Road To Worlds: H2K
If you watched any of Season Five of the European League of Legends Championship Series (EU LCS,) you saw H2K dominate the scene. Coming fresh out of the Challenger Series, H2K looked like they always belonged in the EU LCS. After getting half of their total losses out of the way in the beginning of the spring split, they started pulling off major upsets, including taking a game away from SK. The fan vote for H2K to win the game was a measly 13.97 percent, but H2K taught them not to make that mistake again.
After this moment in the split, opposing teams and fans alike realized that H2K was a real threat. Not very many teams coming from the Challenger Series can show that level of play or wind up at the top. Progressively through the split, H2K continued to cause huge upsets until they had built up a reputable fan base. They went from never getting more than a 30 percent fan vote on games to consistently getting over 50 and 60 percent. A large number of fans love support player Raymond "KaSing" Tsang for not only his hilariously awkward interviews on the analyst desk, but also his innovative and fun support play style.
After building such a fan base, H2K knew that they couldn't let the fans down. Then came the moment of truth. Would the lovable new team from the Challenger Series crack under the pressure of the big league or continue to prove their worth by putting up consistent numbers? After the final weeks of the split, they ended very firmly in third place, which was beyond what was originally expected of them. After such a dominate showing from the newbies, everyone expected them to grow even more.
The spring split was then upon them, and the overall hype from H2K was growing. Everyone loves hearing about a good underdog story. H2K wasn't necessarily an underdog at this point, but still being one of the youngest teams in the LCS, they still had a lot to prove before being called veterans. H2K once again got a strong head start in beating ROCCAT in a fairly convincing game. The only problem was, they lost their next game to the other new team on the block, Origen. H2K and Origen began fighting for the title of the best Challenger Series team.
Progressing through the split, both teams were neck and neck, usually within one or two wins of overtaking the other. Many spectators felt that this mini-rivalry generated hype not only for the fans, but for the players as well. The drive to do better than someone you are compared to is a common one that many people have, so it made relating and loving these two teams so much easier. With their new generated hype, H2K dominated and laid waste to the rest of the split, coming in third right behind Origen by only one win.
The kicker to the story is that H2K had been in the EU LCS longer, thus they were able to generate more championship points, which are used to determine who from each region goes to represent at Worlds. So although H2K finished in the third place spot overall, they still were able to qualify for Worlds. With the weight of having to go through The Gauntlet off their chest, H2K could rest for a little bit.
The fact that they went from the Challenger Series to Worlds in under a year justifies their right to be a top team. Now that they are qualified, the only thing left to do is grow. All EU LCS fans are counting on them to bring their A-game alongside Fnatic and Origen.
Disclaimer: parts of the stories in this series were written and edited by Zachary Feltis in cooperation with author Josh Taylor.
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