The Worlds 2021 Championship has concluded and the LPL’s EDward Gaming has reclaimed the crown for their region once again. Despite the LPL being the heavy favorites going into the tournament, the opinions of both the analysts and the viewers quickly changed once the group stage began and disappointment and uncertainty filled the hearts of the LPL fans. Let’s take a look back at the breath-taking journey that EDward Gaming took towards their victory over Damwon Kia!
The LPL’s Last Hope
During the Group Stage, FunPlus Phoenix severely underperformed and was eliminated in their group as the last place. FPX was the LPL favorite to win the World Championships and without them, everyone started doubting the region. The troubles only continued when all the LPL teams started dropping games against the LCS and LEC in the 2nd week which made everyone think if this region was living up to the hype that everyone was giving them pre-Worlds.
At the end of the Group Stage, EDward Gaming and Royal Never Give Up were the only two LPL teams that made it through but since EDG placed 2nd, they ended up drawing the 1st place RNG in the Quarterfinals. The game was close but EDG managed to defeat RNG by banning out Cryin, who was the weak link and forcing him on champs he was uncomfortable on. With RNG gone, EDG were the only team that move onto the Semifinals with 3 other LCK teams awaiting them.
The Rise of the LCK
Royal Never Give Up and EDward Gaming’s series was considered a clown fiesta and everyone wrote it down as the true nature of the LPL. Damwon Kia and T1’s clean series against their opponents in the quarterfinals left everyone in awe at the level of their gameplay. Gen.G also had a good series and at that point, everyone was convinced that one of these 3 LCK teams would take home the Worlds 2021 Championship without a problem considering EDG wasn’t much of a threat.
The Damwon Kia and T1 Semifinals match was one to behold. The games were always neck-and-neck with only one or two mistakes defining the results. Damwon Kia’s hard-fought win against T1 earned them favor among the fans seeing how they managed to come back from impossible deficits and managed to overcome the powerhouse that is T1. The fans and analysts assumed that was the most challenging hurdle for Damwon and that it would be the “True Finals” of Worlds 2021. The only thing left is to wait for the results between EDG and Gen.G to see who they would quickly sweep.
Gen.G vs EDG: The Clash at Bot Lane
Viper and Meiko were considered the best bottom lane duo in the world with Ruler and Life being the previous holders of the title. Throughout the entirety of 2021, no one could push Ruler and Life into a losing bot lane state without investing their entire team. That would soon change as EDG’s Viper and Meiko showcased their mastery over the Nami – Lucian combo to pressure the Gen.G bot and make them experience what was most likely the only bot lane matchup they couldn’t win against.
The bottom lane proved to be instrumental into defeating Gen.G. Even though it went the full 5 games, EDG managed to secure the win with JieJie showcasing his mastery over his signature Jarvan IV pick. It was only when they decided to ban Clid’s Lee Sin that they stopped having trouble with their opponents as they would gain safety in their positioning without the threat of such a powerful displacement tool. And yet, the fans weren’t impressed with the series claiming that DK would surely beat EDG in a 3-0 fashion.
EDG vs DK: The Fight for the Worlds 2021 Championship!
The Worlds 2021 Championship was finally at the last stop with the finals being the LPL’s 1st seed versus the LCK’s 1st seed. Of course, almost everybody that isn’t already an EDG or LPL fan was confident that Damwon Kia would take the series in a clean 3-0. However, the tables would soon turn as the LPL representatives suddenly stomped Damwon Kia in overwhelming fashion in Game 1 with JieJie’s pocket Jarvan and Meiko’s surprise Zilean coming in clutch to make their teamfighting unstoppable.
Damwon quickly learned from their mistakes and banned out the fearsome Jarvan in all their following games. The LCK powerhouse quickly regain their footing after Game 1 and took both Game 2 and 3 with fans claiming that the 1st game was merely a fluke. Unfortunately for the fans, they would once again jinx DK since they would lose Game 4. At the most crucial game, Damwon Kia made the mistake of giving Viper his Aphelios which proved to be their downfall alongside Flandre’s incredible Kennen.
