After a strong 12-6 performance in the 2021 LCK Spring Split regular season, Hanwha Life Esports likely entered the playoffs with plenty of confidence. But what many fans and pundits expected to be an easy 3-0 series for HLE today quickly turned into a fight for their lives against Nongshim RedForce.
This League of Legends match was intense with both teams exchanging blows. In the end, HLE took the win in a close 3-2 series against NS. Chovy was the player of the series, playing four different champions throughout today’s showdown and popping off on all of them. Even in the games HLE lost, Chovy was the beacon of hope who almost helped his team turn the tides against NS.
This series opened up with a surprise from the underdogs, who managed to hold the line against HLE quite well. Deokdam’s Ezreal almost helped his team secure the first win for NS, but Chovy’s Renekton didn’t allow that to happen. His decisive engages in teamfights in the late game helped HLE win the first game of the series.
In the following two games, both teams went blow for blow and adjusted their drafting phases. They were banning out crucial picks that looked successful for their opponents in the previous match. And this was seemingly a great tactic for both teams since they each picked up a game win in this stretch of the best-of-five.
With the series on match point in favor of HLE, NS banned away Chovy’s picks to force him onto something he hasn’t played as much. The tactic didn’t quite work out, though, and Chovy found success on Viktor. But NS were able to shut down his teammates and equalize the series.
The last game was even for the most part until HLE support Vsta took his team’s fate into his own hands and used a decisive Alistar engage to gave Chovy a huge lead. The superstar mid laner then took over the game with his smooth Orianna combos and helped HLE survive another day in the LCK playoffs.
HLE will now advance to the 2021 LCK Spring Split playoff semifinals, where they’ll have to face either DK or Gen.G. Based on the current playoff format, the team in the upper bracket (DK) will have the ability to choose their opponent. They’ll be able to pick between HLE or the winner of T1 vs. DRX.
The LCK playoffs continue tomorrow, April 1, with T1 vs. DRX at 3am CT.
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