Hanwha Life dug deep into its wallets over the offseason to sign League of Legends star Jeong “Chovy” Ji-hoon. Now, just two weeks into the season, the investment is already paying off. Thanks to some crazy performances on Yone and Akali, Chovy and Hanwha Life took down Gen.G in upset fashion.
Both squads came into this series as two of the top teams in League of Legends Champions Korea, with Gen.G sitting atop the standings at 3-0, while Hanwha Life was just a game below at 2-1.
Two Confident Teams
This series was an important one for both Gen.G and Hanwha, and the viewers could feel it. Both teams were incredibly aggressive early and very committed to fighting each other head on. Jumping out to the early lead was important, as early-game skirmishes set the tone of all three games this series.
Game One started off well for Hanwha, winning the skirmish bot lane. However, once the early minutes had passed, the newly formed roster had trouble getting anything else going. The first game was a weird one, as the two teams traded back and forth, both hesitant to show their full cards. Before either team found the right opportunity to pop, Gen.G sneaked the Baron right from under Hanwha’s noses, closing out the game before anyone knew what had happened.
It was definitely a disappointing and anticlimactic ending, but Game Two delivered for the fans with a bang to open up the second match.
This time it was Kim “Life” Jeong-min securing two kills as Sett and Gen.G jumped out to an early lead. However, Hanwha did not allow that advantage to stay around long. The team began fighting everywhere it could, attempting to scatter Gen.G, which wanted to fight in a more traditional style.
While Chovy’s Yone and Kim “Deft” Hyuk-kyu on Kai’Sa thrived off the constant skirmishing, Gen.G had Syndra and Jhin, neither of which were able to scale. Chovy and Hanwha were engaging so frequently that multiple skirmishes kept occurring at the same time, in completely different areas of the map.
Before long, Chovy was 11/1/8 on Yone, and Game Two was over. Although the third match once again started with a chaotic early game fight, it wouldn’t be long before Chovy took over for the second straight time.
Going up against Gen.G, Hanwha Life’s mid lane star was thirsty for blood.
The 19-year-old put up one of the most dominant Yone performances in professional League of Legends thus far, showing the true potential of the champion’s kit. Skirmishing at every opportunity, Chovy was relentless against Gen.G in Games Two and Three, never giving them even the slightest opening.
When the Gen.G members inevitably tried to sit back and play defensively, Chovy would just dash over a wall and kill them. There was simply no stopping him.
It was the same story for Chovy on Akali. The mid laner nonstop roamed all across the map, constantly picking up kills and furthering his advantage with each roam. By the end of the third match, Chovy was 10/0/6, and 21/1/14 in the last two games combined. Gen.G just didn’t have any answers, and Hanwha walked away with the victory.
Two Top Teams
Despite Chovy’s relentless domination being the defining factor, it was a very back-and-forth series between two of Korea’s best.
For Gen.G, the team had been emerging as the far-and-away best in Korea. With DWG Kia struggling as of late, Gen.G found itself alone at the top of the standings. But with this loss to Hanwha, Gen.G learned it still has plenty to iron out.
On the side of Hanwha, the team seems to be getting better and better with each series it plays. While initially the players looked disorganized and directionless, they now look more cohesive as they move as a unit and play with synergy.
Hanwha still finds itself on the cusp, balancing between being a top contender and a roster still learning to play with each other. If the players keep improving at the pace they are, there’s no reason why Hanwha won’t contest the LCK title at the split’s end.