EDward Gaming rallied against Damwon Kia and overwhelmed them with their superior teamfighting from start to finish. The patience and superior positioning from the LPL representatives made it impossible for Damwon Kia to win a fight without have a reliable CC-chain to stop them from collapsing upon them. To the surprise of many, EDward Gaming took down Damwon Kia’s Nexus in an absolute stomp of a game to secure themselves as the Worlds 2021 Champs!
The Fall of Damwon Kia
The secret to EDG’s victory over Damwon Kia was shutting down the team’s strongest member – Canyon. Contrary to the highlights of the on-air talent and the teasers, Showmaker doesn’t play the most important role in the team nor is he the most mechanically skilled player on the roster. Canyon is the player that has carried Damwon Kia from their deficits, which is highlighted in their series against MAD Lions where his Lee Sin single-handedly brought them back from a 10k deficit.
Damwon Kia won against EDG when Canyon got his Lee Sin and when Showmaker would choose a champion that would complement his Qiyana. There’s no doubt that DK’s members are more mechanically-skilled than EDG (aside from the bot lane) but EDG had superior strategies to overcome their teamfighting prowess. JieJie’s also performed extremely well, outjungling Canyon in the finals which led to his team having so much room to work without the threat of the enemy jungler.
Unfortunately, Khan also underperformed in this series with questionable picks and teamfighting. In their losses, Khan had a huge factor in their downfall by not being able to coordinate with his team in teamfights. Despite this being his last professional game in his career as an esports player, he didn’t manage to pull through when it mattered the most. However, blaming one player isn’t fair as League of Legends is a team game through and through.
EDG’s Deadly Strategy: The Concave Formation!
In Azael’s post on Twitter, he highlighted how EDward Gaming consistently used a strategy known as “concaving” (which he called The EDG Line), wherein EDG would always form a horizontal line against their enemies in preparation for teamfights so that they’ll less likely be burst down together and maximizing the firing position of their abilities onto a target enemy. In almost every game of all their series at Worlds, they executed this formation flawlessly to win crucial teamfights.
This strategy is mostly used in RTS games like Starcraft but EDG’s iteration of it on League of Legends is definitely a sight to behold. While this definitely isn’t a strategy that one can apply easily in non-practiced game modes with teammates you can actively communicate with, it might definitely affect the esports meta going into the future. The LPL has always come up with new ways to play the game and this is going into the history books as one of the best.
The LPL’s Successful Year
Aside from EDG’s Worlds 2021 Championship win, let’s not forget that Royal Never Give Up also won the Mid-Season Invitational against Damwon in a close 5-game series as well. Since the region won both championships, there’s no reason to doubt that the region is the best performer of this year. Even though they lost some games in the Group Stage, it only attributes to the growth of those regions instead of the downfall of LPL as a whole.
In truth, EDG’s win over Damwon Kia is the most impactful throughout this year not only because it’s the Worlds 2021 Championship but also because they were COUNTED OUT before the series even began. The world didn’t even think that they’d take one game off the defending champions, let alone beat them so overwhelmingly. For years to come, this will be remembered as the best Worlds Finals in history with the story of how an underdog overcame the giants when everyone thought they couldn’t.
What Worlds Skins are EDG Choosing?
In an interview, the EDG members already mentioned a list of champions they’d like to choose from for their worlds skins:
–Flandre: Jayce or Graves
–JieJie: A champion that best represents him
–Scout: A champion he used in the final (Ryze, Zoe, Twisted Fate, and LeBlanc)
–Viper: Aphelios or Lucian
–Meiko: Lulu, Nami, or Yuumi
EDG’s skin lines will most probably adopt a black and white with the black being more dominant compared to the Invictus Gaming skin line.