Afreeca Freecs Origins and Roster
A mid-tier Korean team formed on December 30th 2015 from the roster of Rebels Anarchy, 2016 was the organization’s first taste of the LCK.
Jeon "ikssu" Ik-soo in the Top Lane
Nam "lira" Tae-yoo in the Jungle
Sun "Mickey" Yong-min in the Mid Lane
Kwon "Sangyoon" Sang-yoon as ADC
No "SnowFlower" Hoei-jong as Support
2016 LCK Spring Split
With a mixed review of playing very well or poorly, the team found themselves in the middle of the pack to start the season. Ever since the start of the 2016 LCK season, teams such as ROX Tigers and SKT have been wanting to show up and be at the top, not allowing others to take the #1 spot. However, with the battle prowess of ikssu, and the rest of the team, they neither stayed at the bottom nor at the top. For a recent organization such as Afreeca Freecs, a middle of the table showing is what you need to solidify yourself at the top level and build off things.
For the LCK, playoffs are formatted differently as opposed to the LCS. In the LCS, six teams play in the quarterfinals with winners going to the semifinals then in the grand finals. Losers in the semifinals play for third place. However, in the LCK, only 5 teams get a shot for the LCK championship trophy. So, the team placements are decided by who came first in the regular split and are placed accordingly. The negative side of this gauntlet style of playoffs is that if you lose once, you are out and are judged accordingly to where you lost in the playoffs.
For Afreeca Freecs, they stayed in 5th for the regular split as well as in the playoffs, suffering a defeat to Jin Air Green Wings 0-2 in a best of 3.
2016 LCK Summer Split
For the summer split, Afreeca Freecs did very poorly, losing 0-2 against teams such as Ever, Samsung Galaxy, Jin Air Green and ROX, but took down SKT 2-0 and MVP 2-0 allowing them to barely stay a part of the playoffs. However, no one can hide the fact that Afreeca Freecs delivered poorly in the summer split. On the lighter side, Sangyoon, AF’s ADC delivered the team a favor with a pentakill that granted them a glorious victory. The pentakill and victory was crucial as without it, the loss would have brought Afreeca Freecs down to 6th place.
Just as in the Spring Split, the team remained in 5th place in the regular season with a record of 8-10. They once again finished 5th in the playoffs, losing to Samsung Galaxy 0-2.
Their acquired points throughout the Spring and Summer Splits were not enough to get them into Worlds totalling 30 points.
The team had a total shake up for their 2017 roster acquiring skilled players in solo lanes, the jungle and a bot lane duo that is looking to level up their playing field.
2017 LCK Spring Split Roster
Jang "MaRin" Gyeong-Hwan in the top lane: Also known as the Faker of the Top Lane, this top lane god returns to Korea to take on the multiple top laners who tried to take his crown as the LCK’s best and to challenge those who have returned to South Korea in 2017. MaRin won a Worlds championship while he was still part of SKT, however he decided to leave and travelled to the LPL to perhaps play in a new environment. With the miscommunications between him and his teammates, their team didn’t perform so well, thus he returned to South Korea.
Lee "Spirit" Da-yun in the Jungle: Considered to be one of the most active junglers in the world, Spirit has returned to South Korea to unwind and to take-in a similar environment after being away for two seasons - first to China then to Europe. Spirit experienced two completely different worlds while he was away from the LCK, however, he was still considered one of the best junglers in both regions but failed to attend Worlds, spending two years on the sidelines. Returning to South Korea, Spirit hopes to change things with a burning spirit, and with a strong enough will Spirit will continue to reign as one of the Worlds’ best junglers.
Lee "Kuro" Seo-haeng in the mid lane: After leaving the ROX Tigers following a successful run in the 2016 Worlds, the Korean player wished to leave and start over fresh by joining the Afreeca Freecs with one of the best players in the top lane and jungle.
Jong-Hoon "Kramer" Ha as ADC: From a Worlds ADC with Flash Wolves in 2015 to being the ADC for CJ Entus, Kramer now brings his talents to Afreeca Freecs. This player has high expectations coming into 2017.
Bak "TuSin" Jong-ik as Support: Previously a jungler for Incredible Miracle. Switching up roles is not easy, though it works it is not easily done. This player has a lot to show us as he plays with high caliber players from around the world as their shot caller and leader.
2017 Spring Split Prediction
This roster is looking very tough, having members who have gone through rigorous seasons of training and scrims with different teams, making them practically the best at what they do. Each member on this team has either gone through Worlds or a series of defeats, meaning that they are all experienced with the ups and downs of the game. They understand their weaknesses and their strengths, they can fix and adapt to anything that’s thrown at them.
I believe that Afreeca Freecs will be a strong team against the likes of ROX Tigers and SSG. However as SKT added their newest members, Peanut and Huni, SKT, I think they will remain on top, unless Afreeca Freecs can maximize Spirit’s and Marin’s potential so they can take down the World back-to-back champions, and the Gods of League of Legends, SKT T1 Telecom and Faker.
Where do you think Afreeca Freecs will finish this season? Let us know in the comments!