A Cinderella Story: DRX Is Worlds 2022 Champion
Silver Scrapes resonated through every nook and corner of the Chase Center in San Francisco, California as T1 and DRX stared at the Worlds 2022 Summoner’s Cup with just one last game to go. The best-of-five (BO5) grand final saw both teams trading blows back and forth and fans were scrambling to keep up with all the different storylines.
A fourth seed team has never won Worlds and yet DRX rewrote League of Legends Esports history by hoisting the Summoner's Cup, completing its underdog story. Emotions ran high as players shed tears of happiness and disappointment on the Worlds stage, making it very bittersweet for the viewers.
The Worlds 2022 final was labeled as the last dance for two storied players – Lee "Faker" Sang-hyeok and Kim "Deft" Hyuk-kyu: schoolmates who debuted in the League of Legends Champions Korea (LCK) the same year. While Faker went out to taste success every time he stepped on the international stage, Deft longed for his time in the spotlight silently.
Deft finally broke his semi-final curse and made it to the grand final of Worlds 2022 to meet Faker and his former support in a bid to win the title, against all odds.
Here are some of the best moments from the grand final of Worlds 2022.
Game of steals
The final BO5 series between T1 and DRX saw some epic objective steals from T1’s jungler Mun "Oner" Hyeon-jun and attack-damage carry (ADC) Lee "Gumayusi" Min-hyeong. DRX Hong "Pyosik" Chang-hyeon’s Smites were not the best today as the pro player had multiple misplays. The opening game was won by T1 and Gumayusi had a sneaky Dragon steal at 7 minutes while DRX’s jungler and support were taking down the Cloud Dragon.
T1 stole Baron Nashor twice in Game 3 in the most unfortunate circumstances for DRX. In the third game, DRX locked in Kalista, a champion that can help secure objectives with her E-Rend. However, the jungler has to coordinate with the Kalista to use the Smite properly. With DRX failing to coordinate the Rend and the Smite, from under his opponents’ noses at 24 minutes. Following this, to everyone’s surprise, this happened again as Gumayusi stole the Baron with Varus as DRX fumbled.
It looked like it was game over for T1 in the fifth game as DRX stomped through the draft and early game phase. However, a clutch Baron Nashor steal by Gumayusi’s Varus helped T1 stay in control of the game.
Deft’s fancy footwork
Anyone that has played League of Legends will tell you what an honor it is to be recognized for your in-game jukes. Game 2 was a long, excruciating one with both teams looking like they could win it at certain stages. However, it was DRX that stayed strong and closed out the game, which is the longest game of Worlds 2022. At 9 minutes, the scoreboard was 0-0 and T1 started Rift Herald and T1 caught Kim "Deft" Hyuk-kyu off guard and threw everything at him. Deft immediately cleansed out of the Viktor stun and flashed away from the chaos. Following this, T1’s Lux and Ashe ultimates while he was very low on health.
T1’s bot lane masterclass
The second game was entertaining on numerous levels. The crowds erupted with a deafening roar when the bot lane of T1 chased down DRX jungler Pyosik and landed every single skill shot in their kit to kill him. With Pyosik down, it was an easy dragon pick-up for T1. Notably, both Lux and Varus are champions who need to land their abilities in order to dish out damage.
Worlds 2022 will go down as one of the best end-of-the-year tournaments we've seen in League of Legends history. DRX made history today and Deft finally achieved the highest honor of being called a World champion, after fighting hard for ten years.
Unfortunately for T1, its dream of securing its fourth title has gotten stalled. But the team gave its all and played its heart out on the international stage.