It’s all down to one last series. The 2021 League of Legends World Championship will soon to come to a close, with Edward Gaming taking on the defending champions, DWG KIA, in the finals next weekend. EDG broke their curse against Cloud9 and then went even further, defeating Gen.G in the semis to find their first-ever trip to the Worlds finals. DWG KIA, meanwhile, overcame a resurgent T1 and stopped Faker short of claiming his fourth Worlds title.
After the 10th game of the semifinals, a few Upcomer League staffers came together to chat about EDG in their penultimate series and their chances against DK to steal away the trophy from the current title holders.
Who wins the final? DWG KIA or EDG?
Warren Younger: It becomes increasingly harder to say Edward Gaming, even though they were my pick to win it all. At the same time, they always find a way to win despite looking sloppy. Obviously DWG KIA are the best team in the world, but I still have faith EDG will pull another series out of their hat. If they play like they did in Game 5 against Gen.G, then there is definitely a chance. T1 took DK to Game 5, and if EDG play at their peak they should be better than T1. I just want a competitive series.
E.G “Megalodontus” Kant: So here we are, eh? The end of a long road. A champion will be crowned and it’s going to be…! Well, this one is really difficult. One on hand, I think in my opinion, it looks easy because DWG KIA have looked overwhelmingly dominant when they get a lead. And to add to that, they possess the mental fortitude to overcome even the bleakest of scenarios. But it’s an LPL team, and I am unabashedly biased toward the LPL, so I want to believe.
I’ll do it like this: My brain tells me DK 3-1, but my heart says EDG 3-2. Let’s see which organ is the better predictor.
DK 3-1 (or EDG 3-2)
THE #WORLDS2021 FINAL:
— LoL Esports (@lolesports) October 31, 2021
Parkes “parqueso” Ousley: I’ve got to be boring here in hopes of reclaiming some of my lost pride after so many failed predictions at the start of Worlds this year. So, it’s no surprise I am picking DWG KIA as my prediction for back-to-back Summoner’s Cups. I think EDG are a fine team, but they just don’t do anywhere near what DK has done, or even T1 for that matter. We got 10 games in the semis, but we’re going to have a maximum of four games in the Worlds Finals.
Tom Matthiesen: DWG KIA, and I don’t think it’s gonna be particularly close. EDG looked strong in their fifth game against Gen.G, but the mistakes they make are going to be punished relentlessly by the reigning champions. Perhaps if EDG heavily focuses on getting Flandre ahead by targeting Khan (who ran it a bit against T1), EDG can take a game off DWG KIA. Otherwise, DWG KIA outclasses EDG in every aspect we’ve seen so far. Kim “Canyon” Geon-bu and Heo “ShowMaker” Su are going to rain destruction upon EDG.
Who was the MVP of Edward Gaming vs. Gen.G?
Younger: Lee “Scout” Ye-chan has had a very quiet Worlds 2021 tournament up until the series against Gen.G. He had a couple of stellar games in the group stage against T1 and 100 Thieves, but besides those two games, the LPL summer finals MVP hasn’t played up to expectations.
But in Game 4, with EDG’s back against the wall, Scout locked in Zoe and proceeded to put EDG on his back. Gen.G’s mid laner, Gwak “Bdd” Bo-seong, has been the star of the Gen.G show, but with Scout going 12/0/7 on Zoe, he showed up, neutralized Bdd and renewed EDG’s lease on life. It was a major turning point in the series and in Scout’s career, as he now has a chance to face off with ShowMaker next weekend for the Worlds 2021 title.
Megalodontus: I agree with the general sentiment by Warren — Scout indeed has been very quiet in general this Worlds. But for this series, in my opinion, he really stepped up to give EDG that extra edge. I would say Scout picking Zoe was slightly surprising, since he hasn’t played her in a while, but in hindsight I think his monstrous performance on her should not have been that bewildering. More than just denying Gen.G’s main man BDD, Scout has made mind-boggling plays on Zoe in the past in the LPL, after all. His Ryze and overall play, especially from the early game in Game 5, I think, is worth a lot of praise, too.
Ousley: This is a difficult one. There were multiple clutch plays from various members on the team. I wanted to give it to Scout, but everyone else here did, and I was boring in my first answer. So, I’ll go with Park “Viper” Do-hyeon. With their backs against the wall at 1-2, Viper went on to have a 6/0/8 and 5/1/11 KDA (kills/deaths/assists) to win out the series. He played fearlessly in Game 4, trusting in Tian “Meiko” Ye’s Nami to keep him safe, and had an incredible Game 5 on Jhin to secure their trip to the finals.
