Prior to this clash of titans, DWG KIA, the LCK champions and current world champions, came in search of the back-to-back championship with a dominant performance throughout the tournament, in addition to beating T1 3-2 in the semifinals.
While on the horizon, Edward Gaming made history by qualifying to his first Worlds final, defending their LPL champion title with honour and strategy, despite qualifying as group second to the playoffs.
Worlds 2021 Finals - Edward Gaming v. DWG KIA
After an exciting opening presentation, dedicated entirely to Arcane's global premiere in a few hours, Game 1 started quite evenly, with a global draw until minute 7, where with an effective rotation against DK's support, Cho “BeryL” Geon-hee, EDG managed to land the first blood.
Throughout most of the early game, the performance of both teams remained even, although by minute 15, the balance began to tip in EDG's favour, with some extra kills and a pair of dragons secured towards the mid-game.
This trend continued throughout the rest of the game, where EDG managed to secure both targets and perks and kills everywhere, and after a hard entry into the top lane, they took the first point in the series decimating all of DWG KIA's players at 35 minutes.
The second game had a passive early game, with both teams focusing on controlling objectives and building a good gold base. The first clashes would come around the 15th minute, with a great offence by Heo "ShowMaker" Su taking the first blood against Lee “Scout” Ye-chan, and some confrontations around the neutral pits in favour of DK.
While DK kept collecting kills from time to time, EDG didn’t stay back as it happened at minute 23rd, when Zhao “Jiejie” Li-Jie stole the Baron buff after a terrible smite from ShowMaker. However, this still wasn’t enough, as DK’s map control and lane pressure put the tie in the score.
The first minutes of Game 3 were somewhat tense, highlighting the near-kill against Scout during an ambush by Kim “Canyon” Geon-bu, although finally the scoring would be opened almost ten minutes later, with an ambush against Kim “Khan" Dong-ha in the bot lane.
From here on, the team fights became more focused on securing objectives, with EDG coming off better but DK taking a pair of dragons heading into the mid-game. EDG continued to handle their pressure across the map in a big way, which gave them a small gold advantage while the kill counter stayed almost even.
All this would change at minute 28, when in an attempt to avoid the Dragon Soul for DK, EDG ended up falling into the trap delivering both kills and the objective, opening a window of opportunity that DK ended up taking advantage of to devastate EDG from this point, getting within a win of being two-time champions.
By Game 4, EDG managed to rebound in spectacular fashion from their two previous encounters, achieving a massive stomp against a DK that showed no resistance, and with the Dragon Soul, the Baron's buff and an ace on hand, the tune of Silver Scrapes marked the arrival of a fifth game for the crown.
The fifth and final game brought us some interesting exchanges early on, with both teams focused on securing goals as early as possible. While DWG KIA was lucky enough to take the first Herald and Dragon, EDG opened the kill score with two good engagements against Khan and BeryL.
Motivated, EDG continued to show great initiative throughout the game, being consistently aggressive alongside DK, who didn't hesitate to respond to all of his approaches. However, a breaking point arrived at 23 minutes, when the Korean champions, trying to cover the vision of the dragon pit, ended up falling into EDG's net, delivering four kills and the third drake of the game.
DK didn't let this stop them, and they continued to seek to improve their chances by exterminating the Baron in a sneaky way, but at the 29th minute, EDG managed to secure the Dragon Soul with a masterful team fight, eliminating all of DK along the way. The beginning of the end would come at 36 minutes, when EDG managed to secure the Elder Dragon and later the Baron, making their way through the DK base.
The champion structures began to fall, as DK desperately tried to avoid pressure from EDG, but this was not enough, and after 41 minutes, the LPL squad brought down the blue nexus to become world champions for their first time.
Thus, after one of the best series of all time, bringing over 4 million viewers according to Esports Charts, and with Lee "Scout" Ye-chan taking the Oppo Finals MVP, the legacy of EDG gets another page written in gold letters, now that they have won the triple crown of League's competitive: their regional league, MSI, and Worlds.
Congratulations to Edward Gaming, the 2021 League of Legends world champions.
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Featured image courtesy of Riot Games and Getty Images.