After Oct. 8’s close contests, the 2021 Worlds play-ins closed on a whimper. In two series with foregone conclusions before they began, Hanwha Life Esports and Cloud9 bulldozed their opponents, ruining any sense of lingering suspense.
However, whether you are a fan of the winning teams or not, some of the games are worth watching as their opponents had flashes of brilliance. The final two-sentence summaries of the play-ins, with ratings, are as below:
Explaining the ratings
- 0 / 5: a blunder-filled affair, worthy of the infamous Dignitas vs. Renegades 2016 regular season game. Anything lower is unbefitting of a Worlds-level game.
- 1 / 5: a blunder-filled affair, but one that makes a slight bit of sense as both teams have played to an otherwise passable level.
- 2 / 5: a forgettable or lopsided game on one end, without anything redeeming from the other team. Either that, or a contested game filled with macro errors.
- 3 / 5: a competitive game, but some mistakes have ensued on both sides.
- 4 / 5: a high-quality game with few mistakes deciding the outcome.
- 5 / 5: a game that should be immortalized forever, as is the SK Telecom T1 vs. ROX Tigers series.
Game to watch if you haven’t
Game 1: Beyond Gaming vs. (W) Hanwha Life Esports: 3 / 5
In a solid showing on both teams, Hanwha Life Esports thrived across the board despite Beyond’s show of resistance. Ultimately, HLE’s teamfighting took them to the finish line as Doggo was unable to scale to his peak power on Aphelios.
Game 1: PEACE vs. (W) Cloud9: 3 / 5
PEACE went at Cloud9 guns blazing, but their disorderly teamfighting leading to the lategame cost them the victory. Cloud9’s calm and efficient solo laners, Perkz and Fudge, bailed the team out of a compromising situation.
Game to watch for Cloud9 fans
Game 2: PEACE vs. (W) Cloud9: 2 / 5
Apparently, someone must have ordered a montage from Cloud9’s Blaber and Fudge because they delivered just that. Beyond the fifth minute of the game, everything that could have gone wrong went wrong for PEACE.
Game 3: Cloud9 (W) vs. PEACE: 2 / 5
PEACE’s only highlight during the game was Aladoric’s escapes on Rakan while spamming the Cloud9 emote. We will lament the death of Shelly, the Rift Herald, before she could crash on PEACE’s nexus; and we lament Perkz stealing Zven’s pentakill.
Speedy games to watch for Hanwha Life Esports fans
Game 2: Hanwha Life Esports (W) vs. Beyond Gaming: 2 / 5
The overeager Beyond Gaming ran into an unbreakable Hanwha Life Esports over and over, leading to a 22-minute HLE victory. Our commiserations go to Willer (Lee Sin) as Morgan’s Jarvan IV denied him the pentakill.
Game 3: Hanwha Life Esports (W) vs. Beyond Gaming: 2 / 5
Willer Life Esports (wait, not Chovy Life?) put on a masterclass as he fended off an counter-invade and took over the game through ganks and proactive pathing. The only deplorable moment for HLE: their unwillingness to commit to fountain-diving Doggo.