KeSPA Cup 2020 has already kicked off and now two big names are set to clash in group A.
The defending world champions from DAMWON Gaming will meet last year’s KeSPA Cup winners Afreeca Freecs. So far, DAMWON has gotten off to a perfect start while Afreeca is falling behind. Afreeca needs to win this match to stay alive in the fight for a playoffs spot.
So far, the two teams have been polar opposites in the KeSPA Cup. Afreeca entered the tournament with high expectations for the new roster. The new bot lane duo of Bae “Bang” Jun-sik and Son “Lehends” Si-woo had many wondering if Afreeca could defend the cup it won in 2019. Things have not been going in that direction. Afreeca lost its first two games of the tournament to Liiv SANDBOX and DRX, and now an even tougher opponent awaits.
DAMWON, on the other hand, is currently sitting comfortably at the top of group A after beating DRX and NS RedForce. The world champions only made one change during the offseason, which was bringing in Kim “Khan” Dong-hyeon to replace Jang “Nuguri” Ha-gwon in the top lane. So far, the change doesn’t seem to be slowing DAMWON down but Afreeca Freecs could be the ones to put an end to the winning streak.
It’s hard to predict where this matchup will be determined, but a safe bet would be to look at the junglers. In the current preseason meta, junglers have been very strong and often have the biggest impact on the map. This sounds like a perfect meta for DAMWON jungler Kin “Canyon” Geon-bu, who ended Worlds with a career performance. Canyon will once again be able to pick up his signature champion, Graves. Afreeca jungler Lee “Dread” Jin-hyeok will need to pull out a particularly strong performance to counter that.
The edge for Afreeca might be found in the top lane, where Kim “Kiin” Gi-in has a chance to outmatch Khan. The new DAMWON top laner is still very new and needs more time to fully gel with the team. Kiin has been the face of Afreeca since joining in 2017 and is without a doubt the one to lead his team to victory.
Afreeca Freecs lineup:
Even though Afreeca Freecs won the KeSPA Cup last year, this time around will be a lot harder. The team has already shown clear weaknesses and those won’t be easy to fix against the world champions. DAMWON is fielding a very strong lineup with star players all around. Even though this is only a best-of-one, DAMWON is looking like the clear favorite in this matchup.
Betting on DAMWON to win the game gives just 1.18 odds, while a win for Afreeca Freecs gives 4.15. For real gamblers, there might be some value in going with the underdog but it seems very risky.