DRX have made history at the League of Legends (LoL) World Championship 2022 after a 3-1 upset against LoL Championship Korea (LCK) Summer Champions Gen.G in the semifinals on Monday (31 October), becoming the first regional fourth seed and Play-ins team to make it to the Worlds grand final.
DRX came into Worlds as heavy underdogs, with most fans and analysts overlooking the team except for Kim “Deft” Hyu-Kyu, considered one of the best LoL players of all time without a trophy.
The team started their journey in Mexico, where they dominated the Play-ins with a 5-0 record, allowing them to secure an early spot into Groups.
There, they were pit against Rogue, Top Esports, and GAM Esports in the Group Stage.
The team surprised fans when they beat LoL Pro League (LPL) second seed Top Esports twice and then defeated LoL European Championship (LEC) Summer Champions Rogue Esports in the tiebreaker to become Group C's first seed.
DRX continued to defy the odds at the Quarterfinals, where they faced another giant in 2021 World Champions EDward Gaming, where they managed to pull off another upset after winning 3—2 to make it to the semifinals.
On the other hand, their opponents, Gen.G, came into Worlds as a fan favourite after a historic Summer season in the LCK, where they won their first-ever title after beating T1. Gen.G easily dominated the Group Stage, finishing 5-1 and then winning against Royal Never Give Up in the tiebreaker to make it as Group D’s first seed.
In the quarterfinals, Gen.G overcame their long-time rivals and 2020 World Champions DAMWON KIA Gaming 3-2. Gen.G looked really strong in the five-game series, with analysts and ourselves predicting that they looked like a shoe-in for the grand finals.
However, it was the gameplay of Deft, the skyrocketing improvement of rookie mid laner Kim “Zeka” Geon-woo, and the world-class playmaking of Cho “BeryL” Geon-hee that would bring them to the grand finals after beating Gen.G for the first time this year. This marks Deft’s first grand finals appearance at Worlds after seven attempts and BeryL’s third back-to-back grand finals appearance.
Meanwhile, Gen.G bow out of the competition in 3rd-4th place, taking home US$178,000 in consolation. Being one of the favourites in the competition, it was a shame for Gen.G to have ended this way, but they were still one of the strongest at Worlds.
DRX will be facing one last giant in T1, the most successful LoL Esports organisation of all time at the Grand Finals, which will be held in San Francisco, California, on Sunday morning (6 November) at 8am. Singapore Time.
Anna is a freelance writer and photographer. She is a gamer who loves RPGs and platformers, and is a League of Legends geek. She's also a food enthusiast who loves a good cup of black coffee.