The 2018 LCK Gauntlet is coming to its conclusion! Gen.G tore through SKT T1 and Griffin, and now they’re going to face Kingzone DragonX on September 17. Can Kingzone put a stop to their momentum? Or will Gen.G make another miracle run?
Kingzone DragonX vs Gen.G
It’s been a very rocky split for Kingzone DragonX. The new meta was a massive hit to their team dynamic as Kingzone suddenly found themselves playing with two shaky side lanes. And even though they still have a ton of talent on their roster, they struggle to apply it in teamfights and skirmishes. Of course, it’s been a while since we’ve seen Kingzone play, and a team like that is bound to have a trick or two in store. But it’s adamantly clear they’re no longer the #1 squad in Korea.
Meanwhile, Gen.G are riding the high of their Gauntlet victories. Their match against SKT T1 was incredibly shaky but the entire lineup came together in the series against Griffin. The most important thing here is that Gen.G’s side lanes are actually the best part of the team. On top of that, they showcased impressive objective control and a high level of coordination in teamfights, so as long as they keep this up, they can put the heat on Kingzone.
Top Lane Matchup
In the past, top lane was Kingzone’s strongest position, but that’s no longer the case. With a 3.2 KDA and 9.3 CS per minute, Khan is a capable laner that uses aggressive trades to put his opponent on the back foot. However, he underperforms at just about every other stage of the game. Combine that with the fact that Khan’s aggression leaves him wide open to enemy ganks, and it’s easy to see how he went from a confident ace to an unreliable wildcard.
As for CuVee, he’s getting better and better. Sporting a 3.1 KDA and 9.3 CS per minute, Gen.G top laner is a bit more reserved during the laning phase, but he never fails to make his presence known in teamfights. Moreover, he’s very good at working together with his jungler, which puts a ton of pressure on Khan. Sorry, Kingzone, but this matchup won’t be going in your favor.
VERDICT: GEN CuVee secures a commanding lead in the top lane.
Things are going to get wild in the jungle. With a 4.6 KDA and 5.8 CS per minute, Peanut has the brains and the brawn to be the best jungler in the LCK. And sure, he can’t always cover his bot lane, but few players are better than him at empowering solo laners.
Gen.G also have quite a pair of strong junglers on their side. Holding a 3.3 KDA and 6.2 CS per minute, Haru was the biggest surprise of their match against Griffin. Not only did the jungler start for the entirety of the series but he also acted as the driving force behind their early game. This sudden development makes it unlikely that we’re even going to see Gen.G’s other jungler. Even so, Ambition is a battle-hardened veteran that has 3.0 KDA and 5.1 CS per minute to show for his efforts, so he can be a game-changer in a Bo5 setting.
VERDICT: GEN Haru and Ambition find a small edge over Peanut.
Mid Lane Matchup
The mid lane matchup can turn this series on its head. With a 4.7 KDA and 9.1 CS per minute, Bdd was Kingzone’s best-performing player in the 2018 LCK Summer Split. His laning presence is downright overwhelming but it’s his ability to find roams and cross-map plays that makes him such a force to be reckoned with.
Unfortunately for Gen.G, neither of their mid laners can stand up to such an opponent. With a 5.1 KDA and 8.5 CS per minute, Fly is good at finding roams but he doesn’t have the mechanics to match Kingzone’s mid laner in 1v1s. Holding a 3.0 KDA and 9.3 CS per minute, Crown is a bit better in that regard, but he’s still a far cry from Bdd’s level when it comes to pressuring the map.
VERDICT: KZ Bdd takes over the mid lane.
Bot Lane Matchup
If you’re looking for a single matchup to follow, it’s definitely the bot lane. With a 4.1 KDA and 10.1 CS per minute, PraY made a name for himself as a low-maintenance AD carry that still manages to breeze through teamfights if you leave him unscathed. Meanwhile, his teammate—GorillA—does well to cover him on a wide range of defensive supports, and has a 3.3 KDA to show for his efforts.
This would all be fine and dandy, but recently PraY and GorillA have been looking shaky in 2v2s. And that makes them a huge question mark in face of Gen.G’s aggression. With a 5.3 KDA and 10.6 CS per minute, Ruler stepped up to the plate as one of the most dominant marksmen in the league crushes his opponents in lane and in teamfights. Combine that with relentless aggression from CoreJJ (3.9 KDA), and Gen.G have more than enough firepower to overwhelm Kingzone’s duo.
VERDICT: GEN Ruler and CoreJJ come out on top in the bot lane standoff.
Kingzone’s win condition lies in the mid lane. If Peanut can set up Bdd for success, this duo has the mechanics and game sense to take over the entire series. However, they also have to find a way to cover their shaky side lanes—and that’s a tall order against a foe of Gen.G’s caliber. On top of that, Gen.G are much better at securing objectives and navigating teamfights, so unless Kingzone manage to win the early game five times in a row, it will be a 3-2 victory in Gen.G’s favor!
Editorial Credit: Inven Esports