DAMWON Gaming ended LPL's back-to-back streak of League of Legends World Championships, defeating Suning 3-1 in the grand finals on Saturday. Pegged as one of the favorites to win the Summoner's Cup — together with the now-eliminated Top Esports — DWG showed the quality of play everyone expected from them, but even then, Suning was not easily defeated and made for a much closer series.
Game 1: DAMWON write the teamfight bible
The early and mid-game weren't as close as many would've predicted. Suning got first blood on Jang "Nuguri" Ha-gwon, allowing Chen "Bin" Ze-Bin to amount quite the CS lead, but this was still DAMWON on the Rift. After years of struggling by insisting they bring a macro knife to a gun teamfight, the LCK finally found a team that was willing to throw down — and do it immaculately.
DAMWON took the first three dragons almost uncontested and then upgraded to Infernal Soul, navigating a seemingly endless teamfight, giving just one death to Suning's four. SN had their moments later, but every global objective that counted was taken by DWG on the back of pristine 5v5's. The CN #3 seed gave it their best and held for 45 minutes, but the series opened 1-0 DWG nonetheless.
Game 2: PENTAKILL!!!!
In the first draft of this article, the title of this section was "Evelynn vs. Rengar?!?" because that was the most exciting thing to talk about when the draft was done. Kim "Canyon" Geon-bu took Evelynn, opting to carry from the jungle, while Lê "SofM" Quang Duy took Rengar and equipped him with a Cinderhulk with rampant disregard of what will happen to solo queue next week.
The mid-game was indeed defined by SofM's insane brush hopes and assassinations, but then Bin's Fiora got a kill. And a solo kill. And then a few more. Armed to the teeth, SN's top laner was unkillable and was unleashing unspeakable damage. In the first Worlds final since 2016 to not end in a 3-0, Bin's Fiora sliced and diced and tied the series with a stylish pentakill, tearing down all myths of DWG's invincibility.
Game 3: What is this game, what is this series?!
Scared of another pentakill top lane carry, DWG target-focused Bin's Jax right from the get-go, giving Nuguri's Kennen a lot more time to breathe. From there, the game developed similar to the first one: DWG took Dragon Soul, but lost the next big objective teamfight, giving SN the Elder Dragon.
With that buff alone, SN was able to stall the game, while Xiang "Angel" Tao went on a killing spree on his signature Akali. The "Angel of Death" even turned the game around gold-wise, and made for a heart-stopper of a match in true LPL fashion: blood, guts, and glory. Still, though, the Rift had Nuguri on Kennen, and the Slicing Maelstroms were on point once again. DWG took the lead 2-1 after a Fight Club-esque brawl, and were now sitting on match point.
Game 4: Business back to usual
Much like the DWG vs. G2 Esports series, the fourth game came to deliver a one-sided end to an otherwise exciting series. Once again targeting Bin from the start, DWG were flawless in their early and mid-game. The LCK champions took another Infernal Soul and by the 25th minute were 8k gold ahead.
There was nothing of the games 1-3 Suning in the closing chapter of this series and LPL's #3 seed had to concede the series, failing where Invictus Gaming and FunPlus Phoenix succeeded before them.
The win marks the return of LCK on the throne of League of Legends, keeping up with the tradition of never losing a grand final.
Esports editor and journalist of 10+ years. Lives on black tea and corgi love.