Matthiesen: It would have been so much easier if Gen.G had won the series. Then I could’ve flip-flopped between Kim “Clid” Tae-min and Bdd for a bit before making a decision. On EDG’s side, it’s more difficult. The team stood and fell together, relying on their team fighting skills to topple Gen.G. Scout, I suppose, had the most impact on EDG’s side in their victories, so I’ll give it to him.
Did the Edward Gaming vs. Gen.G series go as you expected?
Younger: Not at all. I really expected clean League of Legends from EDG. We did not get that until Game 5. The series should not have gone to Game 5, but at least the team that should of won, did. Props to Gen.G, though. I didn’t expect anything from them and they pushed EDG to the brink. Too bad Clid couldn’t play Lee Sin every game.
Megalodontus: I predicted 3-1 and Gen.G showed up bigger than I thought, so the series did not go exactly as I expected. What I did expect was EDG to make plays that would be punishable by Gen.G, considering their form against RNG in the quarterfinals. I suppose the DK vs T1 semifinals match should have served as an indicator how important mid-jungle is, and Gen.G for sure displayed that today. Commiserations to Gen.G and, if EDG are expecting to win Worlds, they cannot count on going to Game 5, especially against DK, of all teams.
Ousley: Sort of? Kind of? I predicted EDG to win, but not because I was super confident in EDG. I was actually pretty nervous because Gen.G performed incredibly well in their quarterfinals series, and I didn’t feel like EDG really did anything impressive. Today, mostly in Game 4 and 5, they finally did a bit more of what I’ve been waiting for. Regardless, unless they truly, truly step up and perform much better than they have so far, the finals won’t even be close.
Matthiesen: No, and not just because I predicted a 3-1 victory for EDG instead of the actual 3-2. It was the fashion in which EDG got over the finish line that surprised me. They barely made it. The team played sloppily and seemed to have no clue how to approach the draft phase in order to combat Gen.G. EDG’s series against RNG was just a typical LPL fiesta, so I thought. But no, EDG completely forgot how to play League of Legends at important moments against Gen.G. Props to Gen.G for stepping up in this semifinal, though. I thought that the team solely relied on Clid and Bdd to succeed, but Kim “Rascal” Kwang-hee and Park “Ruler” Jae-hyuk had their shining moments too.
What’s your pick for the most memorable play of Edward Gaming vs. Gen.G?
Younger: Li “Flandre” Xuan-Jun’s Jax back door in Game 1 sums up the series pretty well. In that game, Gen.G played well while EDG slumped. Gen.G were able to take back-to-back Barons to keep the game close, but the sheer gap between the teams showed when Flandre was able to just march into Gen.G’s base and end the game out of nowhere. Despite Gen.G’s best efforts, it wasn’t enough.
Megalodontus: There were several big moments in this series, but I think for me Game 1’s backdoor by EDG was the moment that somewhat set the tone for the series, in some sense. It made for a very tense first game, where EDG had the lead but Gen.G stubbornly refused to lose. It definitely kept me on my toes. Even though EDG had Baron, I always felt Gen.G could still mount that comeback they’ve been planning, but Flandre put an end to that. It made for an exciting opener and I think somewhat showed that EDG have a lot of openings for the series to potentially go all the way, and it did.
Ousley: Other than Scout using his realm warp in Game 5 to send his team just six Teemos over, it would probably be one of his Zoe plays around the late game objectives in Game 4 of the series to keep them alive. He was so impactful in those crucial moments on the champion, constantly chunking out Gen.G to help secure the dragons. Everyone gave him MVP, and that was a huge reason why.
Matthiesen: With my “Play of the Game,” I want to honor the Heir of EDG: Meiko. In the first four games, the playmaker was confined to enchanter supports. Three times he had to play Nami, and one time he got to buff his allies with Lulu. But in the fifth game, Meiko finally got his Leona in. And at a crucial fight around the third drake, Gen.G was well positioned to claim the dragon’s powers, having split Scout from his teammates. When Gen.G stepped forward to collapse on EDG’s four-man bundle, Meiko was dragged into the middle of Gen.G. With his dying breath, he cast his ultimate, stunning Bdd and Rascal. This gave EDG the perfect chance to turn the fight around and claim the important objective.