Our Insomnia Picks: LCK/LPL Week 8

by theScore Staff Jul 11 2016
Thumbnail image courtesy of KeSPA / LCK Summer 2016

SK Telecom T1 took on two of their closest adversaries last week and beat them both, earning them first place in the LoL Champions Korea standings. Over in China, Edward Gaming continues their streak, sitting atop Group A with an undefeated series record.

LCK: ROX Tigers vs. KT Rolster

SKT faced both of these teams last week, in a strength test to see which Korean team would come out on top. After two fairly close series, SKT came out ahead, dropping the ROX Tigers and KT Rolster to third and fourth, respectively.

KT had a rough week, losing not only to SKT but to the Afreeca Freecs. The Tigers are steadily improving, though not without their own struggles, as shown in their far-too-narrow series win over the Jin Air Green Wings. Samsung Galaxy may hold the second-place spot, but it's these two teams who are in the running for second-best, and it's still expected at least one of them will represent Korea at the 2016 World Championship, presumably alongside SKT.

This week, they face off against each other in another strength test. Of particular note is the jungle matchup. While top laners Song "Smeb" Kyung-ho and Kim "Ssumday" Chan-ho will dominate headlines going into the series, both Han "Peanut" Wang-ho and Go "Score" Dong-bin are fresh off of strong performances, with Peanut in particular showing weekly improvement. Much of KT's early game goes through Score, and although Peanut hasn't shown the same brand of aggression this split, he's worked to become a more well-rounded jungler on the likes of Rek'Sai and Gragas, rather than wholly relying on Nidalee and Elise. Look for both of these junglers to try for early impact, especially around their top laners.

LPL: Snake eSports vs. I May

EDward Gaming and Royal Never Give Up have established themselves well at the top. RNG has still only lost one series, to EDG. Yet the race to take the third position, and even the eventual coveted World Championship spot, remains close. Two of the main contenders, Snake eSports and I May, challenge each other this week.

Snake's fast style may meet its match against I May's more patient macro play. Fan "Avoidless" Jun Wei has shown he's more than capable of challenging some of the league's best junglers, even if he won't always keep pace.

Individual matchups aside, Snake still feels more like a team. Li "Flandre" Xuanjun ends up with creep deficits because of his new willingness to abandon waves and assist his jungler. Unless I May can bully this tendency, Snake's ruthlessness will win out — but there are room for surprises.

Honorable Mention: J-Team vs. Flash Wolves

Avid lovers of mid lane match-ups need look no further. Chu "FoFo" Chunlan, climbing to take recognition in the LoL Master Series, is set to contend with Flash Wolves darling Huang "Maple" Yitang. J Team and Flash Wolves with their mid lane jewels have convincingly demonstrated that they're the two best teams in the LMS, and due to scheduling constraints, they face not once, but twice this coming week. Make sure you stay up for at least one of them.

Kelsey Moser and Emily Rand are staff writers for theScore esports. Neither of them are fans of sleep. You can follow Kelsey and Emily on Twitter.