The Quarterfinals Stage at Worlds 2021 has concluded, leaving us with only 4 teams remaining. 75% of the teams left at Worlds 2021 are representatives from the LCK, but the question still has yet be answered: Who is the top team of the LCK? DAMWON KIA has been the strongest team all year, but Faker and the rest of T1 might be able to flip the odds in their upcoming match.
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- Worlds Quarterfinals: EDward Gaming Defeat RNG in All-LPL Match
DAMWON KIA at Worlds 2021
DAMWON KIA continue to pick up momentum as they cruise into Semifinals off of a 3-0 Victory against MAD Lions. Seeing as how we already covered DWG's Group Stage in previous articles, we can skip past that and talk about their recent quarterfinal matchup against MAD.
This series feels like it should have been slightly harder for Damwon. I mean, we all know that they're favorites to win the entire tournament but a clean sweep of the best EU team at Worlds 2021 felt dirty to watch. They looked in control the entire time, as is the standard for DAMWON so far at Worlds 2021. Seriously though, they looked terrifying in all 3 games. Game 1 was an extremely clean victory with few mistakes from DWG or opportunities for MAD to get back into the game. Damwon fell behind in Game 2 early on, conceding a 3.5k Gold Lead at around 10 minutes - but it didn't end up mattering as they farmed and scaled into a winning position. As for Game 3, it was almost a repeat of the first one but with slightly more resistance from MAD Lions. DAMWON KIA didn't care.
So what does this all mean for DWG going forward? Basically, DAMWON KIA is an unstoppable force and T1 aren't an immovable object.
How can T1 defeat DAMWON KIA?
Right now, DAMWON look unbeatable. That's because they are literally undefeated at Worlds 2021 so far, but there might be some hope for T1 fans. MAD Lions identified several problematic champions that they needed to ban out: Aphelios, Twisfted Fate, Graves. These 3 champions were banned out in Games 2 and 3 so that DAMWON couldn't pick them.
The problem with this approach is that it leaves champions like Kennen, Lee Sin, and Jayce open for DWG - which they will happily snap up as soon as possible (which we saw in games 2/3 of that series.) Luckily for T1, they can focus on banning out other champions because they all 3 of these champions are part of their strategy. They have the opportunity to ban out problematic champions and then take their pick of whatever gets through. Canna has been huge on Graves this tournament, same with Gumayusi on his Aphelios, and who can forget Faker's signature Twisted Fate?
This all might lead us into a situation where the contested picks get messy for DAMWON and potentially give T1 huge draft advantages. However, DAMWON should always have an advantage in-game due to how strong their grasp on the meta is right now as well as their impeccable macro.
T1 at Worlds 2021
T1 came into this tournament overshadowed by DAMWON and have mostly remained out of the spotlight. Their wins haven't looked the most convincing at times, with many fans still harboring doubts over whether or not this team is truly back after a tumultuous season. However, their slate was effectively wiped clean after their 3-0 Win against Hanwha Life Esports in the Worlds 2021 Quarterfinals. Now T1 has the support of fans across the globe, all hoping to see Faker claim another title.
T1 was able to finish Group B as First Seed, taking down EDward Gaming after dropping a game to them on Day 2. Their 5-1 record wasn't the most convincing thing in the world though, given that 100 Thieves and DetonatioN FocusMe both looked extremely inconsistent. That being said, T1 looked fantastic in their recent quarterfinal match-up. They drafted well and played with urgency as well as efficiency. It almost looks like the T1 of old, but can they repeat that look against a far superior team?
How can DAMWON defeat T1?
I may as well have put "How will DAMWON defeat T1?" here.. The facts of the matter are that DAMWON has only lost 1 series out of the last 5 times these two have met. They are the more consistent team, and they're in top form after a season of struggle. The same can probably be said for T1, but they don't look quite as clean as DWG in their wins.
T1 has been relying on Canna and Gumayusi to carry games, while having Faker help out on supportive champions as much as possible. This kind of strategy works against lesser teams with mid laners that aren't Showmaker, but DAMWON have the ability to take Showmaker and put him on champions that can 1v9. What will T1 look like in the face of the legendary Showmaker Kassadin that has been terrorizing teams at Worlds 2021? I'm not so sure. I do know one thing though, T1 needs to win top lane.
As previously mentioned, Canna has been the real star of the show for T1 at Worlds 2021. Similarly, Khan has been a stand out player for DAMWON KIA at this tournament in particular. His Kennen and Jayce need to be respected if not banned out. I fear that T1 are going to struggle between shutting down Khan or Showmaker, and that's not even mentioning Canyon who has been his usual insane self.
All in all, this match looks incredibly uphill for T1 - Gumayusi needs to step up big time as Canna will likely take an enormous amount of lane pressure. If he fails to do so, it will be impossible for the Unkillable Demon King to advance.
DWG 3-0 T1
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