The LCK has reached the playoffs for their Summer Split, with six teams set to battle it out for the title.
Four teams on Wednesday and Thursday will lock horns for the chance to play either Gen.G or T1 in the semi-finals.
Gen.G and T1 were head and shoulders above the competition during the regular season, but with Worlds spots on the line as we head towards the Regional playoffs, teams will be hungrier than ever to cause upsets.
Both matches promise to be close affairs and will likely be settled by the finest of margins, as we begin to thin out the playoff picture.
Liiv SANDBOX are a team in form
Liiv SANDBOX vs DRX, LCK Summer Playoffs
|When:||09:00, Wednesday August 17th|
|How to watch:||LCK Twitch channel|
Liiv SANDBOX -500, DRX +333
Liiv SANDBOX will arrive at the first playoff match as the heavy favourites and it is very easy to see why, given the way they closed out the Summer Split.
They ended the campaign at 13-5 after rattling off five wins on the bounce, including a dominant performance to down T1 in just two maps. That sequence also includes a 2-1 victory over Wednesday’s opponents DRX and fellow playoff contenders KT Rolster, who they defeated by the same scoreline.
It has been a story of resurgence for Liiv SANDBOX, who struggled in the Spring Split and ended it with a 4-14 record, recording a 9th-place finish. Bar Gen.G, they are the form team heading into the playoffs, and they could easily pose a threat to that rival should they overcome DRX in this match.
Given the -500 odds available, many see this as a foregone conclusion, and it is hard to argue that a 3-0 would not be the likely outcome. DRX crumbled towards the end of the regular season, with losses to KT Rolster and Hanwha Life putting them on the most difficult side of the bracket.
Unlike their opponents, they have dipped at the worst time and their playoff record does not make for pleasant reading. Since LCK Spring 2020, they have won just two of their six playoff matches and given their recent form, that statistic holds even more weight.
Victory for DRX, as the odds suggest, would be a huge upset. Perhaps the only potential weakness for Liiv Sandbox is Dove in the toplane, but you would not be confident that Kingen would be the man to capitalise on that.
Expect Liiv SANDBOX to dominate this match, as they pave the way for a semi-final against Gen.G, where they will be looking to cause an upset themselves.
Momentum with KT Rolster
DWG KIA vs KT Rolster, LCK Summer Playoffs
09:00, Thursday August 18th
|How to watch:|
LCK Twitch channel
DWG KIA -188, KT Rolster +137
Both these teams come into the playoffs with a 10-8 record and with their head-to-head reading 2-2 in the regular season, this has the potential to be a barn-burner of a quarter-final.
Momentum could play another key role and KT Rolster arrives with the lion share of it. After losing four of their opening five matches, they have surged back to form and closed out the regular season with seven wins from their final ten matches. That includes a 2-0 victory over today’s opponents DWG and they arguably should have beaten Liiv SANDBOX down the stretch too.
They ended the split with a hard-fought match against Gen.G, one they could feasibly have won on a different day, and that level of form will ring the alarm bells for DWG, who spluttered their way to five losses from their final seven matches.
Granted, that included matches against KT Rolster, Liiv SANDBOX, Gen.G and T1, but they picked up just one map in those four contests and that does not bode well, given that they are all teams who made the playoffs.
The market favours DWG in this match, which is a small surprise given the way both teams concluded the split. KT Rolster looked the stronger side for much of the split and finished it much better, so their current +137 odds will certainly make appeal for many.
They cannot afford complacency, however, as they know all too well that games are not won until the Nexus is destroyed. They looked to have the beating of Liiv SANDBOX in their most recent encounter, but a mid-game blunder, when they had all the tools for victory, cost them the game.
The most likely team to beat KT Rolster, on recent evidence, is themselves. If they do advance, they will set up a semi-final match with T1, a game that they would have plenty of confidence heading into.