-2 week. However, looking back, their first week of action in the Summer Split could’ve ended very differently.

While their match against KT was more of the same as KT slowly but surely won both games in a fairly convincing fashion, their match against SKT was a much different story. For a match that ended 2-1 in favor of SKT, Jin Air had the opportunity to pull off a huge upset and beat SKT 2-0. However, Jin Air’s inability to close out games would cost them as they would throw away their lead as SKT fought back for the victory. While the team ended the week 0-2 they can at least find some positives, mainly in their mostly solid play in the early stages of the game and the continued improvements shown by the likes of ADC Moon “Route” Geom-su.

9.DAMWON Gaming (-6)

Current record: 0-2
1-2 vs Gen.G
0-2 vs Griffin
Courtesy of: LCK Flickr

It was a rough week for DAMWON Gaming as they started the season 0-2 and drop six spots to 9th in the power rankings. Despite a solid finish to the Spring Split, the team came into the first week of the Summer Split looking rough as their performance against both Gen.G and Griffin were clearly lacking.

While the team came out with an amazing game against Gen.G which included with a pentakill from mid laner Heo “ShowMaker” Su with Camille, the team struggled through Games 2 and 3 as they would end up losing against Gen.G. Throughout the series it was more of the same issues as top laner Jang “Nuguri” Ha-gwon struggled as he fell more and more behind while the rest of the team was unable to pick up the slack. Following their disappointing loss to Gen.G, DAMWON’s mental block against Griffin continued as the team was destroyed by the Spring Split runner-ups. While the start of the split was rough for DAMWON, they’re a very capable team that should turn things around fairly quickly. For now, they sit at the bottom of the power rankings.

8.KT Rolster (-3)

Courtesy of: LCK Flickr
Current Record: 1-1
2-0 vs Jin Air Green Wings
0-2 vs Hanwha Life Esports

Despite a great upgrade to their weakest position in the addition of ADC Kim “PraY” Jong-in, KT Rolster find themselves back at the bottom of the power rankings. While the team still has a long split ahead of them to turn things around, their performance in Week 1 was worrying.

While KT had a clean Game 1 victory against Jin Air, they struggled in Game 2 to close out the game with a fairly large lead. Although Jin Air was unable to make the comeback, against a better team KT may not have been as lucky. While there were some positives in their match against Jin Air, the same can’t be said about their 0-2 loss to Hanwha as the entire team simply struggled and were outperformed by their lane opponents. If things continue as it is, it could be another long split for KT.

7.Hanwha Life Esports (+1)

Current record: 1-1
0-2 vs SANDBOX Gaming
2-0 vs KT Rolster
Courtesy of: LCK Flickr

The middling team of LCK continues to live up to their name as they finish week 1 with a 1-1 record. As expected, Hanwha Life Esports lost to a top team in SANDBOX Gaming and beat a lower tier team in KT Rolster. While the results were expected, Hanwha’s performance was rough.

Against SANDBOX the Hanwha were dominated as top laner Park “Thal” Kwon-hyuk and mid laner Kim “Lava” Tae-hoon were simply outclassed. However, as a result of that loss, Hanwha finally made a long-awaited roster change as Thal was benched against KT in favor of Kim “SoHwan” Jun-yeong who had a great performance. In the end, however, the most impressive players were once again the bot lane of ADC Gwon “Sangyoon” Sang-yun and support Kim “key” Han-gi as they held their own against SANDBOX’s bot lane and dominated KT’s bot lane. As stated before, if Hanwha wants to improve this season, it’ll likely be thanks to the performance of Sangyoon and key.

6.Gen.G (+1)

Courtesy of: LCK Flickr
Current record: 1-1
2-1 vs DAMWON Gaming
0-2 vs Kingzone DragonX

While Gen.G were likely hoping for a 2-0 week to start off their Summer Split, the team still had a respectable start and showed some potential. Now it becomes a question of how the team will perform for the rest of the split.

While most of the team struggled against Kingzone as ADC  Park “Ruler” Jae-hyuk tried to drag the team to victory to finish off the week, their opening match against DAMWON was a good sign of how well the team can perform. In their opening match against DAMWON top laner Lee “CuVee” Seong-jin and jungler Han “Peanut” Wang-ho both showed that they’re both still capable of having good performances and be key playmakers for the team. Meanwhile, new mid laner Lee “Kuzan” Seong-hyeok had a solid showing as he made a strong argument to remain the starter instead of Song “Fly” Yong-jun. While Gen.G is known for their amazing runs through the gauntlet to qualify for worlds, this Gen.G team will still have a long road ahead of them. Will they be able to continue the legacy? Or will they struggle once again?

