With Worlds 2021 on the horizon, the third seed representatives from the League of Legends Champions Korea, Gen.G, are one of 22 teams from across the globe that are gearing up for their biggest and most important event of the year. The 2021 League of Legends World Championship will feature each region’s best players, all fighting for the same goal: to stand atop the mountain and hoist the Season 11 Summoner’s Cup.
After a somewhat successful Worlds campaign in 2020, Gen.G is heading to Reykjavík, Iceland looking to improve on their previous quarterfinals appearance. With Gen.G running it back with the same roster as last year, they will rely on the improvement of their star players to carry them back to the Knockout Stage for the second straight year.
Gen.G (LCK) Worlds 2021 starting roster breakdown:
Top: Kim “Rascal” Kwang-hee | Signed in November 2019. Formerly a member of DragonX
Jungle: Kim “Clid” Tae-min | Signed in November 2019. Formerly a member of T1
Mid: Gwak “Bdd” Bo-seong | Signed in November 2019. Formerly a member of KT Rolster
Bot: Park “Ruler” Jae-hyuk | Signed in 2017 as part of the Samsung Galaxy acquisition.
Support: Kim “Life” Jeong-min | Signed in 2017 as part of the SSG acquisition.
How they got here
After getting to Worlds last year as South Korea’s third seed, Gen.G ran hot in the Group Stage, going 5-1 before bowing out in the quarterfinals in a 3-0 sweep by G2 Esports. The org must have liked what they accomplished in their first Worlds appearance in two years because they made no changes before the 2021 season began.
Gen.G’s 2021 spring split went almost the same as their 2020 summer season. Gen.G finished with a 13-5 record, which was one game worse than their summer record but better standings-wise, as they entered the playoffs as the second seed.
After sweeping T1 in the semifinals, Gen.G were humbled by the reigning world champions, DWG KIA. They still improved on their summer season performance of third place but were a distant second in the LCK. All five members also ended up on at least one of the three LCK All-Pro teams, with Ruler grabbing the first-team spot for the bot lane position.
The summer season, meanwhile, was a weird one for Gen.G and the rest of the LCK region. Despite taking another step back record-wise, Gen.G’s 12-6 record was good enough for a first-place tie with an up and down performing DK squad. Due to tiebreakers, Gen.G entered playoffs once again as the second seed.
With DK looking vulnerable, Gen.G had a golden opportunity to close the gap. Instead, the gap between the other teams and Gen.G closed. In the semifinals, T1 matched up with Gen.G just like in the spring playoffs, but this time around, T1 got the upper hand. They defeated Gen.G 3-1, which eliminated Gen.G from postseason play. But after T1 were trounced by DWG KIA in the final, Gen.G had enough Championship Points to automatically qualify for the World Championship.
Players to watch
Gen.G’s players to watch include the only two players on the team to pick up LCK All-Pro Honors in the summer season, Bdd and Ruler.
Ruler didn’t have the best World championship last year, as he only had middle-of-the-pack placements in the statistics department — but he did have elite rankings in the LCK 2021 spring split.
Ruler led all bot laners in experience difference at 10 minutes, Creep Score difference at 10 minutes and CS per minute according to Oracle’s Elixir. That in-lane dominance led to Gen.G’s success in the spring split. And even though he wasn’t the first team LCK All-Pro bot laner in the summer, he transitioned away from his laning phase superiority into a more team fight-focused style.
Ruler led all bot laners in Damage Per Minute, Kill/Death/Assist ratio and Gold per Minute. He also led all bot laners in damage share, as Ruler averaged 31.3% of Gen.G’s overall damage per game. He is simply a step above his group stage bot lane opponents, so it will be critical to make the most of his lane presence and team fight prowess against the likes of Team Liquid’s Edward “Tactical” Ra and MAD Lions’ Matyáš “Carzzy” Orság.
Bdd is the other player to watch at Worlds for Gen.G. Bdd has shown throughout 2021 that when it comes to big games, he delivers. Across both the spring and summer playoffs, Bdd was named MVP in each of the team’s victories. No one managed to upstage him in Gen.G’s wins.His summer season LCK All-Pro second-team selection is also impressive, considering he beat out legendary mid laners Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok and Jeong “Chovy” Ji-hoon for the honors.
But whether or not he can beat out his Group Stage mid-lane opponents has yet to be seen. Bdd will be tested against the likes of MAD Lions’ Marek “Humanoid” Brázda and Team Liquid’s Nicolaj “Jensen” Jensen.
How Gen.G can succeed at Worlds 2021
For Gen.G to improve on their quarterfinals exit at last year’s Worlds, considering their roster is the same, on Ruler and Bdd’s improvement throughout 2021 will be crucial.
Both players were average in the stats department last year and the team still went 5-1 in the Group Stage. If they can be above average, or even elite, this team can go far.
Their group is considered one of the easier draws and they can realistically take the first seed if they play well. But at the same time, the other teams in the group look at Gen.G in the same light. If Gen.G play as they did in the summer playoffs, it could lead to a quick exit. But if Ruler and Bdd have the best tournament of their lives, Gen.G have a good shot at extending past the quarterfinals.
This article is part of an ongoing preview series of all 22 teams competing at Worlds 2021. For our complete release schedule and more information on the other 21 teams attending Worlds, check out Upcomer’s Worlds 2021 Outlook Series hub.