Defending champion DWG Kia swept Gen.G Esports 3-0 in the League of Legends Champions Korea Finals on Saturday to secure a ticket to the Mid-Season Invitational in May and win prize money of 200 million won ($178,000).
Although DWG Kia was the clear favorite leading up to the finals, the fact that Gen.G Esports and DWG Kia both swept their quarterfinals opponents 3-0 had raised expectations for a closely contested final. However, the 2020 LCK Summer champion and world champion dominated the game, proving that they are far ahead of the pack. Their draft and play in the first and third games around champion Senna and comeback in the second game showed why the team is considered the best in the world.
DWG Kia’s Kim “Khan” Dong-ha, who joined the world champion roster this split, was named the Finals MVP.
As DWG Kia looks toward the MSI, other teams around the world also secured their spots in the tournament. On Monday, C9 won North America’s LoL Championship Series in a nail-biting five-game series against Team Liquid while MAD Lions reverse-swept Rogue -- winning the last three consecutive games after falling 0-2 early -- to win the LoL European Championships.
In the fifth game between C9 and TL, C9 pulled out a lane swap strategy with Sion, allowing the team to start with a hold of three quadrants in the jungle. As DWG Kia is in the same bracket with C9, along with Japanese league champion DetonatioN FocusMe and Latin American league champion Infinity Esports, the flexible draft and strategies of C9 are something for which DWG Kia will prepare.
However, DWG Kia is not so worried.
“As we prepared for LCK Finals, we haven’t had a chance to think about MSI yet. For LCS, I think they have been weak on the international stage,” said coach Kim “kkOma” Jeong-gyun of DWG Kia, who won his ninth LCK title and his first LCK title with DWG Kia.
DWG Kia players mentioned that they wanted to face China’s FunPlus Phoenix at the MSI as former DWG Kia player Jang “Nuguri” Ha-gwon is in that team and Khan was in FPX last year.
“I want to see Jang Ha-gwon so I want to meet FPX,” said DWG Kia’s Jang “Ghost” Yong-jun in the post-match interview Saturday. “I also want to meet Viper of EDG who’s doing well in the LPL.”
FunPlus Phoenix is currently waiting in the final of the LPL to face the winners of Edward Gaming and Royal Never Give Up after winning against Edward Gaming in a five-game series on Sunday. FunPlus Phoenix won against the two teams during the playoffs. China’s LoL Pro League final is scheduled for Sunday.
While the MSI was canceled last year due to COVID-19, this year, the teams will gather in Reykjavik, Iceland from May 6-22 for the MSI title and an extra slot for the region at the world championships.
By Lim Jang-won (email@example.com