5.SK Telecom T1(-4)

Current record: 1-1
2-1 vs Jin Air Green Wings
1-2 vs Afreeca Freecs
Courtesy of: LCK Flickr

The post-MSI fatigue continues to dominate as SK Telecom T1 has a very rough start to the Summer Split. While the team started the split out 1-1, SKT was very close to starting the split out 0-2 with a loss to Jin Air.

Although SKT were fortunate to win Game 1 against Jin Air, they were still dominated in Game 2 as Jin Air was able to close that game out. While they were able to return the favor and dominate Game 3 for the victory, it was a worrying performance overall which would carry over to their match against Afreeca. During that loss to Afreeca, most of the team struggled once again as ADC Park “Teddy” Jin-seong tried to carry the team to victory. Luckily for SKT, they are still the favorites to win the Summer Split. However, their rough start to the season will still drop them to 5th in the power rankings to start off the split.

4.SANDBOX Gaming (-)

Courtesy of: LCK Flickr
Current record: 1-1
2-0 vs Hanwha Life Esports
0-2 vs Kingzone DragonX

While SANDBOX Gaming had a solid showing in their first week of the Summer Split, the same issues remain. Most notably, their difficulties with closing out games as the game reached the later stages despite large early game leads. Hopefully, the team will be able to fix this issue soon as it could be their downfall if it continues to remain an issue for another split.

This issue was most evident in their 2-0 victory over Hanwha. In both games, SANDBOX was able to create large leads in the early to mid stages of the game. However, each time the game dragged on until SANDBOX was able to eventually get the win. This issue becomes a lot bigger when SANDBOX is behind as evident in Game 2 against Kingzone as their questionable decision-making eliminated any chance of a comeback. As a result of this lingering issue, SANDBOX stays put in the power rankings at 4th.

3.Afreeca Freecs (+6)

Current record: 1-1
1-2 vs Griffin
2-1 vs SK Telecom T1
Courtesy of: LCK Flickr

Afreeca Freecs had a rough Spring Split, to say the least. However, it seems reports of their demise were exaggerated as the team came out to an amazing start of the Summer Split. With a set starting roster unlike last split, the team will have a great chance to make the playoffs and be a legit contender.

While they started week 1 with a 1-1 record, the team faced some very strong competition in Griffin and SK Telecom T1. Through both matches, every player on the roster played great. Top laner Kim “Kiin” Gi-in continued to show why he’s considered one of the best top laners in Korea. Meanwhile, the likes of jungler Lee “Dread” Jin-hyeok and mid laner Son “Ucal” Woo-hyeon played much better than they did during the Spring Split with Ucal playing at a form similar to his performance as a member of KT Rolster. With a great showing in the first week, Afreeca Freecs could be a huge threat for the rest of the split as long as they can maintain their level of play.

2.Griffin (-)

Courtesy of: LCK Flickr
Current record: 2-0
2-1 vs Afreeca Freecs
2-0 vs DAMWON Gaming

The runner-ups of the Spring Split began their summer campaign much like how they began their spring campaign, with two wins. While the team has a lot of questions they’ll have to answer as the split continues, their first two matches were reassuring that perhaps they can succeed this split.

Through their matches against Afreeca and DAMWON, the entire team looked solid throughout each game. One standout player, however, was top laner Choi “Sword” Sung-won, who had some great games on the likes of Aatrox and Jayce. If Sword can continue to have great performances on carry top laners, then Griffin could be on the right track to hopefully fix their mistakes. While Griffin is still one of the favorites, this could be their last chance to prove the doubters wrong and win a title. If not, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see roster changes if the team struggles at any point.

1.Kingzone DragonX (+5)

Current record: 2-0
2-0 vs Gen.G
2-0 vs SANDBOX Gaming
Courtesy of: LCK Flickr

Finally, the team that looked the best coming out of the first week and find themselves at the top of the power rankings is Kingzone DragonX. While there were some worries about how well mid laner Yoo “Naehyun” Nae-hyun would perform as Heo “PawN” Won-seok decided to take a break due to injuries, Naehyun has been very impressive. Overall, the team as a whole looks much better as Kingzone looks to win it all this split.

Across both games, everyone on Kingzone showed huge improvements since their last appearance in the Spring Split playoffs. Top laner Kim “Rascal” Kwang-hee and jungler Moon “Cuzz” Woo-chan continue to improve as they slowly become world class players. Meanwhile Naehyun had some amazing games as mentioned earlier and the bot lane tandem of ADC Kim “Deft” Hyuk-kyu and support Park “TusiN” Jong-ik continues to be one the best in the league. It may still be early in the season, but if Kingzone can continue to play at this level, they could become the team to beat.

 

To watch League of Legends tournaments, visit watch.na.lolesports.com. For more information on the Split, teams, standings, and players, visit www.lolesports.com. Recaps of former weeks and other LoL content can be found at https://thegamehaus.com/league-of-legends/.

Featured image courtesy of LCK flickr.

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