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In the final game of Week 9, Day 4 of the League of Legends Champions Korea Summer Split, Jin Air Green Wings squared off against Afreeca Freecs with a playoff spot on the line. In the end the team one spot higher on the table was able to take victory as Afreeca earned a 2-0 sweep to conclude action in Seoul.
The first game of the series was noteworthy for all the wrong reasons. Due to the importance of the game for both teams, the early game acclimation period lasted longer than any other match of the split. First blood did not come until 40 seconds shy of the 30 minute mark as Lee "Kuro" Seo-haeng, on Corki, grew impatient trying to force a fight in the Jin Air jungle.
The complete lack of early game action meant that the latter half of the game held most of the excitement. Afreeca (9-8, 25-21 match record) had a substantial lead 40 minutes into the game, but Jin Air (8-9, 21-19 match record) got a hero play from Kim "SoHwan" Jun-yeong's Gnar. SoHwan stunned four members of Afreeca and singlehandedly put his team in the driver's seat for the first time in Game 1.
From there, the match was Jin Air's to lose -- and that is exactly what the team did. With three Afreeca inhibitors down, the team simply needed to recall, buy, and walk across the map to victory. Yet the simple path was not the one to be taken, and Jin Air broke formation, resulting in its carries being killed. The double AD carry composition of Afreeca was perfectly equipped to punish the blunder, and Kuro's Corki delivered the final blows to the Jin Air Nexus.
Game 2 was far from the best League of Legends the LCK has provided this split, but compared to the slow and plodding Game 1, it was practically a nonstop highlight reel. Both teams were much more willing to take risks as the frequency of skirmishes increased substantially. In a sense, Game 2 felt like a course correction as Afreeca was head and shoulders above its opponent.
Jang "Marin" Gyeong-hwan playing Trundle in the top lane was an unanswerable terror as he finished the game with no deaths and 10 assists on the tank. The significant mobility of the champion was complemented perfectly by Ha "Kramer" Jong-hoon playing Ashe. His Enchanted Crystal Arrow ultimates were accurate all game, allowing the team to pick off any member of Jin Air caught out of position due to Trundle's ability to shred immobilized tanks and carries alike. The game was not always pretty, but the more deserving team punched its ticket to the playoffs.
Afreeca Freecs will face off against SK Telecom T1 in the first round of the LCK Summer Split playoffs at 4 a.m. ET on Friday. Jin Air is finished playing for the year and will next take the Rift during the 2018 LCK Spring Split.