Many considered this to be the true final, with the champions of the undisputed best region in the world, JDG, facing T1, who looked the fittest team in the tournament coming into the series, after another first place finish in the group stage and a massacre of the reigning MSI champions, Royal Never Give up, in the quarterfinals.
Even on an individual level, this matchup featured the tournament MVP, JDG top laner 369, against the only player worth mentioning in his position: 18-year-old Zeus from T1, who was playing his first full professional season.
For the first three games of the series, the teams focused on the bottom lane. JDG grabbed Aphelios and Lulu for Hope and Missing, and T1 selected Lucian and Nami in the lane. The mid laners of both teams played facilitators in the first game, with Faker on Galio and Yagao on Taliyah.
And while T1’s composition was much easier to execute, it was one that, like some of their upcoming drafts, would require them to open up a tremendous lead early on and close out the game before their opponents had a chance to connect. That didn’t happen in the first game.
And in Game 2, the anti-Gumayusi brigade cracked its knuckles collectively, ready to rip him apart when Kanavi slammed him to the ground early on, feeding Hope with three kills on Aphelios. But with Faker with another roaming playmaker, his trademark Ryze, and Zeus with an equally comfortable icon, Yone, T1’s proactive play across the map was rewarded with a win.
Being able to select the blue side for the first time in the entire series, JDG used it to pick Viego for Kanavi, hoping for a similar result to the first game. Perhaps more confident after the previous game, and knowing they could outgun JDG in firepower, Zeus was put on another ladder charge, this time on Gangplank, and in the final team fight led by Faker, the damage from his barrels on his opponents’ proven late game options sent shock and awe through the State Farm Arena.
JD Gaming eventually banned Lucian in Game 4, leading T1 to opt for another dominant lane option, but also to opt for the increasingly scalable champions they had tended to. Gumayusi continued his revenge tour in the postseason and made an often reviled choice, Varus, look as good as it has all tournament long. T1 again kept pushing the pace on the back of their AD carry’s godlike performance, suffocating Kanavi’s Bel’Veth and Hope and Missing’s last-ditch Jhin and Karma picks into uselessness, and straight into the world finals.
The series continued to serve as an example that the 2022 Worlds meta is very varied. Yes, as the tournament has gone on, pretenders fall away in theory in champion select, but to grossly oversimplify, it’s a good thing that despite a “better” stylistic way to play the game frequently emerges, different compositions with different win conditions are still, at minimum, viable.
From a “superteam” to return Faker to the pinnacle of esport in 2019 that lost in the semifinals to now, a team that includes four of the five youngest players in the tournament, all of whom, besides Keria, were T1 Academy products, T1 and Faker have defined a standard that will never be surpassed for talent development and longevity in League of Legends.The 2022 League of Legends World Championship finals are right around the corner, so make sure you check out our League of Legends betting page where you can find all the best sign up offers and free bets available.