The 2022 League of Legends World Championship has come to an end, with DRX emerging as the tournament champions. The Korean esports franchise took on their counterparts, T1, on November 6 in the grand finals at the Chase Center, California.
Since 2017, this is the first time two LCK teams will be going head-to-head in the last stage of the tournament. As such, the grand finals promised to be an intense matchup, and it lived up to expectations.
On esports betting sites, T1 were favorites to win the match-up, with odds set at $1.27 on GG.BET as compared to DRX’s $4.2. With fans and players alike doubting DRX, the franchise, fueled by being the underdogs, exceeded all expectations and went on to secure their first Summoner’s Cup in the franchise’s history. The best of five series ended with Kim “SSONG” Sang-soo and his lads winning by a 3-2 scoreline as both teams dealt each other blow for blow.
The game saw Kim “Deft” Hyuk-kyu and Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok reunited after making their debut in LCK simultaneously nearly a decade ago. Although they have both grown their brands into being top professionals in the League of Legends scene, Faker has achieved more international success than Deft. Both players, who graduated from the same high school, were on opposite sides as they attempted to lead their various teams to glory.
The first map saw Lee “Gumayusi” Min-hyeong taking control of the Arrow of Retribution. The game that became the most contested pick in the series had him setting the tone in the first 10 minutes of the map. While T1 struggled to handle Hong “Pyosik” Chang-hyeon, Gumayusi took the charge and derailed the momentum of their opponents to win the map.
Having suffered a major gold deficit at the start of game two, Cho “BeryL” Geon-hee’s Heimerdinger helped secure a tie for DRX thanks to his cross-map assistance. Thereafter, Deft’s Varus led the team to their first lead on the map. While he was an important factor in game two, he was not the biggest factor in games three and four.
T1 secured a game three win despite DRX being in control of the game and leading in kills. While DRX had Smite and Kalista on their team and were doing Baron in the 24th minute, T1’s jungler Mun “Oner” Hyeon-jun went into the pit and smote it.
The game swung in their favor as they quickened the tempo. With Pyosik smited early, thereby losing coordination with Deft, Gumayusi stole the Baron for a second time. Game three had DRX securing 14 kills to secure the win as opposed to T1’s 4 kills. Kingen’s Astrox led with 5 kills, and Pyosik followed with 4 kills.
With the game tied, Zeka and Kingen were tasked with defending their base as they were a win away from making history. The team proceeded to frag all four T1 players and went on to win the tournament.
Talking about how it feels to clinch the World Championship title for the first time, Deft revealed it is a dream come true for him in a post-game interview. He also stated that he has always wanted to be addressed as the best player in the world.
“Ever since my debut, every single night I’ve been dreaming about myself winning the world championship. It was only dream, but now, I’ve made it. I’m so happy right now,” he said.
“One thing I wanted to say was ‘I’m the best player in the world’, but today I realized that being the best player doesn’t matter. It’s is about our team being the best in the world.”