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Samsung Galaxy sweeps H2K, advances to Worlds finals

For the second straight year we get an all-Korean Worlds final.

Riot Games

Samsung Galaxy has continued its romp through Worlds. The Korean No. 3 seed followed up its 5-1 group stage with its second straight 3-0 sweep in the knockout stages, sweeping H2K in the semifinals Saturday night at Madison Square Garden.

With the win, Samsung will face defending champions SK Telecom T1 in the finals next week at Staples Center. SKT beat the ROX Tigers Friday in an epic five-game series. The matchup will pit two former Worlds winners against each other — SKT won in 2013 and 2015, while Samsung White won in 2014.

H2K was the last Western team left in the tournament, and the last non-Korean team. The European No. 2 seed clinched its spot in the semifinal with a sweep of its own against Albus NoX Luna in the quarterfinals.

Samsung has been one of the surprise standout performers of the tournament, surprising KT Rolster in the Regional Qualifiers to make it to Worlds before then winning some of the fastest games in the group stage and making easy work of Cloud9 in the quarterfinals.

Game 1 started out wonderfully for H2K, and still ended in disaster. Jankos absolutely went off on Olaf, building Righteous Glory and generally just diving Samsung’s back line for easy kills. Samsung brought out the Ashe + Miss Fortune combination we first saw in the ROX vs. SKT series, and H2K seemed to have a plan to counter it.

It all started with a clever Level 1, paired with a mistake from Samsung.

H2K won the early game pretty hard thanks to Jankos’s pressure, even as Ambition repeatedly killed Ryu in the mid lane. But thanks to strong farming from Ambition and Crown on his signature Viktor, Samsung held onto the gold lead despite a kill deficit, and secured dragons for late-game power.

H2K appeared to beak the game open with a great four for two fight mid lane at 19 minutes thanks to an excellent teleport from Odoamne.

At 22 minutes, Jankos’s Olaf was 5/0/7, but Samsung still held onto the gold lead. A signature H2K Baron throw firmly swung the game into the other direction.

At 36 minutes, Samsung took Baron, and at 39 minutes, Samsung won the game despite trailing 13-15 in kills.

In Game 2, H2K banned three of Samsung’s picks from the first game: Ekko, Miss Fortune and Viktor. It was to no avail. Despite another creative gank for First Blood from Jankos, Ryu once again fell very far behind Crown in the mid lane and H2K was unable to make any successful plays on the map.

Cuvee also repeatedly solo-killed Odoamne in the top lane, as H2K opted for Rumble despite Jayce being left open. At 21 minutes, Samsung snuck Baron while H2K took Dragon, resulting in a nearly 5k Baron power play.

After some truly puzzling fights in H2K’s base for a few minutes, Samsung finallya ced H2K at 34 minutes, winning the game 22-15.

Game 3 started even worse for H2K, as Samsung built up a big lead early and never looked back. Crown once again secured his signature Viktor, and for the third game in a row absolutely destroyed Ryu in lane.

By 15 minutes, Samsung was up 5k gold, with complete control of the map yet again. Samsung took nine of the first ten towers in the game, pressuring every lane and outclassing H2K even more clearly than in the previous two games. Samsung closed the game out with ease, winning 9-5 in 26 minutes.