Samsung Galaxy came into the series as clear-cut favorites. Their play was far from flawless but it was solid enough to make them the #3 LCK team. On the other hand, Afreeca Freecs have been on and off throughout the season. But if there’s one thing you can say about them, it’s that you can never count them out even against the very best teams in the league.
A single overaggressive play from Mowgli resulted in Afreeca being on the back foot for the entirety of the early game. Samsung players forced one solo kill after another, and even when they fell to enemy ganks, the team would always get something in return.
Afreeca desperately tried to set up picks and dives of their own, but Samsung made short work of these attempts with excellent rotations and team fighting. A 31-minute Baron seemed to be the beginning of Afreeca’s end.
But a clutch initiation by Kramer and MaRin allowed Afreeca to turn the tables at their bot lane inhibitor. This move gave Afreeca some breathing room—so much so that the team even managed to take an Elder Dragon. But Samsung answered it with a Baron and tried to push through Afreeca’s defenses for the second time. Once again, the team game seemed all but over, but a stunning Shockwave from AFS Kuro turned the fight around.
For the first time, Afreeca were in the driver’s seat. And they’ve used this new-found freedom to go all the way to Samsung’s base and get caught out by Crown’s devastating Real Warp. The ensuing team fight wasn’t pretty for Afreeca, as the game turned black and white for three of their members. They could only watch as Samsung marched towards their base for the third time and destroyed their Nexus.
Barring a single misstep from their support, TuSin, Afreeca were in full control of this game. They masterfully used Taliyah’s walls and Ashe’s arrows to pick apart their opponents, and Samsung were hard-pressed to find an answer to this strategy.
What followed was a bold Baron call and a one-sided slaughter that culminated in Afreeca’s Kramer getting a pentakill while his teammates tore down Samsung’s Nexus.
Haru took over the early game for this one. Not only did he get the First Blood for his team in the top lane, but he also double killed the enemy bot lane. Afreeca tried to answer with a 4v4 team fight but Samsung escaped with minimal casualties and even set up a trap when their opponents tried to retreat through the river.
The game calmed down for a while. But it was the calm before the storm as Samsung were able to sneak a 28-minute Baron. It seemed that series was all but over, but Afreeca weren’t prone to giving up. They managed to hold off Baron-empowered Samsung by losing only three turrets. But they were still hopelessly behind. It was then that Samsung became overconfident. They forced a horrid team fight at the bottom-side river, and Afreeca crushed them with a two to zero trade. The long death timers meant that Afreeca could walk down the mid lane and secure the first Inhibitor of the game.
Afreeca’s team fighting composition came into full force. Every time the teams clashed, Afreeca arrowwould come out on top. This led to them swiftly gaining control of the entire map and its objectives. It took some time—and a Baron with an Elder Dragon—but Afreeca breezed through Samsung and took down their Nexus.
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