Compared to the first matchup of the League of Legends World Championship Semifinal, SK Telecom T1 vs. ROX Tigers, the second one was much easier to predict. Most fans and analysts agreed that H2K didn’t have much of a chance against Samsung Galaxy. In order to win, they would have had to play way above their usual skill level, absolutely crushing Samsung in the early game and closing out the games fast, before Samsung’s superior late game shot calling and objective control could come into play.
Following ROX Tigers example, Samsung got themselves the now famous Ashe MF Bot Lane combo to go against H2K’s Sivir and Zyra for the first match. As for the rest of the team comps, SSG had Ekko Top, Nidalee Jungle and Viktor Mid against H2K’s Kennen, Olaf, and Cassiopeia respectively. In order to have any chance of winning, H2K had to shut down the Ashe MF shenanigans by setting up a tent in that lane as much as possible. It was almost certain that SSG’s Nidalee was planning on doing the same. Of course, the situation was further complicated by the fact that SSG’s Lee “Crown” Min-ho got to play Viktor, one of his best champions.
Understanding their absolute need to get an advantage in Bot Lane, both teams had the same idea. Namely, they sent their Jungler there level 1, trying to ambush the enemy bot lane. When SSG’s Nidalee face-checked the lane bush on H2K’s side of the lane, she promptly got killed. First blood to H2K.
While both teams had the same idea about how the early game should be played, with both Junglers going Bot, Marcin “Jankos” Jankowski was a little bit faster, resulting in a kill on Jo “Core JJ” Yong-in. In response, SSG’s Kang “Ambition” Chan-yong went towards Mid, where he caught and killed H2K’s Korean import, Ryu “Ryu” Sang-wook. While trying to get away from Ambition after taking a spear in the face, Ryu used both of his Summoner Spells. Ambition took advantage of that when he came upon Ryu from behind and promptly killed him with considerable help from Crown
Following the early game excitement, H2K continued to make plays, getting a kill advantage, but that didn’t stop SSG from getting themselves a small 2k gold lead, mostly by getting Dragons where H2K just stopped at killing someone. With their win condition of crushing in the early game thwarted, H2K was on a clock. Unfortunately for Europe’s last hope, it ran out. In time, SSG farmed up until they felt ready to fight and then just started getting ahead, eventually smothering H2K.
While the Ashe MF duo hasn’t been seen for the rest of the match, the essential strategy hasn’t changed for the rest of the series. H2K tried to get ahead early, sometimes even succeeded, but SSG always found ways to come back and finally close out the matches with huge gold leads. To be honest, if you were rooting for the Koreans, the match isn’t really worth watching and analyzing because H2K got a little bit blown out. If you are a fan of H2K… Why would you want to torture yourself? All you have to know is, H2K tried and sometimes succeeded in getting early leads, Samsung started outplaying them in the macro sense later on and won three matches in a row, sweeping H2K in a similar manner as the one in which H2K themselves swept Albus NoX Luna in the Quarters. The skill gap probably wasn’t AS great, but it was still considerable, especially when it came time to dance in the late game.