2016 Worlds recap: H2K take first in Group C

H2K Gaming lineup, courtesy of lolesports.com
H2K Gaming lineup, courtesy of lolesports.com /

Group C ended in a battle for first and Europe’s H2K emerged victorious.

Describe the 2016 World Championship in a word, and “surprising” might be it. From Europe’s disappointing first week to Albus NoX Luna making the bracket stage, to another wildcard upsetting a top team, this has been a crazy tournament. Well, the crazy just went up a notch yesterday as H2K Gaming, left by many for dead, strung together a miracle stretch of games to take first place in Group B.

Let’s take a look at what happened in yesterday’s action.

EDward Gaming defeat INTZ e-Sports

This was pretty much the only match to go to plan. EDward Gaming played well around early-game pressure, picking up kills on a minion crash dive. They transitioned into flawless macro that rendered INTZ’s best player, top laner Felipe “Yang” Zhao, useless.

H2K Gaming defeat ahq e-Sports club

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We thought this match would be settled by top laners  Yi “Ziv” Chen and Andrei “Odoamne” Pascu. That actually turned out not to be the case. The game was won by H2K’s mid laner Yoo “Ryu” Sang-ook going OFF on re-worked Ryze.

Ryu had ahq mid laner Liu “Westdoor” Shu-Wei’s Lissandra shoved in. First Blood for Ryu was a technicality after ahq decided to invade H2K’s blue despite losing that lane. Meanwhile, Konstantinos “Forg1ven Tzortziou dominated ahq ADC Chou “An” Chun-An in lane and ahq’s lack of objective control led to Forg1ven’s Caitlin building an insurmountable farm lead.

That gold lead came into play in the game’s pivotal teamfight, a 4v5 won by H2K due to An’s completely absent damage. Ahq’s Kang “Albis” Chia-Wei stalled the game a bit by stealing Baron afterwards on his support Karma, but H2K remained in full control and won easily.

H2K Gaming defeat EDward Gaming

No rest for the weary. H2K had to turn around immediately and face the team they just tied for first place in the group. We wrote in our preview that “Forg1ven

Forg1ven in game, courtesy of lolesports.com
Forg1ven in game, courtesy of lolesports.com /

has been known to solo carry” — and he was fantastic.

Sure Kim “Deft” Hyuk-kyu beat him in the lane phase — well the first part of it — but EDG never played around that advantage and winning lanes in top and mid gave H2K control of the map. Forg1ven survived a couple gank attempts, built super cocky with cull first and boots second, and still showed up in fights.

 ahq e-Sports club defeat INTZ e-Sports

Ahq dominated this match with macro play. Albis was everywhere and ahq controlled the map.

H2K Gaming defeat INTZ e-Sports

H2K needed one more win to punch their ticket to the quarterfinals, and they got it. I loved the moxie INTZ played with during the tournament: they made proactive plays instead of ceding objective after objective. But H2K was just a step ahead of all the calls.

EDward Gaming defeat ahq e-Sports club

Instead of a match for first place, this turned into a loser-goes-home battle. And it looked pretty dire for EDG.

Ahq took tower after tower, objective after objective, and EDG had no pressure anywhere on the map. Ziv was dominating Chen “Mouse” Yu-Hao on the Gnar vs. Poppy matchup.

But EDG turtled, scrapped for vision, and contested what few objectives they could. Eventually, their teamfight prowess began to pay off. Mouse’s Poppy started negati

ahq ADC An, courtesy of leagueoflegends.com
ahq ADC An, courtesy of leagueoflegends.com /

ng Gnar’s engages with Steadfast Presence, and the fights revealed ahq’s Achilles heel: An.

With Gnar reduced to a massive peeler for An’s Jinx, ahq’s turned into a protect-the ADC comp dependent on An’s damage. And in the game’s final teamfight, An was completely absent. Despite playing an extremely AA-focused champion in Jinx, An was never in range to hit anybody. That lost fight turned into elimination for ahq.

H2K Gaming defeat EDward Gaming

Bonus League for the second straight night, H2K took on EDG one last time to complete a best-of-3. And EDG’s early game struggles again reared their head as H2K won the lane phase and kept a consistent farm advantage.

Ryu was fantastic. So was odoamne. but the star was Forg1ven:

H2K is now Europe’s only hope. How far can they go?

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