The 2021 LCK Summer split continues to look very different than that of the Spring split. Mid-low tier teams of the Spring split, such as Fredit BRION and Afreeca Freecs are doing much better in the standings than many have predicted, while teams like T1, Hanwha Life Esports, and DRX are heavily underperforming.
Amidst the chaotic battle in the standings, I try to look for the details that stand out among the rest. In volume 2 of Quest’s Musings, I’ll be talking about DWG KIA’s growing pains, and the most interesting itemization in the mid lane that I found in week 3 of the 2021 LCK Summer split.
DWG KIA’s growing pains & the BROs finally goes on a match win-streak.
When I talked about DWG KIA’s new roster last time, I said that they’re setting new standards of pro play. If you don’t remember what I meant by that, please check out my column from last week.
Change is an uncomfortable process to become comfortable. Watching DWG KIA struggle against Fredit BRION and dropping a game against them wasn’t something many expected to happen, no matter how far from perfect this new DWG KIA was. I feel that DWG KIA’s biggest weakness at the moment is in their laning phase; there were multiple instances where there was a CS deficit in the bot lane, as well as the solo kills that Yoon “Hoya” Yong-ho got against Kim “Khan” Dong-ha in the top lane. Their jungler/mid laner, Kim "Canyon" Geon-bu, was the team's saving grace, but his efforts were not enough for them to win the series.
While DK looked much better in their second match of week 3 against Hanwha Life Esports, the series itself was not enough to say that they’ve overcame their growing pains. Consistency is what separates the good teams from the bad, and whatever decision DWG KIA decides to make in the near future with their roster, I hope they’re more consistent with their performance.
I’ll give where credit is due; I think BRO played very well and broke many ppl’s expectations in week 3. In my recent interview with Hoya that was conducted before their second match of week 3, he said that "Our team has never won consecutive matches in a row, so I'm ready to start winning." I was definitely able to see the improvement that they’ve made as the underdogs of the LCK, so I’m very excited to watch how they perform in week 4.
Spellthief’s Edge on mid enchanter champions
One of the most interesting itemization choices that I’ve noticed in week 3 was the purchase of Spellthief’s Edge on a mid enchanter champion. Afreeca Freecs’ mid laner, Song “Fly” Yong-jun, purchased the item on Lulu after the 20-minute mark, in game 1 against Hanwha Life Esports.
So the big question is, why? After the laning phase is over, Lulu has a harder time clearing waves as the minions get tankier. On top of that, because Lulu wants to be near her teammates and always grouping to enchant buffs, she barely has the time to farm after the mid-game.
For 400 gold, Spellthief’s Edge allows her to get gold through the item’s unique passive, ‘Tribute’, which eventually upgrades to ‘Frostfang’, then ‘Shards of True Ice’. In a competitive meta where grouping is ever more important in the mid-game, who can say no to extra wards on the map, great gold income, and free stats? Obviously, if a game ever goes 70 mins+ [I’m looking at you, T1 and NS RedForce!], you’d sell the item, but I think it’s a broken itemization choice that no one is taking advantage of.
Some experts in the scene, like Nicholas “LS” De Cesare and Tim “Nemesis” Lipovšek have been advocating that this should be the norm for years, and I fully agree with them. It was incredibly refreshing to see Fly make that purchase in that game, so I hope to see smarter itemization choices as LCK enters week 4 of the Summer split.
Striving for perfection to achieve excellence in esports