A lot of League of Legends esports fans were expecting an all-Korean LCK Winter Worlds 2022 Final to be 3-1 to T1’s advantage However, DRX in spite of all odds, beat the other teams 3-1 in a thrilling best-of-5 series.
Fourth seed LCK unbeatens who began their journey with Play-Ins (where they converted their money to the incorrect currency) they added another shock surprise to their record. After having qualified to play in their Knockout stage, the team were able to beat Worlds 2021 Champions Edward Gaming 3-2 in the quarterfinals, as well as LCK Summer champion Gen.G 3-1 in the semis.
The T1 team was matched against the final, the animated sequence featured the former Mapo High School mates Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok and Kim “Deft” Hyuk-kyu on opposite sides of the Rift. They premiered in 2013, and now, almost 10 years after, Faker has three championship titles while the other did not have any.
This morning, Deft finally achieved his dreams of his entire life, and won his first world championship ever with DRX.
T1 was dominant in the first game, with Faker leading the charge with his signature champion, Azir. The top laner Choi “Zeus” Woo-je was enjoying a great time on the comfort champion Yone as Lee “Gumayusi” Min-hyeong poked at Varus. The three champions were crucial in helping them get past JD Gaming in the semifinals just a week ago.
Unfazed, DRX drafted Heimerdinger support another time in the favor of Cho “BeryL” Geon-hee and continued to empower mid-laner Kim “Zeka” Geon-woo on Sylas in game two. The main difference was that they were on a the blue team, and this enabled them to be the first to select Varus. T1 was quick to respond by providing Ashe and Lux support , which matched his range of play at the bot.
Both teams played with a competitive edge and T1 even winning their place in the Ocean Dragon Soul. The 45 minute mark was when they began Baron but DRX were so efficient when they approached the 4v4 match. Hwang “Kingen” Seong-hoon’s Camille made it to the top of the table while Hong “Pyosik” Chang-hyeon’s Viego was pinched from the other side.
In the meantime, Deft’s Varus placed himself in the middle of the river. He was completely uninvolved during the battle that allowed him to do maximum damage. In the process of taking down four fighters players, they then sprinted straight to the mid-point of the fight, in order to even the series.
The victory of T1’s game three will be remembered in the the history books, but not in the way one would expect. DRX were the dominant team in the game and were leading with kills, but as they were playing Baron in the 24th minute, with Smite on the field and Kalista as their player suddenly the Jungler Mun “Oner” Hyeon-jun strolled into the pit and struck the pit.
By boosting the tempo, T1 altered the pace and gold to their advantage. Six minutes later, when DRX was able to take over the second Baron Pyosik was slain early and did not cooperate in a fight with Deft again. In the final second Lee “Gumayusi” Min-hyeong’s Piercing Arrow was able to steal it again.
LoL fans wondered what tilt DRX could have felt following this, but from their performances, they found their equilibrium and play a slow but solid game 4. At this point, Zeka got his hands on Azir and Deft continued to play Varus with the BeryL’s Renata Glasc.
T1 was innovative by adding Soraka support which was a great option in the laning stage. Even though the bot lane of DRX early, Pysoik’s Maokai Kingen’s Aatrox and the game-changing ultimates of Zeka helped them win an impressive victory of 28:44 which was the fastest game of the series.
From silver scrapes to downs Game five’s draft was unexpectedly in the favor of DRX. T1 picked the first pick Karma and handed two power picks to the DRX team on red: Azir, and for the first time in the season, Caitlyn for Deft which was not banned. This Piltover sheriff is among his most formidable champions. He is the same AD selection which helped them defeat Gen.G in the semis.
In the wake of T1’s inmobile AP carrier Viktor and AD Carry Varus, DRX took a gamble with Hecarim Jungle and Bard two champions who gave more options for accessing the backline.
However, around the 20-minute mark, the story repeated itself -the DRX team was able to win – DRX were performing Baron with a numerical advantage after Gumayusi’s Varus was able to sneak up on the pit in the final secondand snatched the pit with a Piercing Arrow.
Both teams stood their ground regardless of the downs and ups because they knew how important this game five final was. As Elder Dragon spawned at the 40th minute, DRX, with Mountain Dragon Soul were aware that this was the ultimate victory condition.
T1 arranged to Oner to remain in the pit and fight the situation as T1’s AP and AD has a teleported to the bot lane, in which a minion wave was pushing into the damaged inhibitor in a backdoor attack. This time, Pyosik managed to secure the only objective that really was of importance.
Zeka and Kingen returned, and succeeded in protecting their home base. The team, as a whole, eliminated four members of the T1 and then, in a group they marched down the middle to win the Worlds 2022 title. In recognition of his contribution to the event, Kingen was awarded the MVP.
In the broadcast after the game the 26-year-old Deft thought about what it is for him to declare himself as a world champion.
“Ever since my debut each night I’ve been imagining my chance to win the world championship. It was a mere the dream, but today, I’ve achieved it happen. I’m so content this moment,” he said. “One thing I was hoping to say was , ‘I’m the greatest player in the world But today, I realized being the top player isn’t really a factor. It’s all about the team being the top anywhere in the world.”
DRX is the Worlds 2022 champions in the spotlight after the victory
“My most impressive ability is League of Legends. If I don’t have the best at playing LoL I told myself that I wouldn’t have any success in life. This is why I wasn’t ready to give up.” Deft added.
BeryL’s personal accomplishments are important. He reached the Worlds finals in the past three years, in 2020, 2021 and 2022. He also was twice crowned with two different teams: DAMWON Gaming, and now DRX.
It marks the very first time in LoL Esports history that a team of Play-In players has been crowned champions. Previous winners started their journey with the group Stage.