“They have the elder dragon! They have the wave! They have everything they need to go to the world’s finals! Damn old legends and old legacies. Goodbye Faker! Goodbye T1! Hello Damwon and ShowMaker!”
In one of the most intense battles in the world’s history, the new rookie team Damwon Gaming (DK) smashes T1 and gains the chance to compete in the finals at the League of Legends Worlds 2021 championship on Oct. 30.
For those that do not know, League of Legends is a team-based game with players adopting a specific role to try to destroy the opponent’s base, also known as the nexus, to win. The five roles in League of Legends are as follows: top, middle, attack damage carry, support and jungle.
With Worlds 2021 marking the loss of the world’s greatest League player, it also symbolizes the beginning of a new World champion.
But, a question remains: how did this happen?
On the side of T1, they have Canna top lane playing as Kanna, Oner jungle Xin Zhao, Faker mid lane Azir, Gumayusi bot lane Apholios and Keria support Zelion. On the team of DK, they have Khan top lane Graves, Canyon jungle Talon, ShowMaker mid lane Zoe, Ghost bot lane Ziggs and Beryl support Rakan.
T1’s team composition and strategies utilize champions that can zone and flank well like Kanna and scale late game into powerhouses such as Azir and Apholios. The downside is that they have no tanks to traditionally hard engage a fight, getting the enemy team to make the first move.
On the side of Damwon Gaming, they have champions that don’t have to engage, range champions with poke damage like Zoe’s sleep bubble, and Ziggs move to harass and take away the resources from T1 like ultimates, teleports and flashes. More importantly, the ability to take control of the map with those abilities.
The game starts with T1 and DK on opposite ends. From the early game, it looks like T1 had the advantage, with Faker and ShowMaker immediately trading damage with each other in the mid lane while Oner successfully killed top laner Khan in a gank. What DK is trying to do is to mainly play around the mid lane, trying to take control and push Faker back, but it does not work immediately. The late scale champions will be able to dominate the game later on, but this time DK has more zone control to kind of negate that by using Zoe’s bubble to engage first before popping big cooldowns in a fight. T1 manages to get the first rift herald and is ahead by a lot in the early game. DK matches this by trying to get Dragon and gold to make it more even in the fight.
The turning point in favor of DK started when ShowMaker started to land major important sleep bubbles on T1 to get kills, flashes and most importantly, teleports down, allowing them to gain more vision and control over the bottom side of the map to get dragon kills.
While DK doesn’t really have to commit hard to the fight because of the poke damage offered by Zoe and Ziggs, those spurts of damage proved to be useful for DK midgame. For instance, during a major team fight, even when T1 manages to kill 2 people on the DK team, due to Zoe landing that sleep and Ziggs providing again the poke damage, T1 is forced to retreat. Unable to do Baron, who is a huge game-changer, because it empowers all minions near any allied champion and provides a huge advantage to the entire team.
As DK slowly but surely wins more and more trades, gaining more vision and map control, their patience and skill will eventually earn them the chance to compete in the worlds finals in a final elder dragon fight, in which the entire T1 is wiped off, leading to the grand victory of DK.
In other words, for every question and challenge that T1 posed, Damwon had an answer for them. Never allowing Faker’s Azir, the Apholios, to take effect, never allowing them to find the fight they needed. Of course, T1 fans should not despair, as Faker, who still has another chance in another six years, will definitely be back again to challenge the world’s title.
In the meantime, DK moves on to the final round against Edward gaming for the Summoner’s Cup this Saturday on Nov. 6.