Two weekends ago, the League of Legends World Championship quarterfinals were one of the most underwhelming in the game’s history. Three of the four series were 3-0s, the only exception being the two remaining Chinese rosters facing off, and none of the 3-0s were all that close.
Last weekend, the semi-finals took place, with T1 against DWG Gaming and Edward Gaming against Gen.G. What happened next was perhaps the best semi-final in the history of Worlds, as both series went a full five games of drama and chaos and some of the greatest games ever.
On Saturday, T1 and DWG faced off in a battle of the legacies. T1, the best organization to ever play the game, facing off against the team who won last year, got second at last MSI, and hadn’t lost a game this tournament in the hopes of establishing their own legacy by winning again. The old guard versus the new. The handing over, maybe, of the guard. There is nothing to say about this series that hadn’t been said before it even began.
But it lived up to the hype. T1 and DWG went five games. DWG lost their perfect run at Worlds. Despite their eventual defeat, Faker showed what his T1 team can still do and reaffirmed his status as a top tier midlaner.
On the other hand, besides losing two games, DWG got everything they wanted in this series. They won, firstly, but more than that they won well despite the lost games. More importantly, they beat T1. At Worlds. With Faker on the other side of the rift. In a tournament that looks more and more like DWG is destined to make it the true basis of their legacy, destined to make it a second win in a row to try and cement their status atop the mountain of League as one of the best teams ever.
In the other series, Gen.G and EDG were battling for a chance to play spoiler to DWG’s dreams. Neither of these teams were predicted to win in the finals, but only one got a chance to and the series was as good as DWG vs T1’s was. EDG and Gen.G went to battle over five maps that saw Gen.G dominate pit control while EDG showed off some truly fantastic team fighting including a brilliant Zoe game.
EDG, a team that got out of the quarterfinals for the first time ever this year and then got out of semifinals for the first time a week later, is now facing their hardest challenge. DWG is an unbelievably skilled team. They’ve lost just two games this World Championship, to the also exceptionally skilled T1.
If EDG can win this next series it will go down as history. But even if they can’t, this is still a team who went further than they ever had before, looked better than they ever had before and performed exceptionally well as the last surviving Chinese team at the tournament. Sure, they can lose to DWG and predictions so far seem to think that that’s a guarantee but for this organization, being on that stage is a win. Getting the chance to play for the trophy is a win. EDG and DWG are the No. 1 and No. 2 in the world. On Saturday, we find out who is who.