There was one time when MaRin was considered perhaps the greatest League of Legends player in the world. Then the former world champion left SKT and South Korea for China, where he and LGD Gaming struggled for a year.
Now MaRin has returned to Korea, signing as the Afreeca Freecs’ newest top laner. Thursday, he and the new roster debuted in style, taking down Worlds runners-up and IEM Gyeonggi champions Samsung Galaxy in an exciting 2-1 series.
In Game 1, MaRin played Kennen, but surprisingly built him AD with Frozen Mallet, Runaan’s Hurricane and Wit’s End. He was easily able to beat Cuvee’s Maokai in lane, and got so strong he was eventually able to 2 vs. 1 both Maokai and Ryze.
MaRin went 7/1/0 in that game, a 30-minute 13-3 Afreeca victory. He played Kennen in Game 2 (the only game of the series Afreeca lost) going 2-4-0 in a far less dominating performance.
Game 3 was once again vintage MaRin, however. He locked in his signature Rumble, faced with Cuvee’s Kennen, and despite dying early due to an early gank by Haru, MaRin ended up making a big impact on the game. His Equalizers decimated Samsung in team fights, as he finished the game 5/3/8 in the 16-7, series-clinching 35-minute victory.
MaRin didn’t even end up being named MVP of the series — that honor went to new jungler Spirit, who went a combined 5/1/15 in the two victories (both games on Olaf), and 0/5/2 on Rek’Sai in the loss.
With the win, Afreeca is tied for third place in the LCK standings with bbq Olivers. SK Telecom T1 and KT Rolster, the two teams to sweep their opposition so far in Week 1, stand in first place.