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Esports – LCK Promotion 4/29 4am ET

Notes for Tonight’s 4/29 4am ET LCK Promotion Slate

The LCK promotion continues with the qualifying match and a losers bracket qualifying match. Both the CK underdog teams won last night and it goes to show that the talent of teams is not necessarily the biggest factor in regard to team success. Coaching staff matters a lot because of the drafting stage. Sandbox and Griffin both have a very weak coaching staff and it showed in the games last night. One of GRF or SB will be officially relegated tonight and one of SRB or DYN will be officially promoted tonight. These games are all very close so I will be playing all sides. I will still have more exposure based on who I think wins but I think playing multiple angles is the safest way to attack these 2 game slates.

SRB (-150) vs DYN (+110)

Both of these teams were very impressive in last night’s victories and will hope to carry on that momentum to qualify for the LCK tonight. These teams did play two series in the CK this year and SRB won both. They won 4/5 total games and most of them weren’t particularly close. SRB look to be the better team on paper but of course anything can happen.

SRB had a very nice series against GRF yesterday. KaKAO completely outjungled Tarzan in games 2 and 3, and showed why he is still a very quality jungler after all these years. Sangyoon also outplayed Viper in the last 2 games and showcased his ability as a veteran LCK player. Thal is the top ranked player on the Korean Solo Queue Ladder but he has always seemed rather underwhelming in LCK games. He had another kind of mediocre performance but the mechanical talent is there. Overall this team is very good. They have extremely talented players that have plenty of experience and I think their drafting was excellent last night. The pieces seem to be coming together for them at the perfect time and I think they will take this series as the slight favourite.

Team Dynamics also had a very nice performance against SB. A lot of this was due to SB having absolutely terrible drafting choices and giving DYN most of their best champions. Feiz looks insane on the Aphelios and if he gets that champion I think he can carry this series. The roster is very balanced with skilled players in all lanes. Rich is a former Heroes of the Storm pro that is playing league now and he had a great performance against Summit, a top laner who many consider among the best in the LCK. Beyond is a talented jungler who has loads of professional experience even in the LCK and he dominated OnFleek. Everyone on this team is solid and while I think the star power on SRB is higher, the overall balance on DYN is better. The more I write about DYN the more I like them to be honest.  DYN are a great underdog and completely viable.

Players to watch (SRB): KaKAO (JNG), Sangyoon (ADC), Thal (TOP)
Players to watch (DYN): Feiz (ADC), Beyond (JNG), Guger (SUP)

SB (-130) vs GRF (-105)

Both of these teams looked terrible yesterday and for the most part played like they do not even want to be in the LCK anymore. Each of these teams has incredible talent at a few positions but they also have weak points. A lot of the problems for these teams, SB in particular, comes from their coaching staff and horrific drafting. GRF are better in that regard but have a lot of struggles with their macro gameplay. They are very poor at focusing objectives, which was actually one of their main strengths when they were at the World Championships last season. Yes you read that correctly, this GRF team was a top 8 team in the world last season (obviously with a couple roster changes).

Sandbox in my opinion is the team with the higher ceiling of these two teams. They have better mechanically skilled players in my opinion but as shown against DYN yesterday that doesn’t always matter. They have not put their players in positions to succeed all season and those same issues were still present in one of their most important games of the season last night. FATE was being talked down upon a lot by the casters as they think Dove is better (which I agree), but FATE was their best performing player last night. Another issue with SB is their constant substitutions. Since this game will be the late game that starts well after lock, we will most likely not have starting lineups. SB is a complete shot in the dark as to who will play besides Gorilla. I would assume they keep the same roster as yesterday but no guarantees.

Griffin did manage to win a game against their CK opponent yesterday, which is something SB cannot say they did. I also believe GRF were against the tougher of the two CK opponents so once again a slight edge for them over SB there. Ucal was actually very good last night despite losing and him and WADID were GRF’s best performing players. Viper and Tarzan, who are supposed to be their star players, played very poorly at the end of the series. Tarzan was making a lot of uncoordinated engages, and Viper was just standing around getting zoned while outputting no damage in team fights. Sword is just bad, he was bad last year even when GRF were good, and he is still bad this year. This is part of the reason why GRF have been trying out different top laners all season and I wouldn’t be surprised to see a new one tonight. Once again we will most likely not have lineups for this game so that may be an auto fade spot for GRF.

I give the slight edge to Griffin mainly because I can roster most of their players without fear of substitutions, but also because they showed a slightly better performance against a slightly better team yesterday. Sandbox has had the same issues all season and clearly they haven’t been fixed yeT. I reiterate that all teams on this 2 game slate are in play, and I will be using all 4, but if forced to choose between two evils I slightly lean Griffin. However, if Griffin do not clean up their objective control issues we saw yesterday, this could be a Sandbox win.

Players to watch (GRF): Viper (ADC), Tarzan (JNG), Ucal (MID)
Players to watch (SB): Summit (TOP), OnFleek (JNG), Route (ADC) *watch for substitutes on SB*