The best in the world vs the 'Fellowship of the Ring': The uphill battle that awaits Gen.G in the finals

Image provided by Riot Korea

Only one day remains before the 2021 LCK Spring finals. Both DWG KIA and Gen.G swept their opponents 3-0 in the semifinals, and they both head into the finals with a unified goal: Becoming LCK champions and punching a ticket to MSI. Looking ahead into the finals, we at Inven Global decided to bring the preview of how the competition will look like.


DWG KIA: Khan/Canyon/ShowMaker/Ghost/BeryL

Image via DWG KIA Facebook

If you think about how this team performed around this time last year, many would’ve laughed off at the sentiment of this team becoming the best in the world. They finished 5th in the overall standings; ShowMaker was constantly flamed by the community for his underperformance, Canyon did not perform as nearly as well as he does now, and even with Ghost joining their team mid split, their bot lane was the consistent weak point of the team that continued to plague them.

 

However, they decided to flip their internal switch and ascend to Super Saiyan God. Starting from 2020 LCK Summer, winning became almost too easy for this team. Canyon’s not only able to outjungle every single one of his opponents, his use of the team’s laners is unparalleled. Ghost-BeryL shed the title of being the weakest point of their team a long time ago, and has shown consistency that made them the immovable rock that the team needed.

Image via DWG KIA

Newly joining the team this year was Khan. Before the split, many have predicted that he’s a downgrade from Nuguri. This sentiment went away very quickly, as whether he’s on tanks, bruisers, or even support champions in the top lane, the consistency and the level of versatility that he has shown this split was unparalleled.

 

This split, however, their split run has not been one without hiccups. They lost to Fredit BRION 0-2, and also to Gen.G 1-2 during the regular split. Furthermore, Gen.G looked as if they’ve significantly improved their form in recent days, where they absolutely dominated T1 in the semi-finals 3-0. While many experts (including myself) are predicting DWG KIA’s finals victory, I have a feeling that the series itself will be a lot closer.

 

Gen.G - Rascal/Clid/Bdd/Ruler/Life

Gen.G’s roster, ever since its creation back in 2019, has been dubbed “The Fellowship of the Ring”. On paper, all five of these players were powerhouses in their own right, and in their 2nd year as a team, their goal this year is to ‘become the best team in the world’. 

 

Despite looking formidable on paper, they always fell short when things really mattered; towards the endgame. They lost 0-3 to T1 in the 2020 Spring finals, lost to DRX 2-3 and finished 3rd in the 2020 Summer Playoffs, and lost to G2 Esports 0-3 in the quarterfinals of 2020 Worlds. Such a pattern repeated itself too much to write off as just coincidence.

 

However, Gen.G’s form during their semifinals match against T1 during this year’s playoffs left many people pleasantly surprised. Many experts and fans alike predicted a landslide victory for T1, as T1 was riding the high momentum with Canna-Cuzz-Faker-Teddy-Keria. Despite all odds, Gen.G defeated T1 3-0, and much credit goes to their mid laner, Bdd, for the series victory.

Bdd has always been considered one of the top LCK mid laners, but due to his underperformance when things mattered, he almost seemed average compared to the likes of Chovy and ShowMaker. However, from his laning phase, rotations, to teamfighting, he really looked like the player that many pros revered. In that series, he was named ‘Player of the Game (POG)’ for all three sets.

 

In a recent interview with Bdd, he shared that he was “too selfless in getting advantages for [his] team”, and when the coaching staff ordered him to play more selfishly, it unlocked so much more of Bdd’s potential. He shared, “What this meant was to focus more on my laning phase. I was confident in getting priority in lane for a long time, so being more conscious about it made me play better.”

 

The finals will still be an uphill battle for Gen.G. Just because Gen.G defeated DWG KIA once during the regular split, and looked like they were smurfing against T1 in the finals, there’s no question that DWG KIA is still the best in the world. Will DWG KIA continue to exert omnipotence to prove once again that they’re the best team in the world? Or will ‘The Fellowship of the Ring’ finally be able to step up when it matters and bring home a domestic championship victory?

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