Daily Recap: ahq

By Riot Mirhi

ahq e-Sports Club has been through a lot, but after their two year long struggle to taste Worlds success -- they've finally done it. ahq has advanced to the Quarterfinals of the 2015 World Championship.

After nearly reaching Quarters after their upset win over Edward Gaming to force a tiebreaker at the 2014 World Championship, they lost to the Chinese squad in front of their home crowd. ahq was determined to make sure they didn't have the same fate again. They came into the day at 1-2, and would need two wins minimum to at least force a tiebreaker with Cloud9, or three wins to perhaps secure the Group.

Last week when we spoke to ahq top laner Ziv, he said that even though ahq's team fighting is world class, they would have to diversify their playstyle to advance in the tournament -- and ahq did just that. In Week 2 of the Group Stage, they played a more macro-oriented game, and drastically improved their play across the board. "We lost two games in Week 1 and went back and looked at the VODs and talked about our mistakes," ahq's mid laner Shu-Wei "Westdoor" Liu says. "We talked more within the team about the meta and decided we needed to take a different approach, and that's how we improved."

But sometimes, the more things change, the more they stay they same. ahq still found pleny of success from their signature team fighting style. "I think that the key for us to win matches is still team fights," Westdoor explains. "The most important [thing is] ban and picks and the timing [for] when we start team fights." He adds, "Also I think it's important that we improve on our laning phase."

Coming into Worlds 2015, Westdoor has been criticized for his play in lane, and for his limited champion pool that's often been a liability for ahq. So we ask, why Fizz all the time? "Of course, he's my go-to main… I think Fizz fits my playstyle the best. When I play Fizz, my teammates know how to play with me. So the synergy is there."

In the crucial game against Fnatic to determine the No. 1 seed for Group B, Westdoor's favored Fizz was taken from him, and when the time came, he decided to lock in another old favorite: Zed. ahq and Fnatic battled back and forth, culminating in a huge ahq gold lead and three Fnatic Inhibitors down. But when it came time to close out the game, Fnatic's mid laner Fabian "Febiven" Diepstraten made a huge play. "When Tahm Kench and Gragas were at half health, we really wanted to take the Inhibitor," Westdoor recalls. "We tried everything to get it. But LeBlanc came in with his W+R and wiped out our whole team."

Immediately following the fight, Fnatic closed out the game, and sent ahq to the tie-breaker match against Cloud9. But not before Febiven made some pretty targeted commentary at Westdoor.

"ahq is a really good team, and I always want to beat them. They are extremely strong, their ADC especially,"Febiven said. "I feel like their mid laner is their weak point, and I think I'm a better player than him. So, I decided to go for the skill matchup, even though it's bad for LeBlanc. I was confident."

When Westdoor is asked about Febiven's comments, he laughs and relents. "I don't think I'm a great player. I think I'm okay." He pauses before continuing. "Of course, my laning phase is weaker. It's down to the basics. I'm afraid to get ganked, so I don't want to commit too much until my jungler pops up. Also, a lot of the champions I play are late game champs, and I just can't commit that early. But there's still a lot for me to improve on."

With ahq's win over Cloud9 in the tiebreaker, on the back of excellent Jinx play by AD carry Chun-An "AN" Chou, the scene now turns to the Quarterfinals where the thus-far undefeated SKTelecom T1 awaits them. When we ask AN about their next series, he shrugs, almost resigned to his fate. "Well, we're playing against SKT next and I don't think they have anything to fear."

Westdoor is more optimistic. "Yeah SKT is regarded as the best team in the tournament, and they are the favorites to win the championship. But in Season 2, Moscow 5 was regarded as the strongest team and they were the favorites to win the championship," Westdoor recalls, "The Taipei Assassins went on to beat them and went all the way. We hope to keep that spirit alive and learn from TPA and do the same thing -- if we can beat SKT, we can go all the way."

You can see ahq try to overcome SKT Friday October 16 at 17:00 British Time, 18:00 Central European Summer Time, or 9:00 AM Pacific Time.

Make sure to tune into the first match of the Quarterfinals when Origen takes on the Flash Wolves on Friday at the same time.

For more Quarterfinals and Worlds content, visit Lolesports.

Frank Fields is a Senior Editor for Riot Games Esports Web Content team. Talk to him on Twitter about ordered lists, where your comments will be assimilated into the Matrix. You can also find him in Solo Queue in the Diamond 5 retirement home.



4 years ago


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