The last day for Group C teams to impress, who will be able to make it to the next stage of competition?
The 2021 LoL World Championship is flying by, with only two days left in the Group Stage. With two groups already finishing up, it was up to Group C to send two teams home today. The LPL's RNG started off with a 3-0 record and looked great. Meanwhile, Fnatic, with a substitute ADC, struggled to find their footing in the first round-robin. Finally, Hanwha Life and PSG Talon looked to best each other and grab that second seed out. Everything was on the line in this final day, and the teams had to put on their best performances of the year to keep their tournament hopes alive!
Hanwha Life Esports vs PSG Talon
In a match that could be a deciding factor in who gets second in the group, it was HLE who came out swinging. At six minutes, the bot side of the map joined up with Willer in the river, where they forced a fight onto PSG. Here, HLE found a great start by picking up two quick kills, including the First Blood. After this, HLE immediately went and claimed their first dragon of the game, then waited five minutes and took a second. PSG tried to respond later by taking the Rift Herald but HLE even stole that away, which helped them knock down the mid tower too.
PSG couldn't seem to find a way into the game, and HLE was perfectly happy making all the moves. At 16 minutes, HLE already had a 4k gold lead with only the two kills. When the 17-minute mark rolled around, HLE slew a third dragon then turned for the fight on the contesting PSG. As expected, HLE ran through PSG, killing three while only losing one. The next fight broke out around the Baron soon after it spawned, and once again, HLE secured not only two kills, but the Baron buff as well.
While HLE couldn't do lethal damage with the Baron, it did help them get one kill and their fourth dragon, giving them Cloud Soul. The game stalled for a few minutes as HLE played smart and didn't opt into any unnecessary fights, until the second Baron spawned. Without issue, HLE picked the buff up and made for the base. But a bottom lane team fight erupted and it was utter domination for HLE. PSG weren't able to even get one kill, and after HLE Ace'd them, HLE had an easy time strolling into the PSG base and destroying the Nexus.
- Teams: HLE-PSG
- Time: 29:54
- Kills: 15-2
- Turrets: 9-3
- Gold: 61.4k-45.4k
- Dragons: 4-0
- Barons: 2-0
Royal Never Give Up vs Fnatic
A David versus Goliath matchup that would be huge if FNC could win. The early game was very split between the two teams. RNG decided to focus the top side, as they even got First Blood onto Adam at three minutes, while FNC focused the bottom lane. Even from the onset, it was a bloody game, with RNG diving and killing Nisqy under his tower, FNC invading the RNG jungle and killing Wei, and two skirmishes where each team won one with two kills. While FNC was making great headway, Adam struggled and was killed multiple times trying to simply exist top.
Moving into the mid game, FNC was strong and was running the map. However, come 20 minutes, RNG started to fight back. During a 21 minute team fight, GALA was massive on the Aphelios and helped his team trade up three kills. Shortly after, FNC forced a scrappy fight in the top lane, where they came out ahead a kill and the Baron, but had to trade three members for the uber buff. FNC couldn't do too much with this buff as the game still teetered on the edge.
Back and forth in the bloodbath
But then disaster struck for FNC. The teams met for a 27 minute team fight, where GALA once again carried it to a victory. RNG Ace'd FNC and appeared to be stronger in team fights now. That didn't last long though, as FNC found a stellar team fight a few minutes later, where the struggling Adam came up huge by killing GALA. With four dead, RNG had to watch as FNC secured a second Baron.
At 33 minutes, with the Baron buff, FNC finally found their Mountain Soul, then killed all five RNG members in the fight afterward. However, they weren't able to break into the base. Without too many issues, FNC knocked down the middle Inhibitor then went bot. Here, Bwipo managed to make a huge play and lock up Cryin, who was killed instantly. In the 4v5, RNG desperately tried to defend but couldn't manage. FNC took their man advantage and ran it straight into the RNG Nexus.
