H2K Gaming swept Unicorns of Love (UOL) in the EU LCS third place match on Saturday on the strength of three consecutive quick starts. With the win H2K surpass UOL in championship points and will secure a spot in Worlds if Fnatic wins the Summer Split Finals match on Sunday.
During the picks and bans phase H2K stuck to their guns and locked in the late game-scaling Tristana for Hjarnan, looking for him to lead the offensive charge. UOL picked a Syndra in the mid lane for PowerOfEvil to try to ramp up their early aggression to help their Nautilus and Morgana picks get to the mid game unscathed.
Some deep early wards allowed H2K to jump out with early momentum as they initiated a lane swap and were able to grab a turret. UOL were unable to counter with one of their own as they weren't able to match their opponents aggression.
Here H2K's early pressure continues with First Blood secured by Odoamne. UOL found themselves way behind at ten minutes buried underneath two towers of gold and a 2.5k gold lead for H2K.
UOL responded by using team fighting to work their way back into the game, looking to gank H2K hard and keep them off objectives.
UOL's combat aggression would eventually pay-off with these two impressive picks in the jungle swinging the momentum of then entire game. Hylissang would prove why his Morgana was banned so often this split with impressive hooks throughout the mid game.
UOL would transition into a Baron and an inhibitor turret but would lose three members during their team fight at Baron.
The teams looked to be at parody at 33 minutes and the next fight would decide who would get the late game momentum.
This Baron steal was the key moment in the late game as H2K were able to even out the fight after losing the Baron and then find their opponents out of position and blow up all three of their inhibitor turrets.
H2K continued to put the pressure on, seeing a win in their sights, and snowballed through UOL on their way to exploding their nexus on the strength of a key kill from Hylissang.
The highlight of the picks and bans phase was UOL's Vizicsacsi selecting Gangplank in the top lane looking for a top lane damage dealing carry to scale them into the late game.
H2K find an early lead here as H0R0 was caught trying to secure blue buff by four members of the lane swapping H2K team. This mistake would be costly for UOL as they found themselves down early again. H2K used the kill and the farm to open up a 1k gold lead before five minutes.
H2K kept up their pressure throughout the early game and leveraged their early kills into a lead in every objective category. Just prior to 20 minutes their gold lead had crept to nearly 4k, and once again their Tristana was scaling nicely.
But like the first game, H2K got greedy:
This was the start of H2K letting UOL back into the game with too many overly aggressive moves that resulted in a killing spree for Gangplank in the top lane.
Despite still holding their lead, H2K did not look confident trying to close out the game.
Here H2K finally put a decisive stamp on this game by grabbing Baron and quickly disengaging from UOL's pressure, only losing one member in the process.
H2K snowballed out of control and Tristana was just too strong for UOL to comeback through and H2K would take a 2-0 match lead on their quest to securing a spot in the World Championship.
Just like the first two games H2K were able to jump out to an early lead. The teams traded towers early, but because UOL were late starting their tower siege PowerOfEvil was caught up in the mid lane by Ryu for First Blood.
H2K held a 1k gold lead by six minutes after Hjarnan grabbed their second kill on Vardags' Tristana.
Hjarnan was dominating the early game skirmishes and he continued here with a double kill that put H2K up by 4k gold.
H2K looked like a team with a goal in this one with eight kills to UOL's zero by ten minutes. loulex was dominating all over the map and PowerOfEvil's Kayle pick was looking horrible when forced into a defensive role.
It would take a complete momentum swing for UOL to comeback in this one and they would need a few picks to start that train rolling.
But H2K was too much for UOL to handle as they could see a World's birth in their sites and would continue to snowball into the mid game.
By 23 minutes H2K's lead head stretched to 6k gold.
UOL saw an opportunity to make a comeback by taking down the Baron after depending their top lane tower but were quickly met with H2K resistance which would lead to their eventual demise.
This ace was the final momentum boost H2K needed to rollover their opponents on the way to their nexus. H2K used quick starts in all three games to put pressure in UOL to come up with difficult mid game skill plays to comeback which they just couldn't orchestrate.
H2K will be watching tomorrow's EU LCS final closely as with a Fnatic victory, we'll, see them at World's.
Keith Capstick is a Toronto journalist with an affinity for eSports, baseball and casting the Magic card Snapcaster Mage. You can follow him on Twitter for endless live-tweets of university parties.