[LCK Playoffs Preview] 'The Gatekeepers' vs 'The Titans': A preview of the LCK wildcard match between AF vs T1


On August 25, the 2020 LCK Summer Playoffs the best-of-three wildcard match will take place between Afreeca Freecs and T1. 



This split, Afreeca Freecs have been the gatekeepers of the LCK. They showed dominance against the teams in the lower half of the standings, but failed to pick up any victories against the top four teams. Many analysts and experts have pinned this inconsistency on Mystic, as he was caught out on numerous different occasions during mid-game macro.



Mystic plays very greedily. From CS, experience, kills, and any other aspects in between, he always likes to stay ahead of the enemy. While this kind of mindset is something that every player has as a whole, there were moments where Mystic was getting unnecessarily getting caught out. However, he had his moments of glory in teamfights, where he survived with a sliver of health, while kiting out the enemy champions.



The clear favorite to move onto the next stage of the playoffs is T1. While T1 struggled this split to show the same dominance as when they became spring champions, they managed to shift their momentum by subbing out the legendary Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok for the rookie mid laner with much hype behind him, Lee "Clozer" Ju-hyeon. The move was a hit: Clozer debuted with a win against Telecom rivals KT and unlocked a massive win streak for T1, seemingly about to turn things around for the team.


The win streak came to an end at the hands of DAMWON Gaming, the current top dogs of the LCK. That loss was expected, however, and T1 quickly recovered by toppling 2nd place DRX in their last match of the regular split.



While this win over DRX made T1 fans hopeful for the playoffs, game 2 of this series may have also made them nervous, as communication issues seemed to be present with the team. When Faker was subbed in for game 2 of this series, there was a key moment where T1 looked very out of sync with their in-game calls.


A prime example of this is when T1 looked very divided in a teamfight near the baron pit. Lee "Effort" Sang-ho decided to engage into four members of the enemy team, with Faker following up via Galio ultimate. The one problem with this was that the other half of T1 was nowhere near to follow up, as Moon "Cuzz" Woo-chan and Kim "Canna" Chang-dong were zoned out by Choi "Doran" Hyeon-joon’s Akali. While the loss does not fall on Faker’s inability to perform on an individual level, there seems to be a clear difference in the communication dynamics of the two mid laners with their team.


The teamfight in question starts @ 2:17 (Source: LCK Youtube)


The key matchup of this series will come in the top lane between Canna and Kiin. Canna has been the saving grace for T1 on numerous occasions. Not only does he score solo kills in lane like wholesale, but his ability to exert pressure through early-game roams, split pushing, and teamfights is something that has left fans in awe. It’ll be up to Kiin, who’s considered to be one of the best top laners in the world, to utilize his knowledge and experience as the veteran in the top lane to outperform Canna.


As the Summer Split nears its ends, the LCK championship trophy and tickets to the 2020 LoL World Championship are both on the line. As T1 and Afreeca Freecs are riding different momentums, it’ll be curious to see which team will move on to face Gen.G in Round 1 of the LCK playoffs.

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