New Leader Emerges in the 2018 Mid-Season Invitational
In the 2018 Mid-Season Invitational, a new leader has emerged almost every day. Initially, the LCK representative, KINGZONE DragonX, seemed to be the favorites with their dominating slow-paced macro play on the first day.
However, the Flash Wolves surprised everyone with their aggressive early rotations. Despite their initial success, the Flash Wolves stumbled, and in the end, China’s Royal Never Give Up (RNG) emerged as the top team. As a result, it’s difficult to determine who has the advantage in the upcoming semifinal match between KINGZONE and Flash Wolves.
The winner of the semifinal match will move on to face RNG in the final on Sunday. The anticipation is high to see who will come out on top.
Flash Wolves: Mastering the Rotations
During their dominant stretch in the middle of the tournament, the Flash Wolves showcased their expertise in the lane phase. Their mid laner, Huang “Maple” Yi-tang, proved to be fantastic, demonstrating that he can carry even without his longtime partner in the jungle. Maple’s performance this year has been better than ever.
A significant factor that contributed to the Flash Wolves’ success was their decision to stick with Lu “Betty” Yu-hung as their ADC. Formerly known as DoubleRed, Betty has shown significant improvement and has become a formidable threat in the early game.
The Flash Wolves have built a reputation for their strong lane phase, vision control around the river, and Maple’s skill in the mid lane. However, their teamfighting and teleport plays have always been their downfall in the mid game.
This year, the Flash Wolves adopted a different strategy by avoiding direct fights. Instead, they focused on utilizing global abilities and sharp rotations to follow Betty around the map and take down turrets. Their victories against KINGZONE were achieved by strategically catching the South Korean team off-guard and securing picks.
Kingzone: Unveiling the Real LCK Champs
KINGZONE’s performance in the tournament has been far from what was expected. They have struggled, particularly against the Flash Wolves. While it may be a relief for their fans that they didn’t have to face RNG, who defeated Fnatic, it offers little consolation.
The Meta and Other Challenges
KINGZONE faced challenges with their top laner, Kim “Khan” Dong-ha, who is known for his aggressive carry-style play. In the game against the Flash Wolves, Khan was forced to play tanks as part of the team’s strategies for teamfight compositions. While this was a valid approach to survive the early game and exploit the Flash Wolves’ weaknesses, KINGZONE did not execute it effectively. Khan fell behind rookie top laner Su “Hanabi” Chia-Hsiang, and the team’s issues with wave clear prevented them from making significant progress.
KINGZONE’s success has historically been rooted in playing to their own strengths rather than following the meta. To win against the Flash Wolves, they need to return to their carry-focused playstyle. Additionally, the priority given to the mid lane by the Flash Wolves forced adjustments in KINGZONE’s jungle, which affected their overall performance. Jungler Han “Peanut” Wang-ho has had to adopt a more passive playstyle, and the team has experimented with Moon “Cuzz” Woo-chan. However, the key for KINGZONE is to play aggressively and utilize their dominant duo lane.
The semifinals are not the time for experimentation. KINGZONE must match the Flash Wolves strength-for-strength to secure a spot in the final against RNG.