After a long road of qualification, group games and play-offs, the biggest event of the League of Legends season is almost upon us. On November 6, Edward Gaming will take on the formidable DWG to determine the 2021 World Championship winner, and it promises to be a fascinating clash.
Ahead of the Final, fans and betting markets seem to be pretty much unanimous: this is DWG’s match to lose. They are rated as overwhelming favourites, in fact the biggest odds on DWG KIA of 1.3 you can find on esports bookmaker GG.BET who offer a bonus of up to €200 for new players. But are the betting markets right? Are DWG unstoppable?
The evidence suggests that they might be. The LCK Summer champions were unbeatable in Group A, sweeping Cloud9, Rogue and FunPlusPhoenix twice apiece to finish with a 6-0 record, the only team in the competition to achieve that feat. Having cruised into the Knock Out stage, they wasted little time in rolling over MAD Lions 3-0 to reach the semi-finals, where they met their first serious challenge.
In the best of five encounter, they trailed by 2-1 to three-time tournament winners T1 before recovering to record a 3-2 win and book their spot in the final, where they will be aiming to make it back-to-back World Championship titles against first-time finalists EDward Gaming.
The outsiders had a tougher route to the final than DWG. The LPL Summer winners were grouped with T1, 100 Thieves and DetonatioN FocusMe in Group B and won their first four games, but defeats to T1 and 100 Thieves meant they ended the Group stage in second place, giving them a tougher Knock Out assignment against Group C winners Royal Never Give Up. They eventually prevailed 3-2 but then had to come from behind in the semi-final against Gen.G Esports to reach the final.
EDG have the potential skill levels to match DWG, but their performances so far in this tournament have been some way short of that level. Just prior to the semi-finals, fans rated the DWG topside as the three best players remaining in the tournament, while Viper was the only EDG player to make the cut.
Looking at the likely match-ups, there is some hope for EDG. DWG top-laner Khan has been in top form so far, but historically he has not been at his best on the big stage of international competitions, and their own top-laner Flandre is a solid and reliable competitor who could take advantage. On the other hand, they have problems of their own to address, including coming up with a second jungle option for Jiejie, after playing Jarvan IV in all five games against Gen.G.
Realistically, if they are going to provide an upset, EDG need to come up with a new playing style or some champion picks that will throw DWG off their game. If they can do that, we could be in for a gripping contest. If not, then expect DWG to put on another masterclass on their way to winning their second World Championship title.