The team completed its KeSPA Cup run with a decisive, 3-0 victory over Sandbox Gaming in the grand finals.
Ahead of the tournament, Afreeca was never discussed as a possible contender for the title.
The organization had a quiet off-season compared to other teams in the LCK that made major free agent signings. Afreeca took a different approach by keeping a solid core in top laner Kim “Kiin” Gi-in, jungler Lee “Spirit” Da-yoon, and support Son “Jelly” Ho-gyeong. From there, it added LPL star Jin “Mystic” Seong-jun and former Gen.G player Song “Fly” Yong-jun.
On paper, the roster doesn’t look like much. Mystic’s greatness in the bottom lane has gone largely unnoticed due to his competing in the LPL. Fly and Spirit have always been a middle-of-the-pack players and Jelly was a substitute for the last few years.
The strongest point for Afreeca is Kiin and the top laner delivered at the KeSPA Cup 2019.
The semifinals series against DragonX set Afreeca apart from the rest of the teams in the tournament. Afreeca, which has historically been a fifth-place team, completely obliterated one of the favorites to win the KeSPA Cup. The semifinal was a one-sided series and the finals followed the same pattern.
14 minutes into game one of the finals, Afreeca secured all the pieces to win. The team had 14 kills while Sandbox only had one. Afreeca showed an outstanding ability to capitalize on openings, no matter how small they were. When the players saw an opportunity, they went all in and converted the majority of the time.
Games two and three followed the same script, with Afreeca taking over the early game and Sandbox failing to stabilize.
Kiin had an almost perfect series that earned him the MVP title. He established a presence all over the map, but still managed to stay even in gold and CS with lane opponent Park “Summit” Woo-tae. Despite being the strongest player on the team, Kiin didn’t get more resources than the other players. Afreeca played as a team, with every member contributing and getting rewarded for their efforts
The challenge for Afreeca will be to keep this up into the 2020 LCK Spring season that is scheduled to start in early February.