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Pick: T1 to win
The League of Legends Worlds final is almost here. T1 and DRX will be facing each other at the Chase Center in San Francisco, California on November 5, 2022. T1 will be heading into this tie as the clear favorites. This is their fifth time in the final, whereas DRX are making a finals appearance for the very first time.
T1 have the superior head-to-head record heading into this tie. The two sides have faced each other 14 times prior to this, with T1 coming out on top on 12 occasions, and DRX coming out on top only twice. That’ll matter little in a final, which can be treated as an isolated affair.
Fans will certainly have a lot to look forward to. On the one hand, there's a team that’s looking to win the Worlds after five years and led by one of the greatest players in the history of the esport. On the other hand, there’s a fairytale story with a lot of new players. One dream will die on Saturday.
The last meeting between the two sides ended in victory for T1. They won 2-0 in a best-of-three match in an LCK Summer season game back in July. Game 1 was quite one-sided with T1 getting 13 kills to DRX’s 1, but game 2 was far tighter. DRX managed 15 kills and captured five towers, but it wasn’t enough to take the match to game 3 as T1 got 18 kills and captured 10 towers.
DRX will need to put in a similar performance to game 2, and get some good fortune on the way to win this tie. It’s improbable, but not impossible. They’ve exceeded expectations by making it this far. They have nothing to fear heading into this tie. All the pressure will be falling on the shoulders of T1.
Lee "Faker" Sang-hyeok once again showed that he’s not done with competitive League Of Legends, helping T1 get the better of JD Gaming in the League of Legends Worlds semifinals by a score of 3-1. This is the first time in five years that he’ll be contesting in a final.
They had to make a comeback in this match, having lost the first game without really troubling JD Gaming. Games 2 and 3 were quite tight, but they had fully regained control by then, and dominated game 4 – managing 30 kills to JD Gaming’s 7, and ending the final game within 25 minutes. Lee "Gumayusi" Min-hyeong was also in top form for T1 with a K/D/A ratio of 31/10/29.
To beat the LPL champions is no mean feat and they’ll go into the final quietly confident that they can go all the way now. Prior to the tie, JD Gaming were probably heading into the match as favorites, and it seemed like anyone who believed that was right after the first game.
Besides beating JD Gaming, T1 also had to see past the likes of RNG. They’ve got a lot of experience over the years, but it was still a monumental effort to get past all these top sides to make it to the final. All of the sides have provided a stern test, and coming on top will give them a lot of confidence in the final. They’ve worked really hard to get here, and can’t afford to get complacent because of their favorites tag.
This is their first final in five years, and if they play at their best level as they have throughout the tournament, it’ll be hard for DRX to contain them. For T1, a win here will cement their status as the best in the business, and it’ll be another feather in the cap for Faker, who will strengthen his legacy as one of the greatest players in League of Legends history. His teammates, of course, shouldn’t be overlooked.
DRX’s dream run continued after beating LCK champions Gen.G in the semifinals to become the first play-in team to make it to the League of Legends Worlds final. They didn’t get off to the best of starts, losing Game 1 with little to suggest that they’ll be making a comeback, but they followed it up with a strong performance in Game 2, getting nine kills to Gen.G’s three. A lot of teams have underestimated them throughout the tournament, and have paid the price for it.
They were utterly dominant in game 3 and game 4, and well worth their place in the finals. Their effort in games 3 and 4 wasn’t anything resembling that of an underdog team. They did not look like a side that had a poor record against Gen.G prior to this match, and this just goes to show that history matters little on the biggest stage.
No one expected them to get this far, but they are now here, one win away from making one of the greatest runs in League of Legends esports history.
T1’s mid-laner Faker has dominated a lot of headlines, but he’s not been the best in his role in this tournament. Zeka of DRX has been the outstanding mid-laner in the tournament so far.
He’s put on near-perfect display three times in this tournament, and the same can be said of his performance in the semifinals against Gen.G. If he can repeat this in the finals, there’s every chance of DRX causing one of the biggest upsets in League of Legends esports history.
He has been one of the stars of this tournament and has got a new legion of fans. He posted stats of 10/4/16 in the semifinals and has a KDA ratio of 6 in the tournament. Even if his side doesn’t win the big prize, in the end, he’ll probably go down as the best player in the tournament. Questions about his future will certainly come up with teams looking for his signature, but for now, he has to focus on the job at hand.
Fans have even clamored for a new “Zeka” award, which is awarded to a player who rises above expectations. That’s been the story of DRX’s run to the finals, and their mid-laner seems to be symbolic of everything good about them, and about League of Legends esports. This should be a cracking League of Legends Worlds final.
Teams: T1 vs DRX
Location: Chase Center, San Francisco, California
Time: Saturday, November 5 at 8 pm ET onwards
How to watch: YouTube, Twitch, League of Legends esports page, and offline
With an interest in strategy and mathematics, applying that to sports writing was the natural progression. A writer at night and the founder of a gaming company, Nikhil’s previous experience includes working with ESPN for five years. His specialization includes soccer, basketball, tennis, and esports betting. Email: [email protected]More info on Nikhil Kalro
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