Four teams remain, and the race for the title is only heating up in Shanghai. G2 and DWG face off in a quarter-finals rematch from 2019, and the LPL favourites TES come in bleeding after a tough series against Fnatic. The question will be whether a hungry Suning can capitalise…
On this side of the bracket though, our eyes turn to G2 v DWG.
Side note: the trash-talk has been wild.
"I have this picture in my head of me holding the trophy, and I'll do anything to see that dream come true."— LoL Esports (@lolesports) October 23, 2020
The #Worlds2020 Semifinals kick off this Saturday (3AM PST/12PM CEST/6PM CST)!
🎶 "Lux" by @taubertryanpic.twitter.com/am1DLlAjRu
G2 Esports Vs. DAMWON Gaming
24/10 11am BST/12pm CEST
(Picture: LoL Esports)
If nothing else, this matchup has brought some fantastic pre-game trash talk. G2’s players are known for their cocky swagger - partly put on for show - and willingness to give the media some juicy sound bites, and Damwon? Damwon want revenge.
We got it. #Worlds2020 G2 vs DWG semifinals.@G2esports and @DamwonGaming was inevitable.— Austin 주용 (@preludecoda) October 18, 2020
Here are what some of the players have been saying about each other since the 2020 Summer Split!
Shoutout to @AshleyKang for these great interviews, and nurturing the narrative! pic.twitter.com/UJHm0wKGLm
“I want to crush G2 into pieces as soon as possible,” is about as blunt as you can get - them some fighting words, ShowMaker. And DWG will have to bring the bark to back up the bite.
Before the tournament, DWG were considered, alongside TES, as one of the two favourites. They still are, but dark horse G2 have begun to hit their stride, and that makes this rematch all the more enticing.
DWG come to the semis off the back of a convincing 3-0 win over LCK comrades DRX, but the series really didn’t tell us all that much after DRX failed to show up when it counted. Are DWG that convincing, or were DRX that unconvincing? The honest answer is probably a bit of both. Analytically though, it’s a little frustrating because DWG didn’t have to show all that much - superlative teamfighting and jungle domination is bread and butter for the LCK first seed, after all.
"...AND IN COMES DAMWON!"— LoL Esports (@lolesports) October 16, 2020
Take a closer look at Nuguri's team-fighting on Ornn against DRX! pic.twitter.com/Gddri8XDns
That said, it was superlative teamfighting and a brutalisation of Pyosik in the jungle courtesy of Canyon. While the series may have shown us little new, it did present a stark statement of how damn good DWG are at playing through Canyon and translating their solo-laners prowess into teamfight domination.
Canyon ended the series with a KDA of 30, dying only the once across all three games, and even humbled Pyosik on his signature pick of Kindred - the champion he’s named for. Nuguri’s Kennen and Ornn were similarly as destructive in teamfights, even if he was caught more than necessary in lane. There is a reason, LEC caster Ender has categorically stated he thinks Nuguri is the best team-fighting toplaner in the world.
Then we have G2 Esports.
They too dismantled their quarter-finals opponents, crushing Gen.G in a convincing 3-0. Midlane superstar Caps was in rare form, eviscerating opponents and leaving BDD in the dust to help marshal G2 to their victory. His Sylas in particular raised eyebrows and birthed some spectacular highlight reels. It wasn’t just the Caps show either, with Perkz’ continuing to step up as the tournament progresses, and G2 growing increasingly confident in playing through Jankos on carry picks - something that has been critical in the current meta. Their level ones looked sharper, Jankos was finding individual advantages, and their solo lanes continue to be strong: all good news for G2 fans.
That said, while G2 have adapted, there is still a quintessential “G2-ness” to them. Where so many other teams prioritise early objectives - particularly drakes - G2 are more interested in trading for towers and map pressure, where other teams have seen their midlaners fade into more supportive roles, Caps has only found more of the limelight through his roam-heavy gameplay.
It hasn’t always worked, and they’ve often found themselves staring down Soul Point more often than comfortable, but their ability to play the map and eek out advantages when opponents look to converge on objectives is a formidable tool in their arsenal.
The problem is, it may well not be enough. G2’s early games have still seen them fall to deficits before they manage to recover with their slick skirmishing around the 15 minute mark, and while their team improvements around playing through and enabling Jankos have borne fruit, they now have to go up against one of the most intimidating carry junglers in the world in Canyon.
G2 might have embraced the carry jungle meta, but DWG were born in it. Canyon has the highest DPM, GPM and KDA of any jungler at worlds, with the second highest KP, CSPM, and DMG%... the latter two of which he only misses out on the top spot by 0.1 of the given unit. Clid is one thing, Canyon is quite another - G2 and Jankos best be prepared to step up if they went another shot at finals.
Featured Matchup: Wunder Vs. Nuguri
The series might be decided in the jungle, but the real popcorn matchup will be in toplane. Both Wunder and Nuguri haven’t been shy about throwing down the trash-talk pre-series, and both are more than capable of taking it to the world’s best. With pride on the line, you can bet there’ll be fireworks.