T1 beat HLE in first match of 2021 LCK Spring Split without Faker

Clozer popped off today on his signature Irelia pick.

Photo via Riot Games

T1 won their first series of the 2021 LCK Spring Split today against Hanwha Life Esports. It was a hard-fought 2-1 victory and they did it by fielding a roster without Faker.

The first MVP vote was picked up by Ellim in the first game for his immaculate Olaf gameplay, securing most neutral objectives and finishing the game with 100-percent kill participation. The second MVP vote went to Chovy, who helped equalize the series for HLE, while the third one went to Clozer for his impressive Irelia mechanics that helped T1 close out the match.

This League of Legends series began with a huge statement from T1, who outplayed HLE in all lanes by picking up kills left and right with calculated plays. The gold difference steadily grew in favor of T1, almost reaching a 14,000 gold lead toward the end of the game. HLE had no answers for T1’s aggressive plays and lost the first game after 30 minutes.

Following the devastating loss in the first game, HLE changed their priority to Olaf in the draft phase. They picked it up in the first round for their jungler and it worked wonders for them. Rookie jungler Park “Arthur” Mi-reu was a decisive factor in HLE’s win in the second game, helping the team secure all neutral objectives while being a great frontline on Olaf.

T1 kept trying to stop HLE from equalizing the series, but the Rell pick caught them off guard and won HLE a couple of teamfights to help them close out the second game.

Following T1’s loss in the second game, most League fans were wondering if Faker would come in to save the day. But that wasn’t necessary. T1 changed their draft priority and banned out Olaf, forcing Arthur on Graves again—and they were prepared. The highlight of T1’s drafting phase was an Irelia blind pick, Clozer’s signature pick.

The third game was reminiscent of the first one with T1 being in the driver’s seat throughout the entire game. Even though they were dropping kills this time, HLE couldn’t capitalize on any small advantages or convert them into neutral objectives. A huge play by Clozer for the third drake helped T1 grow a lead and close out the series.

T1’s roster looked great today. The players seemingly had synergy across the board, which helped them secure their first win of the 2021 LCK Spring Split.

Fans will have the opportunity to see T1 on the Rift again when they face the 2020 world champions DWG KIA on Friday, Jan. 15 at 6am CT.

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