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Fragster | 16. September 2021

Hanwha Life Esports seek redemption after missing summer playoffs

Following the region’s recent excellent performances internationally, the LCK has been rewarded with an extra Worlds seed, and despite them being established as one of the best regions in competitive League of Legends, the LCK looks to prove that it is indeed not a one-team region, seeking to establish dominance once again. 

This team has had an up-and-down season in the LCK. They placed third in the regular season and the playoffs of the spring split, but towards the end had a bit of a questionable form. In the spring, they had won 3-2 against Nongshim RedForce, which was rather unexpected at the time. However, they got cleanly swept by Damwon Kia. 

In the summer, things took a turn for the worse for this squad. They ended the regular season with a 7-11 record, missing out on the summer playoffs as they were in eighth place. They made it into the regional qualifiers, and they showed a great improvement in their form against Liiv Sandbox and Nongshim RedForce, with a 3-1 scoreline against the former, and a 3-0 clean sweep against the latter.

This team is usually called “Chovy and the boys”, where the team lives and dies with Jeong “Chovy” Ji-hoon’s performance. Chovy is one of the best mid laners in the LCK, who generates huge leads in the laning phase, usually regardless of the matchup that he is in. The problem with this is that he cannot always be on a champion that can carry singlehandedly, and sometimes the team is already so far behind that he cannot bring them back. In addition, a prominent mistake for him is that he is often late to a lot of team fights because he prioritizes getting farm in a side lane. 

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HLE at the LCK Summer Split (via INVEN Esports)

This team seemed to have some problems with not knowing who to start for their top lane and jungle positions as well. Park “Morgan” Gi-tae and Lee “DuDu” Dong-ju showed no clear distinctions both in style of play and champion picks. In the jungle, it seems as if there is also no clear reason as to why the team used to switch between Park “Arthur” Mi-reu, Kim “yoHan” Yo-han, and Kim “Willer” Jeong-hyeon. 

In the regional qualifier, it appeared that this team finally figured out their optimal roster and how to play together as a team. They decided to stick with Morgan and Willer, and the team stuck to a particular game plan: Morgan held his own in the top lane, Willer was able to make aggressive moves on the map, but almost never overextended, Chovy was usually on picks that can make the difference for his team, Kim “Deft” Hyu-kyu returned to the form that was expected of him, and Oh “Vsta” Hyo-seong also showed a better form than he did in the summer season, also while showing a willingness to take on mage supports to punish enemies in lane. 

At the moment, their team play still needs some work, and their journey starting through play-ins would help this team improve greatly to become actual contenders for the title.

 

(Header image via INVEN Esports)