The first playoffs match of the 2021 League of Legends Champions Korea Spring Split was held on Mar. 31. It was between 3rd place Hanwha Life Esports and 6th place Nongshim RedForce. Unlike most people’s expectations, it was an extremely close match going the full five games in a best of five.
Starting from the beginning, it was long and fierce. In 51 minutes, Hanwha Life Esports was able to secure their first win. In the invade phase, Nongshim RedForce took two kills and had a good start. However, Hanwha Life Esports’ solid laning and macro turned it around quickly. Nongshim RedForce tried to stall by defending all sides, they weren’t able to overcome the objective buffs.
Game 2 was general vs. general. Hanwha Life Esports had Jeong “Chovy” Ji-hoon’s Viktor and Nongshim RedForce had Seo “deokdam” Dae-gil’s Jinx. This match was very close as well, but one big decision decided the game. Chovy’s Viktor used his Flash to kill Syndra while Nongshim RedForce was pressuring the mid lane. In the following fight, Viktor fell and Nongshim RedForce took the second game.
Hanwha Life Esports turned around the third game. Nongshim RedForce had a balanced composition and took the lead until mid game, but one careless move turned the game around. When Nongshim RedForce was knocking on the first mid lane turret, Oh “Vsta” Hyo-seong’s Rell engaged onto them and initiated a teamfight by CCing three champions. That teamfight win helped Hanwha Life Esports turn the game around.
Nongshim RedForce was pushed to the edge of a cliff and it was Lee “Rich” Jae-won to the rescue. Rich played Aatrox and showed why Aatrox was his signature champion from the laning phase to the last teamfight. Hanwha Life Esports wasn’t even able to attempt to get back in the game.
In the final fifth game, Park “Arthur” Mi-reu stepped up to be the fireman. Rich picked Aatrox again and Hanwha Life Esports constantly picked on him. Because of that, Rich wasn’t able to do much compared to the previous game and the difference in mid lane got wide. In the fourth dragon fight, Hanwha Life Esports scored an Ace and finally secured their win.
It was the first time Hanwha Life Esports reached the second round of the playoffs in organization history. In the second round, they will meet either DWG KIA or Gen.G, according to which team DWG KIA chooses.
2021 LCK Playoffs Mar. 31 Results
Hanwha Life Esports 3 : 2 Nongshim RedForce
2021 LCK Playoffs Schedule
April 1 - T1 vs. DRX