EU CS: Semifinals: IE vs HMA
Going into the knockouts for EU CS, Inspire eSports had a rough Week 5, losing a Bo2 to Huma. A major question for Inspire is their ability to round back into form for this pivotal series against Huma after a two week respite. Similarly, ridden with financial strife and plenty of drama, Huma, even with a higher seed, wasn’t exactly expected to be poised and collected for chase for the European League Championship Series. With Rudy “Rudy” Beltran picked up to replace Lucas “Santorin” Larsen, even with a history of Huma being adaptable, was there enough time for the team to have synergy?
Bans: Kalista, Rammus, Braum
Picks: Poppy, Nidalee, Corki, Lucian, Trundle
Bans: Gragas, Lulu, Alistar
Picks: Nautilus, Elise, Quinn, Ezreal, Morgana
Both teams came out of the pick and ban phase well and looking like they got what they wanted. There weren’t too many surprises.
The beginning of this game was nothing if not active. Paweł “Woolite” Pruski separated from Daniel “Wendelbo” Wendelbo in Huma’s red jungle and Christophe “Je suis Kaas” van Oudheusden and Anıl “HolyPhoenix” Işık collapsed on him just outside of the baron pit with Je suis Kaas landing a dark binding and HolyPhoenix following with quite a bit of damage before he’s able to flash over the wall. Huma’s bot lane followed blowing both flashes but Wendelbo flashed in the pit to put up a pillar and secure Woolite’s escape. This was not the end of the early shenanigans, for Rudy flashed over to steal blue from Nubar “Maxlore” Sarafian.
Early game was filled with action all throughout the map. Inspire was able to pick up first blood when Dan “Godbro” Van Vo overextended in the mid lane against Sofyan “CozQ” Rechchad and Maxlore capitalized with the help of the turret.
By ten minutes, Inspire had massive leads in every lane and it was already dire for Huma if they wanted any chance of getting into the game. Throughout the entirety of the early game, Maxlore made sure that Rudy was unable to make an impact on any lane and Huma were running out of plays.
Huma was slow to rotate aginst Inspire’s decisive macro control of the map. By 25 minutes, Inspire had broken into Huma’s base and turned on baron. One final push and Inspire end the game with a 17.3K gold advantage.
Winner: Inspire eSports
Bans: Kalista, Rammus, Braum
Picks: Nautilus, Graves, Lissandra, Ezreal, Alistar
Bans: Gragas, Lulu, Poppy
Picks: Jax, Nidalee, Corki, Sivir, Trundle
The big and pivotal change with the pick and ban phase was Jorge “Werlyb” Casanovas Moreno-Torres picking up his most noted champion Jax.
There were again quite a few trades at level 1 but there were no casualties. However, Woolite’s Ezreal did pick up first blood on HolyPhoenix’s Sivir.
CozQ made a major misplay in the top lane where he nearly secured a kill onto Werlyb, but took turret damage and was shortly taken down by Rudy’s Nidalee as Werlyb and Max “Satorius” Günther escape with a sliver of health. This resulted in the first kill on the scoreboard for Huma this series.
The clean macro play that had secured a quick lead and win for Inspire in Game 1 evaporated quickly in Game 2 with sloppy ganks from Maxlore and poorly positioned tower dives. Huma struggled to capitalize on the misplays from Inspire and result in a 3 kill lead for Inspire.
Heading into the mid game, Inspire took down the inner mid tower while Werlyb teleported behind them, taking down three and swinging the momentum of the game in Huma’s favor.
By 25 minutes, no one on Inspire were able to deal with Jax after another triple kill and scoreline of 7/3/2. It took 4 members to take him down and CozQ barely escaped with his life. However, Werlyb was just a bait and while 3 of Inspire were at top dealing with Jax, the rest of Huma broke into the base.
Inspire looked to Baron in desperation, but ultimately lost the game.There was no extreme mistake from Inspire but they gave Werlyb an inch with Jax and he took a mile.
Bans: Kalista, Rammus, Braum
Picks: Nautilus, Nidalee, Quinn, Lucian, Trundle
Bans: Lulu, Gragas, Poppy
Picks: Malphite, Elise, Corki, Ezreal, Alistar
The biggest mistake in the draft appeared to be the lack of the Jax ban. To our surprise, however, Werlyb didn’t return to Jax this game. Instead, he chose to play Malphite. Overall, both teams come out of champ-select with strong compositions.
