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DWG Kia Steals a Win Away From T1 in LCK Showdown

In its first LCK match since winning the 2020 World Championship, DWG Kia defeated T1 in an exciting three-game set. Thanks to some crazy pop-off moments from Lee “Gumayusi” Min-hyeong, T1 had a massive lead early in the closing match. However, DWG was able to capitalize off the mistakes of T1 to take the series. 

Image courtesy of Riot Games

WIth Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok back in the mid lane after youngster Lee “Clozer” Ju-hyeon started against Hanwha, DWG Kia struggled massively in Game One. The team couldn’t get anything going, and T1 took an easy victory. The tables turned in Game Two; however, where it was T1 unable to find any opportunities after DWG took the early game edge. The final match was the real spectacle, with Gumayusi giving his team the lead, only for DWG to steal it away, catching out Choi “Ellim” El-lim at the baron pit and never looking back. 

The Rise of Gumayusi

Image courtesy of T1

This series looked like a highlight reel for the 18-year-old bot laner. Playing on his Aphelios and Samira, Gumayusi exploded in his second-ever regular-season LCK matchup. The World Champion duo of Jang “Ghost” Yong-jun and Cho “BeryL” Geon-hee was no challenge for Gumayusi, as T1 poured its resources into him, highlighting the team’s confidence in its young bot laner. 

Gumayusi’s fights were absolutely massive, with his team setting him up perfectly. The kid even picked up a pentakill just 15 minutes into Game One. 

That moment was an exciting one at the T1 headquarters, and the players’ reactions were just as good as the pentakill itself. 

Despite the mistakes of his teammates costing T1 the game, they set teamfights up perfectly for Gumayusi. With Faker on his signature control mage Azir, he opened up the gates for the bot laner to come in and clean up. 

Even while T1 was struggling, its bot laner was still performing well, solo killing enemies and nearly turning the tides by himself. Paired with one of the most talented supports in the game, the breakout rookie from DRX, Ryu “Keria” Min-seok, Gumayusi is on the verge of having a breakout year himself. 

DWG Kia is Still DAMWON

Image courtesy of KeSPA

It’s hard to forget just how dominant DAMWON was in 2020. Its aggressive, yet decisive style shut down its opponents as it methodically gained control across the entire map. That same technique won it this series as well, stopping T1 dead in its tracks. 

Just like in 2020, all the DWG players need is the slightest edge, and they’ll turn it into a victory. The team did it in Game Two, where it jumped out to an early lead, then cleanly took control over the map before exploding in teamfights to secure the game. 

DWG also did the same thing in Game Three, picking up the slightest advantage after catching out Keria and Ellim in the baron pit. After which, it was only a matter of time before DWG locked down the map and took the series victory for itself. 

It wasn’t just DWG’s teamplay that won them the game, however, as its solo laners performed individually as well. After the 2020 narrative of Kim “Khan” Dong-ha being washed up, the newly acquired DWG top laner popped off against his former team, especially in Game Two where his Gangplank took over the game. Heo “ShowMaker” Su also had incredible performances on Zoe after a woeful Game One on Yone. 

Faker’s Still Got it

Image courtesy of Riot Games

It seems like everyone today is asking, “When is Faker going to be washed up?” Almost like they’re trying to manifest it somehow. Even with all the haters, the legend just keeps on performing. 

It wasn’t Faker popping off this series, but it was his ability to set up his teammates that was so impressive from the T1 star. Playing Azir all three games, his mindset from the start was to facilitate his teammates, giving up CS to put resources into Gumayusi. Faker utilized Azir’s kit to control the flow of fights, opening up opportunities for his bot laner to come in and wreak havoc on DWG. 

Faker’s presence as a leader was also felt, as T1 was much less overaggressive, and more decisive than with Clozer. Faker will play an integral role in ironing out the mistakes that cost them the series. 
At the end of the day, both DWG Kia and T1 look like they’ll be forces in 2021 League of Legends Champions Korea. Even without Jang “Nuguri” Ha-gwon, DWG looked just as dominant as it did last year. On the side of T1, yes, mistakes ultimately cost them, and it paid the price for it. However, this is DWG we’re talking about and it’s not panic mode just yet for T1. As a young squad, it went toe-to-toe with some of the best League of Legends players in the world, and it’ll only improve going forward.

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