Tomorrow, DWG KIA will face off against T1 at the 2021 LCK Summer finals. Various records are on the line for both teams. DWG KIA looks to continue on their dominance from 2020 Summer and earn a three-peat, while T1 returns to add their 10th LCK championship trophy to their rich legacy.
Both DWG KIA and T1 defeated their respective opponents in round 2 of the playoffs in a dominating fashion. In this week’s Quest’s Musings, I will be breaking down the match ups lane by lane.
Top lane: Jayce a permaban/pick, Gangplank will be the difference-maker
- Jayce is too versatile to be left out
- Gangplank as counter to Gnar, Kennen, Wukong, and Renekton can decide the series
Jayce was always a strong champion, but over the course of this season, his value as a champion went up even more due to his versatility. From dueling to poke, he’s a champion that can fit into any team composition pretty seamlessly, and lethality items being strong is just the icing on the cake.
Gangplank is the champion that will be the difference-maker in this series. He counters both Gnar and Kennen, as well as other meta champions such as Wukong and Renekton. However, Kim "Canna" Chang-dong has never played Gangplank this split, while Kim "Khan" Dong-ha has explicitly picked him to counter champions like Gnar. While I think it’ll be refreshing to see Canna’s Gangplank in action, no one but T1 will know whether or not his Gangplank will be ready for the finals.
Mid/jungle: Rise of the AD junglers
- Diana's jungle clear nerf opened the doors for AD junglers
- Jarvan IV buffs have made him a great option
- Canyon vs. Oner is versatility vs. aggression
- Mid champion priority is on AP mage champions
Patch 11.16 nerfed Diana’s jungle clear, and with the mid lane champion pool mostly being mages, the value of AD junglers went up. The buff to Jarvan IV in patch 11.16 made him flex-able to both top and jungle and knowing BeryL plays odd support picks, maybe we event get to see Aery J4?
Be on the lookout for Lee Sin, Xin Zhao, and Jarvan IV to be mainly jungle picks, but don’t count other champions out just yet. Diana’s the only viable AP jungler left in the meta, and when paired with Yasuo, the synergy between the two is something to be feared.
In terms of the player matchups, Kim "Canyon" Geon-bu has definitely shown more versatility in his champion pool. Moon "Oner" Hyeon-joon finds more comfort in aggressive champions like Lee Sin and Diana, while Canyon can also pull out cards like Zac and Sejuani when necessary.
From the perspective of narratives, ShowMaker vs. Faker definitely is the key matchup of the series. Picks that will give priority will give an edge to early game skirmishes (scuttle crab skirmishes, roaming to other lanes to snowball), but I think it’ll depend on how each team’s jungler paths to unlock mid lane, especially in the early game.
Bot lane: Tradition vs. unorthodox
- Teddy/Keria win out in the 2v2
- BeryL/Ghost need to play pocket picks to out-muscle T1's duo
I’ll just go straight to the point: strictly 2v2, Park "Teddy" Jin-seong and Ryu "Keria" Min-seok are a lot better than Jang "Ghost" Yong-jun and Cho "BeryL" Geon-hee. Teddy likes to play more traditional marksman champions, especially champions that can scale well and be the late-game carry that his team needs, such as Ezreal and Jinx. Ghost, on the other hand, isn’t explosive as Teddy, per se, but likes to play these non-traditional marksmen like Ziggs and Syndra (Syndra-Trundle into Aphelios), and offer the utility and versatility that DWG KIA needs.
It’ll be interesting to watch how Teddy/Keria can "outmuscle" Ghost/BeryL in the laning phase. However, the influence from the top side of the map can definitely impact the snowball in the bot lane, so it’ll be up to the rest of DWG KIA to assist in enabling their bot lane.
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