The early game was focused on heavy trading in lane but no casualties were taken early in the laning phase. However, a battle over the rift scuttler ensued with Rudy backing off. Maxlore shortly after followed Rudy into Huma’s blue jungle but Godbro roamed and Maxlore gave up first blood to Godbro’s Corki.
Lanes remained calm but once again, the junglers started a fight; Rudy ran into Maxlore at Inspire’s raptors and a fight followed. Rudy repelled away but straight to CozQ who followed up with the kill. Godbro was chunked out of lane even with Je suis Kaas roaming mid.
The mid game became very chaotic with messy dives from Inspire. Inspire was able to pick up kills on Werlyb up top. On the bottom side of the map, Inspire managed to scrape by with only one casualty in a messy tower dive. They took down Je suis Kaas and HolyPhoenix, but Godbro had followed behind and cleaned up CozQ with the help of turret aggro.
Satorius, with an early Banner of Command, pushed top lane hard and easily took the top inner turret. Meanwhile, Huma took down the mid outer-turret. Immediately after, Inspire engaged on Huma, despite the Malphite ult and flash being up. Malphite went down quickly and Je suis Kaas barely escaped. No deaths for Inspire.
At the 25 minute mark, Huma was on the back foot. Malphite had no teleport available and the promoted minion made it difficult for him to stay in the top lane to clear the waves. Huma had little options and even less when Rudy was picked off in his own jungle. Quickly, Inspire then turned on the mid inner-turret and chunked out Huma and burned town the tower.
Inspire continued to play a clean macro game while Huma seemed to struggle to find someone to carry them. Inspire started baron but pulled off for a team fight that ended in a 2 for 4 in favor of Inspire. Importantly, Maxlore’s Nidalee was taken down so no chance of a re-engage on baron was available immediately.
As soon as everyone had respawned, Inspire started baron again but peeled off for a team fight. However, Werlyb was down bottom and without teleport, was forced to walk toward baron. Je suis Kaas is left for dead and Inspire went back to baron but were again stalled by Huma.
Huma took mid inner from Inspire, unaware that Satorius was flanking from behind as they engaged on Inspire. Godbro and Werlyb were quickly taken down. Inspire pushed their lead in this game with an superior ability to make proactive plays and capitalizing on mistakes map movement mistakes by Huma.
Inspire were finally able to take Baron and followed it up with third dragon as well.
CozQ kept Werlyb busy after taking down Godbro. However, it was just a distraction as the rest of Inspire breaks into Huma’s base. CozQ gets down but Inspire takes bottom inhibitor.
Soon after, Inspire aced Huma and destroyed their nexus. This game could have gone better for Huma, but they did not show respect and didn't play accordingly to the damage that Inspire brought. Inspire’s macro play was very consistent whereas Huma seemed to wait for one of their carries to take over the game instead of winning as a team through strategy.
Winner: Inspire eSports
Bans: Kalista, Rammus, Braum
Picks: Fiora, Gragas, Lissandra, Lucian, Trundle
Bans: Lulu, Poppy, Nidalee
Picks: Jax, Kindred, Corki, Sivir, Nautilus
Again, there was no ban differences for Inspire and once again, Werlyb gets his hands on Jax. It seems that Inspire bank on Satorius' ability to outplay with Fiora. With this being game match for Inspire, was this a good gamble to take?
Inspire forced an early teleport to catch up on tower damage and took the lead in the lane swap. Despite Satorius being only level one when called to top tower, he cleaned up after and pushed all the way to the inner tower, gaining a level on Werlyb.
Huma’s early game was littered with wasteful map movements and unwise use of their resources. Satorius was allowed to freeze bot lane while Huma attempted a three man siege on the top outer turret; there was no chance of gaining anything from the play and they only succeeded in passing a lot of time as Fiora farmed.
Rudy and Werlyb catched Maxlore out and bursted him down quickly. Maxlore flashed away successfully but the burn of Rudy’s red buff secured first blood for Huma.
Despite some questionable macro play from Huma in the beginning, the picks that Huma got quickly swung the momentum back into Huma’s favor.
Fiora again was taken down top lane by Kindred. Meanwhile at the bottom lane, Woolite was able to get Inspire onto the scoreboard with a kill on Je suis Kaas.
