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Damwon Gaming dominates KeSPA Cup

Captain of Damwon Gaming, Cho “BeryL” Geon-hee (Riot Games)
Captain of Damwon Gaming, Cho “BeryL” Geon-hee (Riot Games)

League of Legends world champion Damwon Gaming continued its dominance, rolling over the other LoL Champions Korea teams in the Korea e-Sports Associations Cup held over the Christmas weekend.

Damwon headed straight to the finals after sweeping the group stages 4-0 and dropping only one game to Hanwha Life Esports with Jeong “Chovy” Ji-hoon and Kim “Deft” Hyuk-gyu in the semifinals on Saturday to go 3-1.

The KeSPA Cup is an annual tournament hosted by KeSPA in the offseason. The tournament is going fully online this year except for the finals, to be played Saturday.

In recent years, it has become the first official tournament where teams play with new rosters before going into the spring season. In previous years, selected teams from LoL Champions Korea, the Korean LoL esports league, and the minor league, Challengers Korea, participated. However, with the abolishment of Challengers Korea in preparation for the franchise system next year, all 10 teams in the LCK participated in the KeSPA Cup this year.

Heading into the tournament, Damwon Gaming was the clear favorite. The group dominated teams around the globe in the world championships and retained many of the starting members in the offseason. While the coaching staff and star player Jang “Nuguri” Ha-gwon have left the team, legendary coach Kim “Kkoma” Jeong-gyun, who won the world championship three times with the former SK Telecom, joined Damwon in the offseason along with veteran player Kim “Khan” Dong-ha. The two other powerhouses, T1 and Gen.G also announced their participation with academy rosters instead of the main rosters, making Damwon’s dominance inevitable.

The winner of the KT Rolster vs. Nongshim Red Force game on Dec. 27 will face Damwon in the finals, held without an audience at V Space in Jung-gu, Seoul on Jan. 2 for the prize money of 40 million won ($36,400).

By Lim Jang-won (ljw@heraldcorp.com)
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