Fairytale DRX Run is going all the way to Worlds 2022 finale against League’s final boss
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.
In yet another intense series towards the end of this year’s Worlds, DRX once again fed off of the expectations of fans to capsize the reigning LCK champions, Gen.G; a team that, on paper, many believed would have an easy path to the finals.
But after an opening game that foreshadowed a sweep for Gen.G, a power awoke in the LCK’s fourth seed that earned them a rightful spot opposite T1 in the finals.
The Biggest Hurdle To Overcome
Heading into this series, DRX had not been able to take down Gen.G in a single encounter between the teams during the regular 2022 LCK season. Even as the teams qualified for both playoffs this year, DRX failed to progress past their first matches, while Gen.G moved on to write new chapters in their rivalry against T1—who defeated the LPL’s JDG yesterday to become the first team entering this year’s Worlds finals.
And many fans expected similar domination from Gen.G, the reigning LCK champions, especially after utter domination in game one.
But starting with game two, it became very clear DRX, having gotten to this point from the play-offs stage in Mexico City as the LCK’s fourth seed, were not ready to concede their run in the Worlds semifinals, despite the odds stacked against them.
Leading DRX through their first and second wins of the year against Gen.G was Zeka, whose exceptional gameplay and ability to surpass even the most veteran mid laners was crucial in DRX’s reverse sweep of the reigning world champions, EDG, to get to this point.
Between Ahri and Akali, Zeka spent the entirety of games two and three running through and around the competition, preventing Chovy from even finding an opportunity.
Much of this success for DRX in game three was also attributed to Pyosik, whose quick grasp on the state of his lanes ensured him and top laner Kingen a solid early game lead, completely exposing the Flash-less Doran.
In doing so, DRX enjoyed nearly every objective on the map as it spawned, as well as made it difficult for the members of Gen.G to find solace under their own turrets.
But the fourth game of the series, the match point for DRX to enter the Worlds finals, was all about the bot lanes. Into a heavy AD-focused composition, BeryL piloted Braum, capable of blocking nearly any enemy attack if timed correctly. Within seven minutes, BeryL said his goodbyes to the bot lane in order to roam alongside his jungler Pyosik’s Kindred, once again fearless in their attempts to dive the reigning LCK champions.
With a Braum, Gragas, and Galio in DRX’s frontline, there was no way for Gen.G to efficiently access the team’s marksmen—Pyosik’s Kindred and Deft’s Varus—and remove the immense sources of damage from their opponents.
Despite Ruler doing everything he could to chip down DRX, there was little the former world champion ADC could do but watch with the rest of his team as the team that barely qualified for play-ins advanced to the Worlds finals.
From Play-ins To Finals
This will be the first time two teams from the LCK have headlined a Worlds finals since 2017, where Samsung Galaxy shocked everyone by sweeping through SKT T1 in a rematch from the finals of the year prior, ending what could have been a fourth-consecutive Worlds win for SKT.
Yet while many expected Gen.G to emerge victorious from today’s series, thus meeting T1 in their third finals matchup this year to break their one-to-one score, it will instead be the fourth seed of the LCK, DRX, staring at the winningest org in professional League history in the Worlds finals.
The team now cements itself as the first to ever progress from the play-ins stage to the Worlds finals in the history of the international tournament.
Just last week, DRX’s ADC Deft celebrated finally advancing past the quarterfinals of Worlds in seven years—on his birthday, no less—leading to a memorable emotional moment that brought together fans around the world.
Now, should he be willing to add another accolade to his nearly decade-long career, he will have to get past Faker, who debuted in the LCK in the same year as the ADC.
But facing Faker directly will be Zeka, who debuted in the LCK just this year after time in the LPL and has used the Worlds stage to prove himself among a sea of talented mid laners. Yet just like Faker, Zeka has shown that he is more than capable of performing on a handful of champions, completely removing talented players like Xiaohu and Chovy from the competition.
Whether DRX or T1 emerge victorious in the 2022 League World Championship finals this Saturday, the players of DRX can look back at a historic run with pride either way.
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