As the mid-game arrived, Huma was ahead in kills, neutral objectives and towers. Rudy was heavily responsible for swinging the game, using his devourer Kindred to make picks and pressure across the map, transitioning that into gaining first dragon and rift herald for Werlyb.
Inspire were able to take mid tower and rotate to baron. Jax solo'd dragon as the rest of Huma were able to force Inspire to peel off the baron.
Huma took down CozQ and with no teleport from Satorius, they turn on baron. Inspire interrupted and traded Fiora’s life for HolyPhoenix’s Sivir. They do stop Huma from securing the baron. However, the baron dance continued and quickly another fight ended 2 for 2. Another baron dance was started by Huma but Inspire chased them off and started it themselves. A fight broke out again and ended in a 2 for 1 in favor of Inspire.
After several baron dances, another team fight broke out (4 for 2 in favor of Huma.) Huma quickly took down two turrets in the mid lane and the inhibitor as well. Wendelbo stalled Sivir until Fiora and Lucian showed up to secure the take. Then, again, Inspire turned on baron. The fight goes in favor of Inspire as well as the baron.
With the baron, Inspire were able to take bottom tower and inhibitor. After the buff ran out, they take their second dragon. Huma is backed into a corner and the game had again swung in Inspire’s favor.
An amazing teleport from Werlyb resulted in three casualties. Huma pushed mid hard and with the carries on Inspire dead, Huma secured the game and forced the 5th game!
Bans: Poppy, Lulu, Nidalee
Picks: Maokai, Gragas, LeBlanc, Kog’Maw, Braum
Bans: Kalista, Rammus, Jax
Picks: Nautilus, Elise, Quinn, Lucian, Trundle
In Game 5, Inspire finally banned the Jax, who had been the center of the two losses that Inspire had suffered this series. With the Braum ban dropped, Huma first picked it away from Wendelbo. Going into Game 5, it appeared that Huma came out of champion-select much stronger.
Huma pushed up hard to Inspire’s inner bottom turret. Satorius teleported to defend. The aggression is quickly punished as Maokai took one too many turret shots and goes down for first blood to Inspire. Inspire chased Rudy, HolyPhoenix and Je suis Kaas down the lane but no more casualties are suffered by either side. While this was happening, Maxlore took down top outer tower and Huma take down Lucian.
Rudy took the kill instead of allowing HolyPhoenix or Godbro to take the kill, putting the Huma carries into a sub-optimal start. Inspire pushed hard on top inner and took down Je suis Kaas and the turret. Huma’s greed in the game was easily punished by Inspire’s since Huma left Kog’maw and LeBlanc in their lanes trying to farm up.
Huma took the Rift Herald for HolyPhoenix - their first neutral objective as Inspire took first dragon. The pace of this game was more subdued than earlier games. Both teams were focused on farming up, trading but not going all in. The weight of what was on the line with this final game seemed to take a toll on the players.
The calm pace was broken with Huma picking up three kills on Satorius, Maxlore and CozQ.
Into the midgame, Huma had taken a gold lead, had double the kills Inspire does (8-4,) but the teams hold even on turrets and dragons.
An unfortunate fight at 24 minutes resulted in the ace of Inspire and Huma wasted no time, pushing down to take mid inner tower. Huma suffered no deaths. Within this game, we didn't see the same Inspire that was playing in Game 1. They have lost all macro control and strategy and Huma was quickly snowballing the game and series in their favor.
Another spectacular teleport flank from Werlyb mid started another pivotal team fight for Huma who won it (2-0.) Huma turned on baron at the 30 minute mark. Inspire tried to push them off the baron. However, Huma took the baron and won the fight on the backside (3-0.)
A push bottom ended with the Inspire inhibitor going down and Rudy sacrificed as the rest of Huma retreated with low health bars. Werlyb and Je suis Kaas were caught in the retreat.
Inspire took their second dragon but Huma baited baron. Inspire cameto contest. A fight broke out and Rudy was taken out first, but Huma took out three of Inspire's players, including Elise. They turned back onto baron and took it easily. Inspire fought to the end but were aced as Huma destroyed the final nexus of the series.
Knockouts Winner: Huma
The road is not yet over for Huma. They will be facing another best of 5 in the EU CS finals for a chance at a better seed. Then later this month they are to face the promotion tournament with EU LCS teams to battle for their spot in the LCS.