DWG KIA has eliminated MAD Lions from the 2021 League of Legends World Championship in the first round of the knockout stage. After the clean sweep of the LEC champion, DK will move on to face fellow South Korean squad T1 in the semifinals next weekend.
DWG KIA came into the series undefeated at Worlds 2021 after a 6-0 routing of Group A, and while the LCK champion was favored in the matchup, MAD Lions had taken DK to five games at the 2021 Mid-Season Invitational just a handful of months prior.
We could have won that series, and I think we are better now than we were at MSI, too," said MAD Lions mid laner Marek "Humanoid" Brázda in an interview with Inven Global before the seris. "It could go either way, but this will be our hardest opponent at the tournament, for sure."
DWG KIA proved to be as tough as billed, jumping out to a quick 1-0 lead in what was easily the cleanest win of the series. MAD Lions, seemingly forcing themselves into a scaling draft, had their already weak laning phases heavily exposed by their respective DK counterparts.
Game 2 proved to be far more contentious, with MAD Lions jumping out to a 5k gold lead by 12 minutes due in large part to the immaculate early game of jungler Javier "Elyoya" Prades Batalla's Jarvan IV. Despite heavily putting DK top laner Kim "Khan" Dong-ha behind on Kennen, it was ultimately the South Korean side who won the game after turning several teamfights around despite a gold deficit.
In game 3, MAD fell behind early on against a heavily telegraphed top-focused composition from DWG KIA, including a Predator Syndra for mid laner Heo "ShowMaker" Su to further enable Khan's Jayce with even more roaming potential than usually seen on the Dark Sovereign. However, MAD managed to mitigate its losses while getting gold onto the Humanoid's Viktor and the Miss Fortune of AD carry Matyáš "Carzzy" Orság.
MAD held on for dear life as long as possible, but just before the 40-minute mark, DWG KIA slammed the door and eliminated MAD Lions from the 2021 World Championship. DWG KIA is now 9-0 at Worlds 2021 heading into its next match against T1.