Worlds: T1 Sweep Hanwha to Secure First Semifinal Spot

In the first quarterfinal of Worlds, T1 left Hanwha Life Esports no chance. Lee "Faker" Sang-hyeok and his team ended the series in a 3-0 sweep and making it clear they should be treated as one of the tournament favorites.

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T1 are on their way to the semis © Riot Games

The Worlds playoffs started on Friday with a fully Korean quarterfinal in which T1 took on Hanwha Life Esports. So far at Worlds, Faker and his his team only suffered a single loss to the LPL champion EDward Gaming before going on a five-game winning streak in their groups. Hanwha, meanwhile, fought on through the play-ins and narrowly missed first place in their group after a tiebreaker with Royal Never Give Up.

The last time the two teams fought, it was a five-game brawl between a Hanwha eager to redeem their season and a T1 that seemed to finally hit their stride. While the three-time world champions were coming as favorites, this seemed to be a promising bout.

A Clean Sweep

On the day, however, it quickly became clear T1 were a class above their rival. The first game started even, but a single 2-1 fight 16 minutes let the favorites take the lead and they never looked back. Kim "Deft" Hyuk-kyu’s Miss Fortune and Jeong "Chovy" Ji-hoon’s Zoe slowed the bleeding, but T1’s map dominance eventually became too much.

Hanwha doubled down on their early game comp for game 2. However, they lost two in the first big fight near the Herald and it was all downhill from there. Hanwha’s carries never managed to take off. An ace near the second Baron was enough for T1 to get to match point.

The third game only confirmed our suspicions that this series was not going to be close. Once again, T1 was doing well from the early game, but when Hanwha tried to get a herald only to get it stolen and lose four to boot, the game became completely one-sided. HLE tried to contest the Baron twice only to be routed both times and the second time, it cost them their nexus.

It was a show of force for T1, who looked nearly impeccable from the second week of the tournament. Will League of Legends’ most decorated Esports team contend for the cup again?

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Worlds continues with the next quarterfinal, featuring an all-LPL clash between EDward Gaming and Royal Never Give up. Make sure you follow us on Facebook and Twitter to stay on top of the news!