For the second straight year, a European LCS team will play in the Worlds semifinals. Following Fnatic and Origen’s footsteps last year, H2K booked its ticket to New York City with a 3-0 sweep of Albus NoX Luna Sunday in the quarterfinal.
H2K will face Samsung Galaxy at Madison Square Garden next week, with a triple to the finals in LA on the line. Samsung knocked out the final NA LCS team in the competition, Cloud9, in a 3-0 sweep earlier in the week.
For Albus NoX, it ends a miracle run for the Russian Wildcard. The team went 4-2 in Group A, sweeping Counter Logic Gaming and recording wins over Korean champions ROX Tigers and European champions G2 Esports. ANX became the first Wildcard team to ever make it out of the group stage, and certainly changed how the League community thinks about Wildcards in international tournaments.
H2K snowballed massive leads from the early game in each of the three games, not allowing Albus NoX to get the stage where its patented late-game teamfighting could shine.
In Game 1, H2K built up a huge lead top lane for Odoamne’s Jayce, starving Smurf’s Gnar out of any gold and getting the Jayce more and more fed.
First Blood and a Double Kill for @OdoamneLoL! #Worlds https://t.co/MZ0KICsSuI— lolesports #Worlds (@lolesports) October 16, 2016
Shortly after that double kill, Odoamne solokilled Smurf under tower, and held a gold lead of greater than 3k just over his lane opponent before 15 minutes.
That lead moved to the rest of the team, as H2K grouped and routed Albus NoX with a huge advantage. At 26 minutes, a near-pentakill for Ryu broke open the ANX base.
Penta denied, but it's a Quadra Kill for @H2kRyU! -_- #Worlds https://t.co/6rRScOTHsj— lolesports #Worlds (@lolesports) October 16, 2016
An Albus NoX Baron steal extended the game, but H2K was still able to close it out 28-8 in 34 minutes.
In Game 2, Odoamne picked up the first kill of the game on his Jayce once again. ANX tried to make a proactive play in the bottom lane, bringing PVPStejos down, but H2K brought everyone down to counter (with Odoamne’s teleport well ahead of Smurf’s) and won the 4-1 fight.
Party in the bot lane! First Blood for @OdoamneLoL and 3 more kills for @H2KGG! #Worlds https://t.co/Hv6YejpnHp— lolesports #Worlds (@lolesports) October 16, 2016
Odoamne once again built up a massive lead over Smurf in the exact same matchup, and H2K used that to get the first turret of the game. Without a stolen Baron this time, it was a much easier game for H2K to close out, winning 15-2 in 23 minutes.
In Game 3, it was Ryu who picked up First Blood on his Syndra with a solokill against Kira.
First Blood for @H2kRyU as he solo-kills @kirrrra007! #Worlds https://t.co/pswAE48SAT— lolesports #Worlds (@lolesports) October 17, 2016
Ryu killed him again a few minutes later -- it was a start reminiscent of TSM Bjergsen’s Zilean against Samsung Crown’s Viktor. By 13 minutes, he had four kills, all of them on Kira. Albus Nox stayed relatively in the game with pressure bot, and even down 10k gold at 31 minutes ANX was able to push down inhibitor while H2K went for Baron.
Can @albusnoxteam turn it around? They take @H2KGG's bot inhib! #Worlds https://t.co/XgxFN6S0XF— lolesports #Worlds (@lolesports) October 17, 2016
But a 3-1 fight in ANX’s base minutes later sealed the game for H2K 18-11 in 34 minutes, clinching the semifinal spot.