SANDBOX Gaming and DAMWON Gaming clash on April 3! Both teams have just finished their first LCK split, but only one of them will be able to make a deep playoffs run. Let’s see who’s it going to be in our 2019 LCK playoffs predictions for this Round 1 series!
SANDBOX Gaming are the biggest surprise of this split. They entered the league as clear underdogs, but they quickly established themselves as a team that’s always willing to initiate fights and put the heat on its opponents in the early game. And while their decision-making can be very hit-or-miss, you can count on SANDBOX to claw their way back into the game with a single explosive teamfight.
DAMWON Gaming are on the opposite trajectory. With so many persistent rumors about them crushing world-class teams in scrims, they looked set to become the next Griffin. Yet, they faltered along the way. Their macro and team fighting are strong, but they’re not nearly as potent in the laning phase. Granted, they can cover this weakness with a rotating mid/jungle duo, but that doesn’t completely negate their early game issues.
SANDBOX Gaming vs DAMWON Gaming – LCK Match Breakdown
Top Lane Matchup
We kick off our SANDBOX Gaming vs DAMWON Gaming predictions with the top lane matchup. There’s no denying that Summit is the main carry on his team. With a 3.6 KDA and 9.0 CS per minute, SANDBOX Gaming’s top laner is a daring carry that’s always looking to fight in lane and set up flanks in the mid game. He can get overeager, though, and it’s common to see him trading under the enemy turret when his jungler is on the opposite side of the map.
DAMWON Gaming have the means to challenge him. With a 2.8 KDA and 9.7 CS per minute, Nuguri is a prodigious top laner that routinely takes over the early game and converts his leads into side lane pressure. He tends to demand a lot of resources, though, so DAMWON often field Flame in his stead. Holding a 3.7 KDA and 8.8 CS per minute, DAMWON’s substitute top laner is a battle-hardened veteran that knows exactly what he needs to do to set his team up for success. And even though he can show up on carries as well, he’s much better than Nuguri at letting his teammates shine.
VERDICT: DWG Nuguri and Flame find a lead in the top lane.
The jungle matchup is going to be interesting to follow. Sporting a 3.5 KDA and 5.8 CS per minute, SB OnFleek is a complete rookie that already made a name for himself with confident invades and razor-sharp playmaking. He’s the driving force behind his team’s momentum as his pathing usually decides whether SANDBOX Gaming can get their early game off the ground.
DAMWON Gaming have two junglers to oppose him. With a 3.4 KDA and a 5.1 CS per minute, Canyon is also a rookie jungler with a high mechanical ceiling, but he isn’t that great at selecting optimal jungle routes and working together with his teammates. Meanwhile, his substitute Punch (4.3 KDA and 5.9 CS per minute) is much better at the macro aspect of the game, but he lacks the individual talent to put his plans in motion.
VERDICT: SB OnFleek reigns supreme in the jungle.
Mid Lane Matchup
The SANDBOX Gaming vs DAMWON Gaming mid lane might seem close at first glance. Sporting a 4.4 KDA and 8.7 CS per minute, SB Dove is a rising talent that shines on carries and playmakers. And while he doesn’t always make highlight-reel plays, he rarely—if ever—costs his team the game.
Up until a few weeks ago, the same could be said about ShowMaker. With a 4.5 KDA and 8.9 CS per minute, DAMWON Gaming’s mid laner shows promise when he’s playing his A-game, but he’s far too volatile to replicate this on a consistent basis. And consistency will be a huge factor in this 2019 LCK playoffs series.
VERDICT: SB Dove finds an edge in the mid lane.
Bot Lane Matchup
The bot lane matchup is a clash of playstyles! With a 4.7 KDA and 10.1 CS per minute, SB Ghost is an aggressive marksman that’s always looking for ways to overwhelm his opponents in lane and convert his leads into explosive team fighting. Joker (2.4 KDA) backs him up with decent playmaking, although he can be all over the place with his mechanics.
DAMWON Gaming’s duo isn’t as proactive. Holding a 5.5 KDA and 10.1 CS per minute, Nuclear is at his best in structured team fights, but he struggles to hold his own in the early game. And even though Hoit (4.2 KDA) does a good job of covering his weaknesses, this also means that he’s forced to spend most of his time on defensive picks like Braum and Tahm Kench.
VERDICT: SB Ghost and Joker take charge in the bot lane.
SANDBOX Gaming vs DAMWON Gaming – LCK Match Prediction
This 2019 LCK playoffs series will come down to momentum. If DAMWON Gaming manages to slow the game down until the 30-minute mark without losing too much in the laning phase, they have a good chance of outmaneuvering their opponents around the map. However, SANDBOX Gaming have a lot of tools to break open the game before then, and if they use them right, DAMWON will have a hard time keeping up with them. Our prediction is a 2-1 victory for SANDBOX Gaming!
You can bet on SB winning the SANDBOX Gaming vs DAMWON Gaming LCK match with a 2-1 score for odds of 3.31 at ArcaneBet.