- Teams: RNG-FNC
- Time: 37:25
- Kills: 28-26
- Turrets: 5-10
- Gold: 66.7k-75.3k
- Dragons: 2-4
- Barons: 0-2
PSG Talon vs Royal Never Give Up
Both of these teams began the day with losses, and neither of them wanted a second one. It was RNG who kicked off the early action, as they three-man invaded the PSG jungle and killed River for First Blood. Shortly after that, RNG secured the first dragon to start stacking those. From here, RNG focused the bot side hard, diving between towers to kill River again, then pressuring the PSG duo off the tower to take the First Tower bonus there a couple of minutes after. Although, Hanabi did get a slight lead when River used Herald top to get him plates.
While the plates didn't seem like much at the time, they definitely mattered. That's because, at 17 minutes, the RNG duo lane tried to kill him but Hanabi outplayed them and killed them both by himself. That said, RNG was still in a great spot, as around that time they claimed a third dragon, setting themselves on Soul point. The first major team fight broke out at 20 minutes, where RNG picked up three kills for one. However, the next fight was all PSG, as a fight in the bot river went south for them and resulted in four kills for PSG.
After these bouts of action, the game calmed down. About six minutes passed and RNG was able to pick up the Infernal Soul for free. PSG tried to trade Baron but couldn't, so they walked away empty-handed. Eventually, the game-deciding fight erupted in the mid lane, where RNG finally got the fight they needed. Hanabi dropped early, so RNG chased and killed three in total. With this, RNG was able to rush the base and take the Nexus, as well as a guaranteed spot in the Knockout Stage.
- Teams: PSG-RNG
- Time: 32:17
- Kills: 8-10
- Turrets: 1-9
- Gold: 49.9k-59.2k
- Dragons: 1-4
- Barons: 0-0
Fnatic vs Hanwha Life Esports
Invigorated from an earlier win against RNG, FNC still had to win every match today to stay alive at Worlds 2021. They started this game off well too, outplaying a three-minute HLE invade to get First Blood. But HLE kept up the aggression, invading the opposite side of the map and killing Bwipo. HLE found more gold when Willer helped Deft get a kill onto Hylissang, but FNC wasn't about to stay down. They sent four top to dive and kill Morgan three times within about seven minutes, getting much-needed gold back through him and his tower.
It was a very close game and the action never seemed to stop. Leading into the mid game and during it, there were a ton of skirmishes, often in the mid lane as the teams fought for objective control. HLE won the first one at 14 minutes three-for-one, but FNC struck back in the next few minutes with multiple picks onto various HLE members. Post 20-minutes was hectic still too, with HLE winning a 22-minute team fight three-for-one, then FNC winning out on one at 25 minutes two-for-one in kills.
Then, HLE saw their moment. At the Infernal Dragon, HLE stole it away and, due to fantastic play from Chovy on LeBlanc, Ace'd FNC. This gave them massive pressure, which they leveraged after catching out Adam. In a bizarre move, FNC in the 4v5 let HLE push down four towers and two Inhibitors, putting them one mistake away from doom. Eventually, HLE managed to secure their Infernal Soul and set up around Baron. Having no option, FNC contested it and HLE instantly turned on them. One by one, FNC fell and was Ace'd again, which allowed HLE to finally push in and take the FNC Nexus.
Sadly for them, this loss made sure FNC could not take second place in the group or advance farther in Worlds 2021.
- Teams: FNC-HLE
- Time: 43:08
- Kills: 23-27
- Turrets: 4-11
- Gold: 74.8k-80.5k
- Dragons: 2-4
- Barons: 0-1
Hanwha Life Esports vs Royal Never Give Up
The battle between the two top dogs in Group C was one that had potentially a big impact on the standings. But HLE was hungry to take the top spot, and it showed at level one when HLE snuck into the top side and caught Xiaohu unaware, killing from for First Blood. Although Wei ganked Chovy to get one back, HLE hard focused the top lane and ended up killing Xiaohu four times by 10 minutes, taking his tower with the Rift Herald too. HLE gained a huge lead here and looked to move it around the map.
