The series to determine who gets to start at groups/play-ins was a lot more heated than earning a ticket to Worlds, as T1 and Hanwha Life Esports went to a full five-game series..
In round 3 of the 2021 LCK Regional qualifiers, T1 defeated HLE 3-2 and locked their spot in as LCK’s 3rd seed. The series was back and forth until the very end,as both teams pulled off jaw-dropping plays on the rift. However, in the end, Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok’s Azir and Kim “Canna” Chang-dong’s Kennen’s values proved to be fruitful.
Game 1 was a stomp by T1. T1’s mid and bot carries, Kassadin and Aphelios, managed to scale well into the mid-late game, while taking one advantage after another in the top lane. With the help of Moon “Oner” Hyeon-joon’s Lee Sin, Canna managed to score multiple kills in the top lane. As soon as Kassadin and Aphelios hit their power spikes, T1 successfully manage to close out the game and lead the series.
HLE looked as if they were fighting back, with Jeong “Chovy” Ji-hoon’s Orianna at the center of their momentum swing. With two solo kills in the mid lane by Chovy, it looked as if HLE were well on their way to close out the series. However, Faker pulled off clutch ‘Shurima Shuffles’ that completely changed the flow of the game. The momentum swing was what bought T1 enough time for Canna’s Kennen and Lee “Gumayusi” Min-hyeong’s Jinx to hit their power spikes and further their lead. In the end, HLE failed to capitalize on their early game leads; T1 led the series 2-0.
HLE started off with a terrible early game in game 3, but managed to scale and take the comeback victory. T1 had a huge lead from the advantages they gained in the laning phase, but through macro around Chovy’s Sylas, HLE slowly came back into the game. From side lane macro to filling in the void in HLE’s teamfighting, they finally managed to put one on the board for themselves.
The game was very even throughout game 4. Park “Morgan” Gi-tae’s Irelia managed to score a solo kill, which boosted HLE’s morale. Both mid laners managed to keep their teams in the game, but in the end, HLE were the ones to take dragon soul; the teamfight that came straight after was a landslide victory. Before anyone knew it, HLE went from 0-2 to 2-2.
However, in the end, T1 were the winners of game 5. HLE gained early game leads through Kim “Willer” Jeong-hyun’s pathing, but T1 stayed in the game through their macro. It all came down to the teamfighting, but with superior teamfighting composition, T1 were able to pull through and close out the series.
2021 LCK Regional Qualifier round 3 results
T1 3 - 2 Hanwha Life Esports
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