It was the 1st Quarter Final in the League of Legends 2021 Worlds Championship and fans were looking forward to seeing some epic gameplays from both T1 and Hanwa Life Esports (HLE). But it was T1 who dominated Hanwa Life Esports in every match and won the series by stomping them by 3-0.
As It Happened
While T1 was favored here, everyone believed HLE would carry their persistence and determination from Group Stage matches against T1. But it looked like T1 was able to beat them both in the draft picks and team fights as they were annihilated by 3-0.
— LoL Esports (@lolesports) October 22, 2021
In the drafting phase, HLE picked mid-lane Zoe and Miss Fortune to have a good early game. Plus the Braum support and Xin Zhao jungle pick provided a good combo for team fights. T1 went for late-game heavy picks like Orianna, Graves, and Aphelios. But HLE was not able to capitalize on the early game.
On the other hand, Keria on his Thresh support pick was phenomenal as he roamed the rift and was present in all crucial team fights with his Death Sentence to hook HLE players or save his teammates with Dark Passage. Faker was also good as he used his Orianna’s Shockwave at the correct points to catch HLE off guard many times. HLE did not kill Gumayusi’s Aphelios even once and thus he was able to farm quickly and deal significant damage in team fights.
Here HLE was able to give Chovy his comfortable mid-lane LeBlanc pick. The other picks were also standard as Morgan’s Renekton went top and Willer’s Xin Zhao in the jungle. Deft and Vsta picked Varus and Nautilus respectively for the bottom lane. T1 on the other handpicked a control-heavy side to punish HLE’s picks.
With Braum on Keria and Poppy on Oner for engaging and doing crowd control, Canna’s Gwen, Faker’s Lissandra, and Gumayusi’s Aphelios were left free to do damage in team fights. Whenever Chovy or Morgan went to engage they were quickly burst down. Deft was always punished on his Varus and was never able to match Gumayusi’s Aphelios in farm and damage. In the Baron fight at 28 minutes, T1 easily aced HLE, and the game ended there.
HLE and T1 drafted a similar lineup as the first two games. At the Hanwa side, Morgan on Renekton, Chovy on LeBlanc, Deft on Varus and Vsta on Braum. Only Willer got Olaf to counter a crowd control heavy pick. T1 went with their well-tested crowd control heavy champions. Faker on Lissandra, Gumayusi on Aphelios, Keria on Thresh, Oner on Talon, and Gnar on Canna. Keria was as impressive as in the first game, roaming the rift and hooking HLE champions with Death Sentence.
Oner, Faker, and Canna were able to punish HLE in the first Herald fight and from there T1 built up their lead bit by bit. HLE was aced once in the first Baron teamfight and in the second after Baron fight, 4 members were killed without any deaths on the T1 side. The game again ended before 30 minutes with the kill score being 1-18 for HLE and T1.
It looked like T1 had done their preparations to counter HLE picks and playstyle. Deft and Chovy were never able to outshine their counterparts, Gumayusi and Faker. As Hanwa Life Esports ended up in 5th-8th finish in their 2021 Worlds campaign, T1 advance into the Semi-Finals in dominant fashion. They will battle the winners of Quarter-Finals 3 there.