Kingzone DragonX started their climb up the LCK Regional Finals and their first victim was AFreeca Freecs. Kingzone, who missed the chance to go to their first Worlds event last year, bested AFreeca 3-1 in a rather one-sided series, getting one series closer to making their World Championship debut.
AFreeca were the ones to draw first blood, winning on the back of a 4/0/4 Vayne performance by Kim “Aiming” Ha-ram, but it quickly became obvious that they are not on the level of Kingzone. In the following three games, KZ came in swinging big, and scored cumulative 53 kills to AFS’ six. Game 2 of the series was especially one sided, seeing KZ win 12-0 and losing only one tower.
Few players stood out for AFS this series and Aiming was one of the few players for Afreeca that scored kills, even against a dominant performance by Kim “Deft” Hyuk-kyu and Park “TusiN” Jong-ik.
Kingzone’s win is somewhat unexpected considering the team’s performance during the Summer Split. KZ finished 7th in the standings, sandwiched between an underperforming Gen.G and a very troubled KT Rolster. In addition, reports about Kingzone’s multiple internal problems, including change of leadership, player contract issues, and a powerless head coach, suggested that the team might not recover in time to challenge a Worlds spot.
KZ’s games today did not show a team that’s in full disarray, but at the same time, Afreeca aren’t the worthiest opponents either. KZ still have tough teams to play ahead of them, as both SANDBOX and DAMWON had great Summer Seasons, scored wins against some of the top teams in the LCK, and are hungry for their own Worlds debut.
KZ are playing SANDBOX next, on September 5. Winner plays DWG for the third and final LCK Worlds spot.