Six months ago, DAMWON Gaming were a middle-of-the-road team hovering around fifth place in the LCK. After getting bounced from the Spring Playoffs by DRX and finishing with a 9-9 record for the split, the team had been counted out of Korean domestic play for the foreseeable future. Even despite reaching the League of Legends World Championship in 2019, it was becoming largely accepted that this new era of DWG was destined to be simply average.
That was until the team blazed a path through the entirety of the LCK and eventually, the world. Once the Summer Split kicked off, DWG turned things around at the drop of a hat, blossoming from a borderline LCK playoff contender to a genuine international threat within weeks.
DWG posted an unbelievable record of 51-8 from the start of the Summer Split all the way to today’s Worlds final, as the halfway point of the season marked a true turning point for the organization. Players like ShowMaker, Ghost, and Canyon went from reasonably good pieces of talent with potential to world-class superstars in the matter of just a few games.
But even the team’s 37-5 record in domestic play this summer was one-upped by a World Championship run that cemented this roster as one of the strongest to emerge out of Korea.
What’s most poetic about DWG’s run to immortality is the fact that the team had to overcome so many of its former demons to secure its place at the top.
Perhaps it was fitting that DWG toppled DRX in the quarterfinal round of this year’s World Championship, considering that DRX got the better of DWG during the Spring Playoffs earlier this year. What’s even more fitting is how DWG breezed past G2 Esports—the team that knocked them out of Worlds 2019—in this year’s semifinal round. The retooled and polished DWG roster sought a deadly combination of redemption and vengeance against every team that supposedly had its number.
“[DWG] seemed like a bunch of rookies who played through relying on their mechanics in 2019,” the team’s head coach Zefa said after today’s final match. “This year…they were able to learn more about the game, so they also became very smart about the game. That’s why they won Worlds.”
It’s going to be interesting to see what will happen next year. If DAMWON can continue their domination from this year and secure another title for LCK or if LPL will step up and reclaim their glory.