If you’ve ever followed the LCK throughout the past Summer split, you would know that Hanwha Life Esports definitely had a lot of problems that plagued their run in the split. They ended their regular split run with a 7-11 record, in 8th place; for a team that had two of LCK’s elite, mid and bot laner, Jeong “Chovy” Ji-hoon and Kim “Deft” Hyuk-kyu respectively, their record left a bitter taste of disappointment for both the fans, but more importantly, for themselves.
HLE’s biggest win condition has always involved their superstar mid laner, to the point where one of the nicknames that the community gave the team was 'Chovy Life Esports'. The reason why he’s so highly respected as a mid laner lies especially within his superb laning ability. From abnormally large CS numbers at all points of the game to jaw-dropping plays that will make the game more entertaining for the eye, his prowess as a mid laner is on a class of its own.
The reason why HLE started to look so good on the Rift is because all five players on the team started to shine. During the qualifiers, their main game plan involved playing around the top side early to safely let Camille scale. Compared to their regular split form, the difference in the execution of their game plan was night and day.
Deft’s plays were finally reminding everyone why he's a legendary adc, and his synergy with his support, Vsta, was looking better each series. Morgan’s side lane pressure looked even more threatening, and Willer always knew where he needed to be at all points of the game. With the rest of the team finally stepping up their game, HLE was finally performing up to everyone’s expectations.
As the LCK’s 4th seed team, HLE will start their tournament run in the play-in stages. It’s expected that HLE won’t have any trouble getting out of the group stages, but the real problem lies in revealing the team’s strategies to their competition. Will HLE be able to properly react and adapt their game plan throughout the progress of the tournament? Will HLE be able to prove that they aren't 'Chovy Life Esports'? HLE faces off against LPL’s 4th seed, LNG Esports, on Oct 5, in the first match of Worlds 2021.
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