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With Worlds 2022 about to begin, the League of Legends Pro League’s Edward Gaming (EDG) is one of the 24 teams from across the world making their way to the biggest event of the year. Every team entering the League of Legends World Championship has the same goal: to stand at the top uncontested and hoist the Season 12 Summoner’s Cup high.

The reigning world champions are back at Worlds 2022 with the same exact roster that claimed the crown last year. Although they didn’t have the same success in what was a down year for the team in a better overall LPL, the team came back to life in the summer playoffs and look strong enough to defend their title this year.

Edward Gaming (LPL) Worlds 2022 starting roster breakdown

  • Top: Li “Flandre” Xuan-Jun | Signed in December 2020. Formerly a member of LNG Esports
  • Jungle: Zhao “Jiejie” Li-Jie | Joined in April 2019.
  • Mid: Lee “Scout” Ye-chan | Signed in March 2016. Formerly a member of T1.
  • Bot: Park “Viper” Do-hyeon | Signed in December 2020. Formerly a member of Hanwha Life
  • Support: Tian “Meiko” Ye | Joined in December 2014.

How they got here

With EDG taking home the title in 2021, there was no reason for the team to explore any roster changes heading into the new year. However, the team did have some coaching changes as their old supervisor, Zhu “KenZhu” Ka left the team to be the head coach over at Royal Never Give Up. Regardless, EDG came into the new year with high expectations not only in the LPL but internationally.

The 2022 LPL Spring split started off just how Worlds 2021 ended. By the end of Week 5, EDG were once again at the top of the standings with a fantastic 7-1 record and looked like the clear best team in the region. However, their final few weeks were terrible. Going a combined 3-5, the team went from first place to seventh and their woes continued in playoffs as they were defeated in the second round against Weibo Gaming. EDG in just a few short weeks collapsed with no real reason why. In particular, Meiko and Flandre looked bad and the ideation of a team being too complacent was manifesting.

The team had a break before the summer; they trusted what they had and ran with it heading into the back half of the year. The team looked okay through Week 3 when they were 5-1, but mid-season woes hit the team once more and they quickly tumbled downwards through the standings. At this point in the year, questions arose of the team not even qualifying for Worlds 2022 let alone contending for an LPL title. But unlike spring split, EDG finished the season strong. With a nice little four-match win streak at the end of the regular season, EDG did one win better than their spring campaign and managed to enter playoffs as the fifth seed. Meiko and Flandre were finally playing like their Worlds 2021 forms and it showed in the playoffs.

After dismantling FPX in four games, EDG matched up with one of the title favorites and reigning 2022 Mid-Sesaon Invitational champions RNG. Here, EDG overpowered RNG and won the series 3-1 in one of the bigger upsets of the playoffs up to that point. In the next round, EDG matched up with the number one seed, Top Esports and pushed them to the absolute brink. In a five game thriller, EDG were barely edged out and sent to the lower bracket but in that series, EDG proved that they can beat anyone and that they were not a team to be taken lightly. EDG quickly trounced LNG Esports 3-1 to set up a lower bracket finals match against TES once more but were no match finishing the summer split in third place.

EDG would have to earn their Worlds 2022 spot through the LPL Regional Finals with RNG in their way once again. Despite RNG going up 2-0 in the best of five series, EDG roared back pulling off the reverse sweep and are heading to Worlds 2022 as the third seed from the LPL.

Players to watch

Now with more notoriety, EDG’s top two players to watch are arguably the two best players in their own roles at Worlds 2022. Scout and Viper have been monsters throughout 2022 and at times were the only reason why EDG were winning games. Viper in particular has not skipped a beat since his 2021 LPL Spring MVP campaign and even when his support, Meiko was not playing the best, Viper was still an elite bot laner in the LPL. Viper was second in the entire league in KDA over the course of the summer split, according to Oracle’s Elixir. And he was in the top five in the league in Damage Per Minute.  He also popped off even harder in playoffs leading all players in player of the game awards. Make no mistake, Viper can and will snap at any other bot laner that tries him.

Scout on the other hand has been an absolute rock for EDG the entire year. Summer was a down split for Scout and he still placed in the top five of every single statistic among mid-laners in the LPL. And just like Viper, Scout showed up big time in playoffs as he has three player of the game awards.

But the real reason why these are the two players to watch is what they did at last year’s Worlds 2021 tournament. The two best players on the best team last year and both are playing near peak form right now.

How EDG can succeed at Worlds 2022

Don’t get it twisted, just because EDG is the LPL third seed doesn’t mean they can’t win Worlds 2022. The defending champions are starting to peak at the right time and although they are not playing as well as they did last year heading into Worlds 2022, one has to value the experience the team has in high-pressure situations. They quite literally have been here before. Alongside Scout and Viper, Flandre and Meiko are also playing a lot better which bodes well for EDG.

The only real question mark is their jungler, Jiejie, who is having a scarily similar story heading into this Worlds as last Worlds. Just like last year, Jiejie was benched for a little while and when he came back, played out of his mind. He needs to play better than he has been, but if that happens and EDG are playing at their peak, there isn’t a team in the tournament with a better mix of skill and experience than them.

This team can realistically win Worlds 2022 or bow out in the quarterfinals; it really just depends on which EDG shows up.