T1 defeated Hanwha Life Esports 3-0 to advance to the Worlds 2021 semi-finals, where they will face the winner of the DAMWON KIA versus MAD Lions match. Faker led the team to an easy victory.
T1 was a heavy favorites to win this one. Many people were astonished that Hanwha Life made it out of their group, especially given the caliber of the group. Unfortunately for Hanwha, their most recent Bo5 versus T1 ended in loss.
Although a 3-0 whitewash seems impossible, there was no question in anyone's mind when comparing T1 and Hanwha Life Esports. HLE's performance throughout the tournament seems to be quite consistent. However, the entire team came up short against T1's three-time world champion mid-laner. Faker put up a great and consistent performance across the three games, ensuring his side a very easy victory.
Game 1: T1 was able to gain a 1k gold advantage early in the game by picking up First Blood via a three-man gank in the top lane. However, after T1 failed in a 3v2 duel, HLE scored a kill back on the upper side of the map. As the gold deficit was decreased, HLE gained traction over the lanes. T1, with an 8k gold lead at the 32-minute mark, launched another siege on the HLE base. T1 attacked the base and made it seem simple in the mid to late game with two Inhibitors down. T1 had a strong first game win.
Game 2: Game Two got off to a sluggish start. Despite the absence of kills, T1 had already established a 2k gold advantage thanks to stronger early game plays. T1 maintained their early advantage, racking up three more kills in the ensuing encounter, with Baron appearing on the Rift shortly after. T1 were in complete control with a 5k gold lead of 18 minutes. At the end, T1 stormed down the HLE base and won in 30 minutes, advancing to match point as they controlled the series.
Game 3: T1 gained early control of the map as they maintained their dominance throughout the Rift. Moving to 6k gold ahead, they proceeded to clear lanes in preparation for a Baron battle. For HLE, it appeared like a blunder or a miraculous theft would be required to even bring them back into the game, let alone the series. T1 kept their methodical push going until grabbing the bot lane Inhibitor and spent more gold. It was the finest fight HLE had this game, but even so, with minions demolishing their foundation, it wasn't enough. T1 won 3-0, sending HLE home, with just a little more effort.
This was not T1's first best-of-five encounter against Hanwha and this won’t be their last. During the 2021 LCK Regional Qualifiers, these two teams contended for a spot at Worlds, and it was a much tighter match because it went the full five games. After 92 minutes, T1 had proven themselves as the superior Korean representation.
The winner of the quarter-final match between reigning champions DAMWON Gaming and MAD Lions will face T1 and Faker. This match, which will take place on October 24th, will decide the fate of the semi-final tie.