During the mid game, RNG did manage to find a couple of kills but HLE was still in the driver's seat. They had the track on dragons and Rift Heralds both, while knocking down a couple of towers too. Cresting the 20-minute mark, Baron was on the cards and both teams eyed it. But it was around the third dragon where a huge team fight happened. Here, HLE once again came out on top, killing three and claiming the dragon.
Five minutes later, HLE was easily able to take the Infernal Soul as RNG hesitated to pull the trigger. The hesitation was the killer for RNG. It gave over that Soul, as well as a Baron Nashor two minutes later. While Morgan split pushed in the bottom lane, the teams postured for a 5v4 team fight in RNG's favor mid. However, RNG just refused to fight even with the man advantage, and HLE forced it in spite of it. It was a clean Ace for HLE, which let them easily push and end the game.
- Teams: HLE-RNG
- Time: 36:06
- Kills: 15-5
- Turrets: 8-3
- Gold: 66.5k-57.2k
- Dragons: 4-1
- Barons: 1-0
Fnatic vs PSG Talon
This game had no real impact but FNC and PSG still played their hearts out. PSG started it off with a bang, three-man ganking and killing Adam for First Blod. After this, they punished FNC who overextended in their jungle, killing two. Meanwhile, both top laners solo killed each other at the same time, which was funny. From here, it was very fast-paced, with skirmishes, ganks tower takes and objectives falling all over the map. With all of this, it was still a very close game though.
Once in the mid game, it was PSG who snagged the first Baron after they caught out Hylissang and won a team fight with two more kills. In a fit of desperation or insanity, FNC fought the 3v5 there and, to little surprise, lost a member without getting any kills. During the Baron buff duration, PSG won two more team fights, getting seven kills while trading back only four. Even though they kept getting knocked down, FNC kept getting back up and taking it to PSG.
This determination made it a bloody, almost silly game towards the end. PSG was playing with their food and it was obvious, but FNC was happy to brawl it out. PSG as a team slowly chipped away at FNC's base but took care not to end, even after taking everything besides the Nexus. Between Maple solo killing Adam, then Adam solo killing Maple, and Hanabi killing Hylissang in a 1v3, the "for fun" attitude was great to see for the two teams that were out of contention. Eventually though, PSG did Ace FNC and end this banger of a game.
- Teams: FNC-PSG
- Time: 36:30
- Kills: 15-33
- Turrets: 4-11
- Gold: 63.4k-76.2k
- Dragons: 1-4
- Barons: 0-2
Tiebreaker: Hanwha Life Esports vs Royal Never Give Up
To dodge other first seeds, like DWG KIA or T1, it was imperative to win here. The opening minutes of the game were relatively quiet, as HLE took Herald and RNG secured a dragon. At 14 minutes, First Blood finally came out for HLE but RNG traded a kill back, making it a one-for-one. But HLE, a minute later, found a solid foothold in the game by beating RNG in a team fight two-for-zero in kills and securing the Herald.
From this point of power, HLE looked like they'd be getting rolling, but almost immediately threw it. Off of overaggression, HLE gave three kills over RNG in an extended fight, as well as a second dragon. The next few minutes passed quickly, until the next dragon spawned. Wanting to stop RNG's dragon stacking, HLE contested them and found a great fight, this time killing three from RNG and their first dragon.
Like clockwork, HLE and RNG faced off at each of the next dragons, where one went to HLE at 28 minutes, then one to RNG at 33. All the while, RNG came out slightly ahead in kills in the team fights as their AOE team fighting composition scaled past HLE's pick comp. At last, RNG claimed their Ocean Soul at 38 minutes after pushing HLE into their base.
The end of the game was wild though. RNG rushed the Baron and got it without problem, then pushed top straight to the Inhibitor. Not slowing down, RNG pushed towards the Nexus, but pan camera and Chovy was near the RNG base, simply pushing mid. Of course, HLE didn't have a hope to defend in the 4v5, and as multiple members dropped, RNG blasted the HLE Nexus and took their place at the top of Group C.
- Teams: HLE-RNG
- Time: 43:44
- Kills: 11-19
- Turrets: 4-10
- Gold: 69.7k-77.1k
- Dragons: 2-4
- Barons: 0-2