On Saturday, DWG KIA and T1 kicked off one of the most anticipated matchups of the 2021 League of Legends World Championship, and neither team pulled any punches in Game 1’s draft. But it wasn’t Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok’s iconic Ryze or Kim “Khan” Dong-ha’s Lucian top that caught the audience’s eyes after champion select, it was DWG KIA’s support Cho “BeryL” Geon-hee’s Maokai support.
Not only has Maokai support not been picked at Worlds 2021, but it’s also apparently never been picked in the history of both Worlds and the Mid-Season Invitational according to the official LoL esports statistics Twitter account.
This is the first Maokai Support in MSI/Worlds history! #Worlds2021 pic.twitter.com/aZ1QZf5IqY— LoLEsports Stats (@LoLEsportsStats) October 30, 2021
The full bot lane drafted by DWG KIA was Jhin and Maokai, a duo centered around harassing the enemy bot laner and support. With Maokai’s saplings it not only makes it a pain for opponents to walk up in lane or check brushes, it also forces the enemy jungler to be much more cautious in their gank pathing. While Beryl opted into a tankier build this time around, Imperial Mandate is a common choice on the pick to increase harass potential.
The internet, of course, had some mixed reactions to the DWG KIA’s draft. Here are some of the best reactions to the pick from the LoL esports community.
Nick “LS” De Cesare, League analyst and content creator
Damwon's draft is so bad it's reportable, this is very good news if you're a T1 fan. #Worlds2021— LS (@LSXYZ9) October 30, 2021
“DWG KIA’s draft is so bad it’s reportable, this is very good news if you’re a T1 fan,” LS said.
Max “Atlus” Anderson, LCK play-by-play caster
Maokai support is so good here, I felt like T1 had the draft on lock until then but the tree just seems so good roaming early.#Worlds2021— Max Anderson (@Atlustv) October 30, 2021
“Maokai support is so good here. I felt like T1 had the draft on lock until then, but the tree just seems so good roaming early,” Atlus said.
Louis-Victor “Mephisto” Legendre, coach for Team Vitality
Maokai W is a very skilled spell, and there is a lot of counterplay to his slow moving R in the rivers— Mephisto (@CoachMephisto) October 30, 2021
“Maokai W is a very skilled spell, and there is a lot of counter play to his slow-moving R in the rivers,” Mephisto said.
Aizo, Challenger Maokai player
It’s not their fault Maokai hasn’t been pickable past tear and still gets nerfed people probably don’t even remember what he does— Aizolol (@aizolol) October 30, 2021
“It’s not their fault Maokai hasn’t been pickable [in the past year] and still gets nerfed. People probably don’t even remember what he does,” Azio said.
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