The 2021 League of Legends WCS playoffs have officially begun. With the quarterfinals underway, we’ve seen some of the top 8 teams being pitted against one another in a spectacular series of riveting best of 5 matches.
In traditional playoff style, the top seed of each group (A-D) is pitted against the second seed of each group. The matches and results are as follows:
- T1 vs Hanwha Esports
- Winner: T1
- Royal Never Give Up vs Edward Gaming
- Winner: Edward Gaming
- DAMWON Gaming vs MAD Lions
- Winner: TBD Oct 24
- Gen.G Esports vs Cloud9
- Winner: TBD Oct 25
T1 vs Hanwha Life Esports
Although not nearly as close as their last best of 5 encounter, these two LCK teams put everything on the line to stay in this tournament. T1, infamous for their three LoL WCS victories (2013, 2015, 2016) and electric mid laner Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok, took this matchup in a perfect shutout winning 3-0. In a somewhat poetic ending, Hanwha Esports fell to the team that forced them out of their group stage qualification in the 2021 LCK Regional Finals.
In their last best of 5 matchup at the LCK 2021 Regional Finals, the score was not nearly as close, with a narrow win by T1 3-2. This significantly-closer matchup started the same as this tournament’s matchup with two T1 victories; however, the tides turned in favor of Hanwha with a mirrored 2 back-to-back victories leaving the series 2-2.
In typical T1 fashion, the final match was a shutout. The shortest match in the series, T1 beat Hanwha Life Esports to punch their ticket into the 2021 LoL WCS group stages, sending Hanwha into the play-ins.
This time T1 came to play. Taking a similar 2-0 lead to the events of the LCK Regional Finals, hopes were still alive for a Hanwha Life Esports comeback; however, nothing of the sort arose.
As one of the most decorated WCS teams having made an appearance in 6 of the 11 total WCS tournaments and winning half of those encounters, T1 is the most experienced team on the WCS stage. While Hanwha managed to find 2 matches in the LCK Regional Finals, T1 did not let history repeat itself and mercilessly shut out the LCK play-in qualifier 3-0.
Edward Gaming vs Royal Never Give Up
Despite having lost their last matchup 0-2, Edward Gaming showed that history means nothing. In a terrific five match series, Edward Gaming narrowly defeated Royal Never Give Up 3-2. With the exception of the last two matches, every game was a narrow victory.
The series opened with a 14-8 Royal Never Give Up victory. Unwilling to lose again to their LPL rivals, EDG took the next matchup 23-12 and the third matchup by a miniscule margin of 16-15 to take a lead in the series. Demonstrating their incredible resolve, Royal Never Give Up demolished EDG in the fourth match, 19-5.
In response to this absolutely crushing defeat, EDG put on a similarly triumphant match, winning the fifth and final match 18-4 and securing their place in the Semifinals.
A Peek at the Semifinals
The two remaining matches in the quarterfinals are between the 2020 WCS champion, and favorite, DAMWON Gaming, against MAD Lions, and Gen.G Esports vs Cloud9.
The most likely victors are DAMWON Gaming and Gen.G Esports. As the first and second place, respectively, point leaders in the LCK, the region considered by many to be the most skillful, analysts predict that the LCK will take 3 of the 4 semifinals slots.
With T1 already securing the first spot and the LPL’s Edward Gaming taking the second slot, it is likely that the top 2 teams in the LCK will fill the remaining slots. With DAMWON Gaming yet to drop a match and Gen.G Esports being their toughest competitor in the regular season, a Cloud9 or MAD Lions upset is unlikely but not impossible.
To see which teams take the remaining spots in the semifinals, tune in to the 2021 LoL WCS live stream Oct 24th and 25th at 8:00 AM EST on YouTube, Twitch, and LoLEsports.
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