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T1 picked up the first quarterfinals victory at Worlds 2021, after defeating Hanwha Life Esports in a 3-0 clean sweep. The team dominated the series from beginning to end leaving no chance for HLE. T1’s demolition of HLE shows how much they have improved given how close these teams were at the LCK regional finals. It also sets the stage for an exciting and intense semifinal series.
With this win, T1 advance to the semi-finals and await the winners of the DWG KIA vs. MAD Lions series. Meanwhile, HLE bow out of the tournament after clawing their way out of play-ins, before progressing from the group stage.
T1 series against HLE at Worlds 2021
T1 began Game 1 of the best-of-five series on the blue side and opted to prioritize the Graves pick. They also banned Sylas and Leblanc, leaving Jeong “Chovy” Ji-hoon with fewer options in the mid lane. HLE responded with a Twisted Fate and Ryze ban to stop Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok from taking over the game. However, their failure to focus on Lee “Gumayusi” Min-hyung’s Apehlios proved to be costly as T1 channelled most of their resources into the champion. This decision paid off for T1, with Gumayusi terrorizing the bot lane and team fights. He also went deathless in the first game, with a 3/0/6 Kill/Death/Assist Ratio.
Furthermore, HLE made the same mistake in the draft in Game 2 with their failure to ban Apehilos. This time, T1 had a much stronger lane matchup with HLE’s bot side on Varus and Nautilus. The Varus pick from HLE came as a surprise, given that the champion was yet to feature at Worlds 2021. Also, since its nerf in Patch 11.19, the champion has not found much success on the rift.
Kim “Deft” Hyuk-kyu’s abysmal performance on Varus showed why the champion was not a tournament favourite. He failed to have a positive impact, especially in team fights, and ended the game with a 1/2/0 KDA. Also, T1’s Gwen and Poppy combination in the top lane and jungle gave HLE no chance to find advantages on that side of the map. In the third game, HLE decided to pick Varus into Aphelios again, and just like last time, it ended in a T1 victory.
Jimoh Rashidat is a freelance esports writer with over two years of experience. She covers FIFA, League of Legends and general gaming content.