League of Legends Worlds 2022: DRX upset defending champs EDG 3-2 to make it to semis

South Korean underdogs DRX have won against EDG in 3-2 upset at the quarterfinals. (Photo: Riot Games)
South Korean underdogs DRX have won against EDG in 3-2 upset at the quarterfinals. (Photo: Riot Games)

South Korean fourth seed DRX toppled 2021 defending League of Legends (LoL) world champions EDward Gaming (EDG) in a 3-2 reverse sweep on the last day of the 2022 LoL World Championship quarterfinals on Monday (24 October).

DRX came into Worlds as the heavy underdogs, with fans and analysts doubting the team would make it far into the competition.

With the team is LoL veteran and former EDG bot laner Kim “Deft” Hyuk-kyu, who faced former comrades Lee "Scout" Ye-chan and Tian "Meiko" Ye.

Deft gives hugs to his former teammates, Scout and Meiko, after winning the quarterfinals. (Photo: Riot Games)
Deft gives hugs to his former teammates, Scout and Meiko, after winning the quarterfinals. (Photo: Riot Games)

The team started strong at the Play-ins, where they dominated Group B with a 5-0 record, even defeating 2022 MSI champions Royal Never Give Up to secure the first seed at the Play-ins.

In the Group Stage, DRX continued to defy expectations and mark themselves as the dark horse of the competition after becoming first seed of Group C. There, they defeated LoL Pro League (LPL) second seed Top Esports in the double-round robin and took down LoL European Championship (LEC) champions Rogue in the tiebreaker.

Meanwhile, EDG came into Worlds as the LPL third seed, surviving Group A after being tied with T1 and Fnatic in the first round and then finishing groups with a 4-2 record that allowed them to take the second seed.

Worlds hasn't gone as smoothly as the EDG would have hoped, as their top laner Li “Flandre” Xuanjun notably had to play the quarterfinals in isolation after contracting COVID-19.

EDG was considered the best team-fighting team at Worlds but they have been outclassed by DRX. (Photo: Riot Games)
EDG was considered the best team-fighting team at Worlds but they have been outclassed by DRX. (Photo: Riot Games)

The first game of the DRX-EDG showdown started slow, with both teams carefully playing the laning phase and trading objectives. DRX then kicked things up a notch, controlling the map and taking EDG turrets and three drakes.

EDG fought back in a fight for the fourth drake, with Flandre setting up for Park “Viper” Do-hyeon and Scout to wipe the South Korean team off the map and . EDG followed up by rushing the Baron to push toward the DRX base.

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DRX tried to delay by distracting EDG from assaulting their base and making Hwang "Kingen" Seong-hoon open up EDG’s top lane simultaneously. DRX continued to find ways to end the game by rushing EDG’s inhibitor turrets while EDG tried to take another drake.

However, Scout and Viper were able to stop the attempt. And after a 34-minute encounter and a messy battle at the DRX base, EDG destroyed claim the first game of the series with a 15-8 kill lead.

In game two, EDG bullied the bot and top lanes, with Viper taking out DRX support Cho "BeryL" Geon-hee multiple times. DRX refused to back down, taking two heralds to push their lanes toward EDG.

EDG took control later into the game, and as they tried to take the drake, DRX played the same tactics they did game one and tried to end the game again by rushing down the EDG inhibitor turrets. This attempt failed as EDG successfully defended their turrets.

DRX tried a third time with Deft bursting down EDG’s inhibitor turrets and nearly destroying the Nexus. However, an EDG inhibitor turret respawned, and Viper arrived in time to take a solo kill on Deft, stopping the EDG Nexus from falling.

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EDG took both the Baron and the Elder Dragon soon after. They took down DRX’s base after a 40-minute encounter and an 18-11 kill lead, the defending champions won game two and took a commanding 2-0 series lead.

DRX changed their team composition in game three, going for Kindred in the jungle for Pyosik and securing Sylas for Kim “Zeka” Geon-woo. Both teams kept an equal footing until the mid game, where EDG managed to maintain a very small gold lead.

As EDG tried to open up the DRX base in the mid lane, Zeka found an opportunity with Sylas by using Hijack to steal Meiko’s Renata ultimate that allowed Deft to win the chaotic game-turning fight.

With only one member of EDG alive, DRX rushed to take the Baron and pushed forward, gaining a significant gold lead in only a few minutes.

A fight broke out in the jungle that looked like it would be in EDG’s favour, but Deft skillfully kited around them and scored an ace. This allowed DRX to march down their enemy's base and destroy it after 42 minutes with a 9-7 kill lead, extending the series to a fourth game.

EDG began game four with control of the map and a slight gold lead despite giving over first blood to DRX. The South Korean fourth team quickly found an opportunity to turn the gold lead around, swooping in to steal the Rift Herald and killing off two members of EDG.

Teamfights kept erupting at every opportunity, with the South Korean underdogs taking the upper hand in clashes by locking down EDG players with multiple crowd control skills.

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EDG continued to find ways to put up a fight and prevent their opponents from completely dominating the game. But the South Korean team turned things around again, taking down Viper and Scout, to take the Baron uncontested.

DRX came out on top in a crucial fight in the mid lane that allowed them to take the Baron. With Dragon Soul and the Baron buff on them, DRX barreled down EDG’s base after 38 minutes with an 18-11 kill lead, forcing the hard-fought series to a deciding fifth game.

Hungry for the last semifinals slot, both teams started contesting map objectives early on.

Zeka, Deft, and Kingen quickly became a bane for the defending champions as they continued to outclass them in teamfights. Zeka’s Sylas kept finding kills in the clashes and in side lane pickoffs, keeping his team ahead of the EDG.

But EDG showed signs of life through Viper, who kept finding ways to extend his team's tournament lives by shutting down Zeka in the Baron pit.

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However, in a fight at the Dragon pit, DRX were able to steal the Drake, with Zeka taking a quadra kill and the team finishing off EDG with a clean ace. And after a 38-minute encounter, DRX destroyed EDG’s base with an 18-7 kill lead to secure the 3-2 reverse sweep and claim the last slot in the semifinals.

Best birthday gift ever: Deft, who was celebrating his birthday in the quarterfinals gets his first Worlds semifinals since 2014. (Photo: Riot Games)
Best birthday gift ever: Deft, who was celebrating his birthday in the quarterfinals, gets his first Worlds semifinals since 2014. (Photo: Riot Games)

EDG bow out of the competition in 5th-8th place, taking home US$100,125 in consolation. In the post-interview, Meiko admitted that their team could not bring out their best, with members of the team falling ill and having to play in isolation.

DRX is moving to the semifinals, where they will face the LCK Summer Champions Gen.G in Atlanta, Georgia.

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.

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