The teams from the LMS region had a tough task at Rift Rivals Dalian. Historically, only one LMS team has had good results internationally—Flash Wolves. But even they have had issues in the knockout stages of major tournaments.
That streak of bad luck and poor performances didn’t end on Saturday morning at Rift Rivals Dalian. The LCK teams, which have had a pretty uneven tournament so far, proved they were still capable of beating the LMS, leaving no doubt in a 3-0 sweep in the semifinals.
Machi Esports vs. KINGZONE DragonX
The format of the day was a relay race of sorts, with each team from each region getting a chance to play. The first region to three wins would move on to tomorrow’s final.
The action started with Machi Esports vs. KINGZONE DragonX. The LMS clearly wanted Flash Wolves to play against SK Telecom T1—perceived as the weakest South Korean team—in the second match of the day. That meant Machi would be served up as canon fodder against KINGZONE.
Machi hardly put up a fight. KINGZONE jungler Han “Peanut” Wang-ho ganked early and often for top laner Kim “Khan” Dong-ha. Khan is one of the best top laners in his region, but hasn’t really shown up at an international event. Getting a lead on Darius seemed like all he needed against Machi.
The next match was the LMS’s shot. Flash Wolves had to take down SKT for the region to have a chance.
SK Telecom T1 vs. Flash Wolves
But SKT shut down the Flash Wolves with an unexpected performance from jungler Kang “Blank” Sun-gu. Blank came to the team two years ago as a mechanical marvel, but has been in-and-out of the lineup in the last couple years.
But he got a great start against the Flash Wolves on Nocturne, one of the best junglers in the LCK region. He got ahead in camps and worked well with mid laner Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok to control the middle of the map.
Before the match, SKT mid laner Faker said that, “besides the Flash Wolves, the rest of the LMS needs to work harder.”
It looks like even the Flash Wolves have some more work to do. They really needed that victory to extend the semifinals, but with a loss, that task came down to G-Rex.
G-Rex vs. KT Rolster
Unfortunately, the last game of the day was also a stomp. KT Rolster absolutely destroyed G-Rex. Even when the latter tried to trade turrets to somehow get back into the game, they weren’t able to accomplish the task. It was a sign of a defeated region. KT closed easily to send the LCK through to the final.
The LCK’s job isn’t done yet, though. They have one last chance to beat the LPL in final tomorrow. Before today’s matches, LPL caster Indiana “Froskurinn” Black said that, “I think we already know which region’s the best, it’s the region that’s performing tomorrow.”
But the LCK is also going to play tomorrow, and they have a chance to prove Froskurinn wrong and reclaim their spot on top of the League esports world.