The first quarterfinal of Worlds wraps up. An absolute slaughter from start to finish.
The World Championship (also known as Worlds) is the second of two yearly international tournaments in the League of Legends Esports scene, where players compete on franchised teams for fame, pride, a considerable salary, and hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash prizes.
22 teams from 12 regions (The Vietnam Championship Series couldn’t send their 2 teams due to covid travel restrictions) will compete for the ultimate prize in LoL esports, the 70-pound Summoner’s Cup. The tournament started with the play-in stage on October 5th, before advancing to the main stage groups which will take begin on October 11th before eventually ending with the finals on November 6th.
The first quarterfinal has concluded, and I really should have just slept in. There was a reason the fan prediction poll before the game in the pre-show was 95-5 and it played out in full force here. Regardless, let’s see how it went down.
Match 1: (LCK)
TLDR: T1 utterly dominates HLE in all facets across all the games.
Summary: That might have just been the worst quarterfinals match in Worlds history. The only one that even really comes close in recent memory was Damwon vs DRX last year. At no point in the series did Hanwha Life have anything resembling control. All 5 positions, drafting, their general teamplay and game sense were completely outmatched by T1.
Canna served as one of the major carries of T1 in all 3 games. Morgan was his usual self. Oner is still having an incredible tournament and is looking great. Willer was his usual self. Keria looked immaculate on Thresh as his hooks always found key targets. Gumayusi is continuing to impress despite being so young. He was never really caught out of position and put the HLE bot lane in the dirt all 3 games. Vsta was nowhere near as impactful as Keria while Deft would have play his worst games of the entire tournament. His itemization in games 2 and 3 was absolutely horrid. He built poke against a ton of tanks, built Serpent’s Fang against almost zero shielding, and didn’t even get a mythic item in game 3. Even HLE’s one expected point of power, the mid lane, was completely shut down by T1. Faker actually got ahead of Chovy in CS in game 1, and in games 2 and 3, T1 made sure HLE couldn’t capitalize on his early lead. He was also counterpicked in both games.
Speaking of counterpicked, let’s talk about that draft shall we? Game 1 wasn’t horrible but what were they thinking in the other two? In game 2, they first picked Leblanc, leaving their main point of power, Chovy, wide open to be counterpicked by T1. They chose Lissandra, a famous bad matchup for Lissandra. In response to T1’s Aphelios Lissandra 1-2, HLE chose Xin Zhao for Willer. Not particularly awful, but it allowed T1 to pick Poppy to completely shut down the Xin Zhao and Leblanc even harder, as they constantly want to jump in. They also picked up Varus for Deft, which has been hit very hard with the nerf bat over the course of 2021. It was the first Varus of the tournament for a reason. Then on B4, Vsta took Nautilus, which really doesn’t synergize well with the rest of the comp. And they followed it up by picking Renekton for Morgan. Renekton into Poppy/Lissandra/Gwen/Braum. Morgan never even gets to play the game. Three champions shut him down, and his lane opponent outscales him. Is it even a surprise that HLE couldn’t get ahead early and T1 completely ran them over?
The worst part was, instead of, I don’t know, learning and adapting from their mistakes, THEY ALL BUT RAN BACK THE SAME DRAFT IN GAME 3.
First pick Leblanc, Varus for Deft, and Renekton for Morgan. Sure, they changed it up slightly by getting Willer Olaf and Vsta Braum, but they still ran back a composition that all but has to pull away in the early game when they showed almost no ability to do so. It went almost the exact same way as game 2.
The one thing to note about this series is although I’m not sure how much of it can be attributed to T1’s very easy schedule up until now (LJL, LCS, HLE, only great team was EDG who they split games with), T1 are all clicking at the best possible time. They looked good today. That was an utter beatdown of all HLE held dear and T1 didn’t even give them a chance to get back into the series. Just look at this stat line.
Although I wouldn’t go so far as to pick them to make finals, if they keep this level of play up, they could provide a very good challenge to Damwon KIA in the semi-finals (assuming MAD doesn’t upset them.
The World Championship will continue October 23rd with the 2nd best-of-5, China’s Royal Never Give Up vs China’s Edward Gaming, starting at 7am CST. You can find the full schedule at https://lolesports.com/, and catch every match there, on the LoL Esports YouTube channel, or at https://www.twitch.tv/riotgames.