It’s the moment we’ve all been waiting for, the 2021 League of Legends World Championship Final is upon us. DWG KIA have made it back and are ready to defend their 2020 title against a hungry Edward Gaming, who have advanced past the quarterfinals for the first time in the organization’s history. Two teams, but only one victor. Who, out of EDG and DWG KIA, will be the final boss of Worlds?
For the first time in the history of Worlds, the Final will be the League of Legends Pro League first seed versus the League of Legends Championship Korea first seed. These two teams proved to be the best in their region, not only in their respective summer playoffs but also here at this tournament two months later. On paper, their series should be epic, but in reality, there’s a possibility it might leave a bit to be desired.
The road to the Finals
DWG KIA practically took an elevator straight to the top of the tournament with how easily their first 10 games looked. After reaching the double digits without a single loss, their semifinals opponent, T1, finally took a couple of games away from them, spoiling what could have been a perfect run for the defending champions. Regardless, they have looked incredible this tournament.
ShowMaker: 37/15/55 (6.6 KDA)
Canyon: 29/27/64 (3.4)#Worlds2020
ShowMaker: 65/31/102 (5.4)
Canyon: 87/27/108 (7.2)#Worlds2021
ShowMaker: 59/20/108 (8.4)
Canyon: 42/23/110 (6.6) pic.twitter.com/3SG5ilnjWS
— The Esports Writer (@FionnOnFire) November 1, 2021
DK started Worlds in the group stage as the LCK first-seed, with FunPlus Phoenix, Rogue and Cloud9 as their round-robin opponents. They went 6-0 without as much as a hiccup, and they repeated that success in their quarterfinal match against MAD Lions.
Edward Gaming definitely faced a bit more trouble on their route to the top. They took the stairs, not even an escalator was there to help them along the way.
EDG started off in groups as well, but unlike DK, they advanced as their group’s second seed, with an overall 4-2 record against T1, 100 Thieves and DetonatioN FocusMe. In the quarterfinals, EDG faced off against the other legendary LPL team, Royal Never Give Up, who are the only Chinese team to have more Worlds appearances than EDG themselves. In a close five-game series, EDG took the win.
In their semifinal match, EDG faced the LCK second seed, Gen.G. They once again went to five games in what was a very closely fought best-of-five series. They were victorious, of course, but the end of the series left quite a bit to be desired from both sides, and it wasn’t exactly the most compelling look from a team hoping to take down DK this weekend.
The Finals — DK vs. EDG
Needless to say, there’s a clear favorite for the 2021 Worlds Finals: DWG KIA. Not only is their game score 12-2 compared to EDG’s 10-6, but they have arguably faced a harder semifinals opponent in T1. Furthermore, T1 advanced as the first-seed in EDG’s group. So, if DK beat T1, they will likely beat the team that were worse than T1 just two weeks prior.
DK also beat MAD 3-0, a team that proved to be on a similar level to Gen.G in the group stage, which ended in the first-ever four-way tie in Worlds history. Since EDG were also rather close to Gen.G in their series, they may not be much more challenging than the MAD Lions were for DK.
If EDG want to win, they’ll have to get creative and pull out some playstyles or champion picks that DWG KIA aren’t ready for. T1 proved that DK is fallible, but EDG are going to have to prove that DK are beatable, and to do so, they need to upgrade their play.
EDG technically has a high enough skill ceiling to take down DK, but they haven’t played close to it at Worlds so far. Maybe the five extra games and one more week of preparation will be enough for them to level up in a way where they can match the Korean powerhouse. Only time will tell.
EDG played Jarvan IV in all five of their games against Gen.G; if they don’t have a second jungle option for Zhao “Jiejie” Li-Jie, they’re going to be in a lot of trouble. Likewise, they were forced to ban Lee Sin to win that semifinals series, but Kim “Canyon” Geon-bu has had the best Lee Sin in the tournament, by far. And when you add in a LeBlanc ban for the other most likely Finals MVP, Heo “ShowMaker” Su, EDG only have one final ban in the draft phase.
Regardless, this is Worlds Finals, so DK still has to come out swinging. They aren’t so much better than EDG that they can breeze by them without a care in the world. If EDG level up at all and DK perform poorly on the day, they’ll lose out on being the second-ever team to win back-to-back World Championships.
Kim “Khan” Dong-ha has had the performance of his career — just before a somewhat mandated retirement to fulfill his conscription for the South Korean military — but historically, he’s always performed poorly at international competitions. His EDG counterpart, Li “Flandre” Xuan-Jun, is no joke, so if he falters as he has in the past, it could ruin his final shot at taking home the Summoner’s Cup.
Fans ranked DWG KIA’s topside as the three best players left in the tournament just before the semifinals, and EDG only scraped one into the top 10, with Park “Viper” Do-hyeon in 8th place. It’s time for them to flip the script, otherwise, we’re doomed for yet another 3-0 series.
EDG and DK face off in the final match of Worlds 2021 on Saturday, Nov. 6 at 8 a.m. ET, and you can watch the series on lolesports.com for drops and rewards.
League of Legends esports reporter and photographer for half a decade. Sometimes I try to touch grass.