The Korean League of Legends scene has arguably produced the highest level of regional play, and this split has been no exception.
KT Rolster Bullet’s new lineup has managed to defeat last split’s second place team and last night’s opponent’s sister team CJ Entus Blaze in what most would call the most brutal quarter-final match that was one of the few that got to a game 5. InSec, previously renowned as one of the top junglers in the world, has shown complete dominance in the top lane this split, taking out some of what many believed to be the best top laners even in the highly competitive Korean scene. He plays a different role than his jungler days, taking on more of a tanky initiator role over a more of a carry top laner. KaKao, the player who took his place in the jungle, continuously proves that he can fill the large shoes InSec left behind. He puts out immense map pressure that allows his laners to do what they do best.
Frost has been switching things up this season. Space has been put in as the starting AD Carry this split, and the middle lane has been occupied by both RapidStar and a top Korean player on the solo queue ladder Ganked By Mom, alternating every few weeks.
With the high level of play throughout the region, the semi-finals of this split for any fan could be as anticipated as any finals. Many fan-favorite teams have made it, and in times like these it’s hard to root for any one team.
CJ Frost swept through NaJin White Shields with a convincing 3-0, while KT Rolster Bullets pulled off the aforementioned 3-2 very exciting face-off against CJ Blaze. This match up was highly anticipated by many fans, as KT Bullets’ quarter finals was so exciting, a 3-2 match by either team was expected.
KTB (Blue Side) vs. CJF (Purple Side)
Thresh Lee Sin
Evelynn Jarvan IV
KTB from their bans focused on shutting down MadLife. They didn’t want the displacement both hooking support champions bring to a fight, nor the amount of pressure CloudTemplar’s Amumu can exert. Frost, on the other hand, focused more on the early game junglers KaKao enjoys playing that help snowball his lanes to achieve the objectives required to win the game.
Bullets opted for double assassins in their Zed and Evelynn picks, focusing more on the early game pressure they can exert and the chaos an Evelynn jungle can put on laners. As far as teamfights would go, the initiation power a Zac brings puts the opposing team on their toes to make sure they don’t get surprised by an Elastic Slingshot into Let’s Bounce! Caitlyn Sona is a strong lane that really puts MadLife’s Alistar pick into a bad position. There is, however, a ticking time bomb on Frost’s team composition that Bullets has to respect; Tristana provides a lot of late-game damage with good tools for self-peel, along with Jarvan and Alistar for even more ridiculous amounts of peel. Frost’s late game lineup would be devastating if Bullets allowed them to get to it.
The game started with the usual wards on both team’s red buffs, however Space’s Tristana managed to steal KaKao’s red for an early level 2 and sudden lane advantage over Bullets’ bot lane. Both teams opted for standard lane match ups, so this was a huge key in Frost’s bot lane’s potential success. KaKao, after seeing his red buff stolen away, went directly to CloudTemplar’s jungle to take away his. This set Jarvan behind quite a lot as he had to back right after doing double golems.
Meanwhile in bot lane, MadLife’s Alistar pick proved to be rather detrimental to the poke and sustain to a Sona Caitlyn provided. Space quickly fell behind in CS and this later held true in terms of power between the marksmen.
The Zed and Ahri match up has become more and more popular in the Korean scene as whoever gets 6 first can kill their opponent and gain a huge lead for their team. As both mid laners hit 6 around the same time, their fight was the first big play that showed either team having an advantage; Ahri landed a charm onto Zed, who directly after used Death Mark. RapidStar dropped extremely low, as did Ryu, however the exchange went in Frost’s favor as Shy used Stand United on Ahri, and then pulled off a clutch Shadow Dash taunt, allowing first blood to be picked up by Shy.
The name of this game was objective control. Bullets double assassin composition required pick offs and making fights 4v5 before they even started. Their early turret aggression allowed this to snowball in their favor. While Frost picked up a few Dragons, their turret pressure was nonexistent, while their own towers kept falling. Frost never got a 5v5 team fight they would have favored and quickly deteriorated. Shy’s Shen was able to land great Shadow Dashes, however Zac’s initiation and displacement proved to be a detriment to any damage Frost needed to deal to win fights. Bullets took a commanding victory, giving them a 1-0 lead in the series.
CJF (Blue Side) vs. KTB (Purple Side)
Lee Sin Thresh
Rammus Jarvan IV
Twisted Fate Karthus
KTB continue to focus on MadLife, not allowing him any of his most played champions. Ryu’s Zed draws out a ban, as does KaKao’s Evelynn. Bullets opts again for the Caitlyn Sona lane, with InSec’s Zac an unstoppable beast in the top lane. Rammus may seem like an interesting pick here, but it’s known as CloudTemplar’s favorite champion, and he has had success with it in the past.
Right from the start Frost’s lanes were being devastated. A Rammus pick requires lanes to at least not be as lost as Frost’s were. InSec continued to prove he was CJ Entus’ top laners’ banes, and RapidStar required a lot of babysitting in his lane by CloudTemplar.
Frost’s bot lane went top to try and 2v1 InSec, and Bullets anticipated this, sending their duo to the top lane as well. Caitlyn’s bullying power in lane and significant pushing power to Vayne has been used time and again to shut down the farm of the hyper scaling late-game marksman, and Space and MadLife struggled against it.
KT showed phenomenal communication, pulling off a successful dive for first blood on Shy’s Shen, while Frost showed a bit of miscommunication throughout the game. The game quickly snowballed in KT Rolster Bullets’ favor as Frost’s coordination slipped, getting Bullets a 2-0 advantage and shocking fans across the world. Frost would have to step up their game in order to not get swept 3-0 and for the first time in OGN history not having a CJ Entus team in the Finals.
KTB (Blue side) vs. CJF (Purple Side)
Thresh Lee Sin
Evelynn Jarvan IV
Realising this could be their final game, Frost tried stepping up their picks and bans. They took away the Sona Caitlyn combo that had been destroying them prior, but this left both Zed and Evelynn open. With a last pick Gragas, Frost looked ready to set themselves up for a 2v1 mid lane to try and shut down Zed. Bullets foresaw this and laned their own duo against Caitlyn Nami, even though this match up is favorable for Caitlyn.
Frost managed to get a lead early on, RapidStar punishing Ryu’s roaming by taking bottom outer turret and securing early dragons, however they made a questionable call that set them back a whole lot. Going down to make sure their own bottom outer turret wasn’t taken, some members of Frost took the route through purple side tribrush, while others went through river. The result ended up costing Frost a 3 for 0 trade in Bullets’ favor and their outer turret bottom. This opened up more of the map for KT, and swung the gold advantage back in their favor. Frost lost team fight after team fight, getting surprised by Evelynn flanks and Zac’s Elastic Slingshot initiates. The lockdown KT Bullets pulled off managed to secure them the 3-0 sweep that surprised many fans every where. The Bullets go on to the finals of the OGN HOT6iX Summer split, and the possibility of securing a first round bye for a world’s spot. CJ Frost will play the loser of this Friday’s loser of the highly anticipated SKT T1 versus MVP Ozone for a chance at securing third place for this season’s summer split.