Never doubt the underdogs, especially when they feel more than at home in a new meta and carry that momentum all the way from almost missing qualifying for the event to the finals, if there is one recurring thread at this year’s League of Legends World Championship.
The defending LCK champions, Gen.G, a team who, on paper, many felt would have a simple path to the finals, were taken down by DRX in yet another difficult series at the end of this year’s Worlds.
A power awoke in the LCK’s fourth seed, though, earning them a legitimate position opposing T1 in the finals following an early game that predicted a sweep for Gen.G.
The Biggest Challenge
Before the start of this series, DRX had failed to defeat Gen.G in either of their meetings during the regular 2022 LCK season. Even though both teams qualified for this year’s playoffs, DRX was unable to advance past their opening games, while Gen.G did so in order to continue their rivalry with T1, which had just defeated JDG of the LPL to become the first team to qualify for this year’s World Championship finals.
And following Gen.complete G’s dominance in game one, many fans anticipated similar dominance from the current LCK champions.
Although the odds were stacked against them, it was evident from game two on that DRX was not prepared to give up their run in the Worlds semifinals. They had advanced to this point from the play-off stage in Mexico City as the LCK’s fourth seed.
Zeka, whose remarkable performance and capacity to outperform even the most seasoned mid laners was key in DRX’s reverse sweep of the reigning global champions, EDG, to come to this point, led DRX through their first and second victories of the year versus Gen.G.
Zeka spent the duration of games two and three racing through and around the opposition with Ahri and Akali, preventing Chovy from even spotting an opening.
Pyosik, whose rapid assessment of the condition of his lanes gave him and top laner Kingen a great early game lead and exposed the Flash-less Doran, was also largely responsible for DRX’s win in game three.
By doing this, DRX was able to enjoy almost every objective on the map as it spawned and hinder Gen.G from hiding out in their own turrets.
The bot lanes were the focus of the series’ fourth game, which served as the decisive moment for DRX’s entry into the Worlds finals. BeryL piloted Braum, a strong AD-focused composition that could, if timed properly, block almost any opposing assault. After seven minutes, BeryL left the bot lane to roam with Pyosik’s Kindred, who were once more fearless in their attempts to dive the current LCK champions.
Gen.G was unable to effectively reach DRX’s marksmen—Kindred Pyosik’s and Deft’s Varus—and take out their opponents’ massive sources of damage since DRX’s frontline consisted of a Braum, Gragas, and Galio.
The previous world champion ADC could only watch with the rest of his team as the team that just missed qualifying for play-ins proceeded to the Worlds finals, despite Ruler doing everything he could to weaken DRX.