T1 swept Hanwha Life Esports in the first quarterfinal of the chance, looking very impressive in their 3-0 victory. After their great performance in the groups, T1 are now one of the tournament favorites.
The League of Legends World Championship playoffs kicked off with an all-LCK bout between Hanwha Life Esports and T1. Lee "Faker" Sang-hyeok suffered only one loss in Iceland - to EDward Gaming, which he and his teammates handily avenged in the second round robin. Hanwha got more practice, fighting through the play-ins before landing battling it out with Royal Never Give Up in Group C, eventually emerging in second place.
The two teams naturally met plenty of times in the LCK. Their last match was the regional finals, where HLE dispatched several teams only to bow down to T1 in a five-game series. Could they deliver such a match again? Would HLE avenge their loss on the biggest stage of all, or would T1's ascent continue?
The first game already set the tone for series. After an even early game, T1 got a lead after getting 2 kills in a skirmish 16 minutes in. Once they had the advantage, they never let go, methodically taking over the map. Jeong "Chovy" Ji-hoon and Kim "Deft" Hyuk-kyu tried to hold them back, but T1's advance was unstoppable and eventually, Hanwha cracked.
HLE went for a more early game focused composition for the second round, but it never got off the ground. They lost two kills in the first big fight near the Herald, giving T1 a lead they could not afford. From then on, the favorites were firmly in control, winning every engagement until an ace near the second Baron cleared the way to the enemy Nexus.
It did not go any better for the challengers in game 3, either: T1 was once more doing well from the early game, taking a first blood in a well-executed bot lane dive. Hanwha tried to secure a herald 16 minutes in to turn the gold in their favor only for T1 to steal it and get four kills for good measure. From then, the game became all about T1. HLE tried to contest the Baron twice with disastrous results: the first time they got a single kill at the cost of being aced and the second time it cost them four deaths and the Nexus.
It is a sad loss for Hanwha, who made such an impressive run in the regional finals and came so close to securing a first place in their group. Just as importantly, however, this was a statement series for T1, who showed us how strong they are when the entire team is on point. While everyone expected them to be a good team, many will now have to count them as one of the tournament favorites.
press F for Gumayusi pic.twitter.com/MF7RD1RhYi— LoL Esports (@lolesports) October 22, 2021
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