Back for another Worlds title, DWG KIA look for the one thing they're missing: An era of their own

Source: LCK Flickr


The defending World Champions DWG KIA are back at Worlds, aiming to give start to a true dynasty of their own. The second half of 2020 for them was dominating, but the year overall was not without struggle. Between a lost final at MSI and major roster swaps in Summer, DWG KIA finally look back on track. 


DWG KIA will face FunPlus Phoenix and Rogue in Group A (and it's highly likely their third opponent will be Cloud9 from the group stage), which already sets up early narratives that fans are excited about. Both DWG KIA and FPX are, after all, heavy favorites for the title. 


Let's see what's going on in LCK's champions kitchen, though, lane by lane. 


Top lane: Khan

The biggest change DWG KIA has from last year is that star top laner Jang “Nuguri” Ha-gwon left and veteran Kim “Khan” Dong-ha took his place. As many evaluated this change as a side-grade, Khan was the one player that always showed peak performance throughout DWG KIA’s struggles.


Not many doubt Khan’s capabilities as a player, and many consider him the best top laner at Worlds. As a veteran, Khan’s champion pool is extremely wide, and his summer split opponents still have nightmares of Khan devouring the league with Jayce.


Khan is the oldest player in the LCK, yet his mechanics have not faded. He has the second most LCK titles at six (behind Faker's nine), but is yet to reach an international championship. With Khan confirming that this Worlds will be his last tournament, there is only one question ahead of him — will Khan grasping gold or walking by the trophy, defeated.


Jungle: Canyon

Kim “Canyon” Geon-bu has been the king of the jungle since last summer and the MVP to DWG KIA's Worlds 2020 victory.


Although most fans pick the bot lane’s underperformance as the main reason for DWG KIA’s struggles, Canyon had his own troubles adapting to the meta. The Morgana/Rumble meta wasn't kind to him, his performance wasn’t as impactful as before, and DWG KIA went through a comparably difficult time from the MSI until early in the summer season. He even had a brief role change to mid lane when DWG KIA were struggling.


Ranking the top 5 junglers at Worlds 2020


However, DWG KIA slowly returned to form and so did Canyon, especially in the gank jungle meta. During the summer split, Canyon pulled out Lee Sin in five straight games and won all of them. When the opponents banned Lee Sin, it was Diana, and then Trundle or Olaf — Canyon proved that he can’t be stopped through bans.


Mid lane: ShowMaker

Heo “ShowMaker” Su also had a great split in summer, even filling in for bot lane when the team was in trouble. While every other member tripped at one moment or another, he was the one constant the team could count on in any pinches. Even as a bot laner, ShowMaker’s performance was top-notch.


Over the summer split, ShowMaker played 18 different champions (including three as a bot laner), and only trails behind Jeong “Chovy” Ji-hoon in that statistic. The only question for ShowMaker at this Worlds is whether he would prove himself as the best mid laner in the world by taking two consecutive World Championships.


Bot Lane: Ghost

Bot laner Jang “Ghost” Yong-joon has probably one of the most dramatic careers in LoL esports. He started as a mediocre bot laner who was relegated from the LCK, only to move on and become a world champion. His playstyle reflects the duality of his nature and his usual form is far from the hyper-carrying ADCs that fans are thrilled about.


The best pick Ghost has played in his career is Senna. He has an 85.2% win rate on Senna, a stat he farmed during the "fasting Senna" meta. This also explains his playstyle quite well — Ghost is the supportive team player that DWG KIA needs in the bot lane, while the team's true power lies top-side.


Early in summer, however, this set-up didn't exactly go as planned. Ghost was often the culprit for DWG KIA's losses and had to sit out a few games. He didn’t recover immediately after his return, but he did get back to his original supportive playstyle. 


While Ghost isn't a hyper-carry, he still has a few pocket picks such as Draven or Kog'maw. He is also one of the best mage bot laners in the LCK and holds a perfect win rate on Syndra and Ziggs over five games. 


Support: BeryL


Cho “BeryL” Geon-hee is one of the most creative supports in LoL esports. BeryL has a great understanding of the game and has amazing playmaking skills. His mechanics aren’t the best, but his in-game knowledge and ability to interpret situations are on another level. When DWG KIA's top side wins the lanes, BeryL is the one in charge of snowballing that lead. 


DWG KIA’s crisis came when the bot lane struggled. Sometimes, BeryL’s plays were a bit too creative and even his teammates weren’t able to see what he was about to do. This sometimes made it seem that BeryL was almost inting, and this became one of DWG KIAA’s unstable factors. 


However, as the team returned to form, BeryL’s plays shined like before. Throughout the summer, BeryL played 18 different champions, far more than any other support in the league.

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