Welcome to our Worlds 2021 match ratings, as we enter the knockout stage. Every day, I, your designated guinea pig and critic, will watch all of the world championship games so you don’t have to. I will be here to dish out star ratings for every game and let you know if I recommend the slew of fights that day at Worlds.
My rating scale is from 1 (lowest) to 5 (highest) stars. Here’s what each star rating means in layman’s terms:
* = Boring. Utterly skippable and something no one will remember by tomorrow.
** = Watchable. Possibly recommended based on your rooting interests.
*** = Good. Something I’d recommend checking out, even if you’re not a fan of either team.
**** = Must-watch. A game or series that you need to watch if you have any interest in League of Legends.
***** = An all-time classic. This perfect rating is only achievable if a game or match is at the highest level of entertainment, gameplay and will go down in the lexicon as a moment no League of Legends fan will ever forget.
The first matchup of the knockout stage is a best-of-five series between T1 and Hanwha Life Esports at Worlds 2021. We’re here to break down each match of the series, live, as the games are played out. Who will get the upper hand and progress?
*** ½ stars
Well, that was close until it wasn’t. Hanwha Life Esports fell behind early, but they executed some nice mechanical outplays and won some key skirmishes to keep the game even.
As the game went along, though, T1 ramped up and showcased a better understanding of the map while HLE felt stuck in the mid lane, hoisting up Hail Mary attempts to find a pick to open up a neutral objective.
A fun start to an all-LCK quarterfinals that could be over sooner rather than later unless HLE has a trick or two to bring out in the next few games.
* ½ stars
HLE drafted a composition to get ahead early and contest T1 at their usual eight-minute Rift Herald. Both teams showed up at the Herald and played musical chairs for a few minutes, as minion waves were sacrificed in the bottom lane. Finally, T1 isolated HLE’s Park “Morgan” Gi-tae from the dance party and capitalized on the five-on-four to, for all intents and purposes, win the game.
HLE had one job and failed at it in underwhelming fashion. The rest of the game was a slow steamroll for T1. This series appears to be over.
It took me more time to write this one-star review than it did for T1 to win this series.
After a semi-close first game that saw T1’s superior teamplay pull them ahead, the three-time world championship franchise didn’t look back. HLE were the little brother getting thrown around and humbled by their elder sibling, outclassed in every conceivable way.
Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok is now 6-0 in world championship quarterfinal history. We will see if the GOAT can make his fifth final next week.
Tyler Erzberger is entering a decade of covering esports. When not traveling around the world telling stories about people shouting over video games, he’s probably arguing with an anime avatar on Twitter about North American esports.