Kim “Khan” Dong-ha and Kim “Rascal” Kwang-hee will meet each other in a grand final asthe 2021 League of Legends Champions Korea Spring Split has come down to a final bout between DWG Kia and Gen.G. On Apr. 10, one of them will earn a ticket to Iceland and MSI.
Khan and Rascal have known each other for some time, from back when they were teammates in Longzhu Gaming in 2017. For both of them, it was their LCK debut after spending some time abroad.
Khan was the first to shine. With mesmerizing mechanics and spectacular game-sense, his laning, macro, and teamfighting were top tier. There’s yet a Jayce player to match Khan’s from that period. And the more Khan impressed, the more Rascal stayed on the bench. On being Khan’s substitute, Rascal told Inven Global:
“Rather than learning more how to play, I found the identity of my playstyle when I was with Khan. As everyone knows, Khan of that time was a player that had force.”
The identity that Rascal found was becoming a “shield”: a stable, defensive, and sacrificial top laner. At the time, Khan tank champions showed weaknesses, as opposed to his powerful carry picks. Khan’s flaw soon became Rascal’s strength. That was the beginning of “Iron wall” Rascal.
After 2018, Khan and Rascal went their own ways. Three years later, as they are about the face each other in a title fight, Khan is now the oldest player in the LCK. His gameplay is driven more from his experience, rather than raw skill. And Rascal is trying to stand even with him.
Khan joined DWG KIA this season and has been showing a stable and consistent playstyle. He usually picks solid champions that can support his teammates’ carries. This doesn’t mean that his ability to carry declined — when he played champions like Gnar or Gangplank, his presence on the Rift was indeed noticeable. Khan’s biggest strength now would be his wide champion pool and a high understanding of the top lane that comes from a long tenure on the position.
The original “shield”, Rascal has had his ups and downs. In the opening match of the season, Rascal played Camille and picked up five solo kills. During the whole first round, he was the spear of the team and served as the ace of Gen.G. His performance wasn’t that good in the second round, but when the team started picking tank champions for him again, he was back to his old self in no time.
Khan would have the edge for the matchup. His diverse champion pool and performance without a real low point would grant him the edge. As much as they are both team players, it’s important to see who moves better with their team, and from the games and win patterns we’ve seen up to now, DWG KIA utilizes Khan much better.
However, we can never forget Rascal’s Cho’Gath that devoured Khan’s nigh-invincible Sion. There are ways that Rascal could counter. The champion pool, which he’s been expanding since his sub-player days, is almost as diverse as Khan’s. Khan also chose Rascal as the player he’s most aware of and spoke highly of his ex-teammate’s form.
As the top lane meta became more tank-focused, Khan and Rascal might not gather all the spotlight, but the storyline between these players guarantees excitement.