In what could be the biggest and most bittersweet David and Goliath story in League of Legends history, underdog team DRX have accomplished the impossible, defeating T1 3-2 in the grand finals of the LoL World Championship 2022 to claim this year’s Summoner’s Cup.
This completes DRX’s incredible Cinderella run, making them the first Play-ins team to become LoL World Champions, and allowing legendary AD Carry Kim “Deft” Hyuk-kyu to finally claim a Worlds title after almost ten years of trying.
It was the culmination of two teams whose different paths throughout the season could best be described as an anime or K-drama worthy character arc.
DRX and T1 followed unique trajectories throughout Season 2022 and Worlds.
T1, the most successful team in League of Legends esports, helmed by LoL G.O.A.T. Lee "Faker" Sang-hyeok, consistently crushed the competition throughout Worlds.
At Groups, they dominated Group A, nicknamed "the Group of Death," 5-1. The LCK second seed subsequently exacted revenge against reigning Mid-season Invitational Champions Royal Never Give Upin the Knockout Stage, sweeping their rivals 3-0 in the quarterfinals. T1 then defeated LoL Pro League Champions (LPL) JD Gaming 3-1on their way to the finals.
DRX, the “team that was not supposed to be at Worlds”, took the longer journey, beginning at the Play-ins in Mexico, where they went undefeated (5-0) in Group B of the Play-ins, earning them the first seed going into the Group Stage.
In the Group Stage, they once again secured the top seed after defeating the LPL's Top Esports and GAM Esports, as well as the LEC's defending champions, Rogue, in a tiebreaker. When the Knockout Round began, DRX continued to surprise everyone by defeating 2021 World Champions EDward Gaming in a 3-2 upset.
Fans and analysts still thought LCK Summer Champions Gen.G were a sure bet for the finals despite the Dark Horse’s string of upset victories against the competition's giants. Yet as fate would have it, DRX won the series in an upset 3-1, on their way to the finals.
With their victory, Deft and DRX complete their Cinderella run by raising the Summoner’s Cup to win their first LoL World Championship title and take home US$489,500.
Meanwhile, Faker and T1 have once again been denied a spot in the history books after failing to win their fourth Summoner’s Cup. They will be taking home US$333,750 in consolation as this year's runners-up.
Choi "Zeus" Woo-je (Top)
Moon "Oner" Hyeon-jun (Jungle)
Lee "Faker Sang-hyeok (Mid)
Lee "Gumayusi" Min-hyeong (Bottom)
Ryu "Keria" Min-seok (Support)
Hwang "Kingen" Seong-hoon (Top)
Hong "Pyosik" Chang-hyeon (Jungle)
Kim "Zeka" Geon-woo (Mid)
Kim "Deft" Hyuk-kyu (Bot)
Cho "BeryL" Gyeon-hee (Support)
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.