Answering 3 questions before the Worlds 2021 finals: A DWG KIA vs. EDG roundtable

Buckle up for the final fight of the 2021 World Championship.

Photo via Riot Games/Getty Images

After a whole month of non-stop action, we’ve finally reached the finale of an incredible year of competitive League of Legends. The 2021 World Championship is reaching its climax with a final clash between the two best teams in the world: China’s first seed EDward Gaming and the defending champions, DWG KIA.

This Saturday, history will be made no matter who wins. EDG have finally made it to the summit for the first time since the team was founded in 2014. They could crown this momentous run with the trophy, while also bringing China its third championship in four years. On the other side of the Rift, however, DWG KIA are looking to become the second team in League history to win back-to-back Summoner’s Cups.

Before the tournament, Dot Esports’ League writers gathered their thoughts towards the matchup to predict which team will come out victorious at the end of the day.

Champions to watch?

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Michael Kelly: Jayce

  • While Graves has been the meta pick both Khan and Flandre have gravitated to most this Worlds, Jayce will be the champion to define the top lane matchup on Saturday. Dating back to the beginning of the Summer Split, Jayce has been the most played champion for both players, with Khan having played 11 games on the champion and Flandre having played 10, according to League stats site Games of Legends. Plus, Khan has more games with Jayce than he does with any champion in his career with a total of 58 (44 of which have been wins). In a series as important as the Worlds finals, look for both him and Flandre to circle back to a comfort pick like Jayce when the tournament’s streamlined meta picks are off the table in a given draft. 

Tyler Esguerra: Leona (and specifically, Meiko’s Leona) 

  • Throughout his illustrious career, Meiko has been known as one of the best playmaking supports in the world. During Worlds 2021, however, the 23-year-old veteran has been relegated to Nami, Yuumi, and Lulu duty for 11 of his 16 games played. These champions are highly contested for a reason, but in terms of overall comfort and effectiveness, nothing can beat his Leona. He currently has a 78.9-percent win rate on the champ through 2021, according to The Radiant Dawn was also a key part of their game-five win against Gen.G, finding multiple huge ultimates throughout the match. In short, let the man play engage!

Ethan Garcia: Lucian/Miss Fortune

  • This is cheating a little bit, but for a good reason. For the first time in a long time, I can safely say the bot lane is going to be a major factor in how this final series between DWG KIA and EDG plays out. While Lee Sin graced the pick/ban phase of 98.7 percent of games, right behind him are the two most powerful ADCs in the current state of the game: Lucian and Miss Fortune. Ghost and Viper have both proven themselves to be quite capable of playing these champions, especially with the backup of their supports. Should they make it past the pick/ban phase—which seems unlikely—the impact they can make as individuals in the mid-to-late game can be crucial.

Henrique DaMour: Lucian

  • My calculus here comes down to this: Lee Sin might as well be named Free Sin, ShowMaker and Scout are going to go blow for blow on whatever champions they choose, and Canyon plays assassins while Jiejie is on a one-man mission to redeem Jarvan IV by putting him back in the jungle. So if that leaves the top and bottom lanes—with enchanters as powerful as they are and multiple champions being flexible enough to make even the most seasoned armchair draft experts quiver in their SecretLab chairs—watch where Lucian goes. Flandre had two games on the pick in a previous patch in the LPL playoffs but hasn’t touched it at Worlds, while Khan and Viper each have two wins on it despite the latter often opting for hyperscalers like Aphelios and Ezreal. Even though Flandre and Ghost have played zero games on the Purifier so far at the tournament, don’t be surprised if Flandre specifically falls back to him to switch things up on Khan, who is a combined 5-0 on Jax (2-0), Gragas, Gwen, and Kennen.

Who will be MVP?

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Mike: Khan

  • In his final series before retirement, Khan is looking to go out on top. While he hasn’t been the tournament MVP for DWG KIA (that honor would probably go to Canyon or ShowMaker if Worlds ended today), Khan has used 2021 as a reminder that he still has enough raw talent to be one of the best players in the world. Barring any sound barrier-shattering performance from one of his teammates (or a stunningly underwhelming one from Khan), I’m expecting Riot to give the veteran top laner a ceremonious Finals MVP nod for his career-long accomplishments. Despite his impending retirement, Khan is looking better than ever, and we’ll never be able to know if he would have continued playing at this level. Maybe it’s for the best that we don’t know, and Khan can instead go out with one last bang, leaving the pro League scene as one of the greatest players to ever play his position.  

Tyler: Canyon

  • Since 2018, each Worlds MVP has been a jungler, and this year won’t be any different. Across the world, powerful mid-jungle duos have elevated teams to championships, but Canyon and ShowMaker are playing chess while everyone else is playing checkers. During this tournament alone, Canyon has the fifth-highest KDA, and has been performing at a stunning level that has effectively entered him into the conversation for one of the greatest junglers of all time.

Ethan: ShowMaker

  • DWG look very much prepared to bring home their second world title in two years, and the leader of the pack is once again going to be ShowMaker. In their five-game series reverse sweep against T1, ShowMaker boasted an overall KDA of 20/6/29—and this was against Faker, who is touted as the greatest professional League player of all time. In a meta where games are determined by teamfights, ShowMaker stands out as someone actively trying to fight that trope. In his eyes, there won’t need to be teamfights if he picks off every member of the enemy team before a fight can happen. Though he is surrounded by former champions in his teammates, ShowMaker has the potential to stand out once more as the defining player for regaining the title.

Henrique: BeryL

  • This is a little bit of a cop-out because I don’t think BeryL will win MVP, mostly because it’s not sexy to give a support MVP, especially on a team as loaded as DWG KIA are. But if the series gets tight and EDG find a way in, it will likely be through the best bottom lane in the world in Viper and Meiko. Therefore, if DWG are forced to hold the line, it will be through a heroic game-five performance by a man and a bot lane that has been the eternal asterisk to DWG’s seeming perfection.

Who will take home the trophy?

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  • I’ve had a gut feeling that DWG KIA would repeat as world champions all the way back in the beginning of the season, and I’m not giving up on them now in the eleventh hour. This team is just far too strong of a powerhouse to falter on a stage like the world finals. With all of the cards on the table, teams like DWG KIA are the ones that are supposed to step up and win. When you have five superstars all playing at their peak, it’s hard to lose—especially when you’re up against an EDG that’s had to fight tooth and nail for every victory in the knockout stage. 

Tyler: DWG KIA

  • I’m convinced that the true finals happened last weekend when DWG KIA faced off against T1 in one of the most symbolic victories in League esports. But EDG should still pose a great challenge for one of the best teams in the game’s history. Even still, DWG KIA are an unstoppable force, and only an immovable object will be able to stand up to their might. EDG have gone to five games in each series played so far and have lost to teams like 100 Thieves, while DK only bled when they faced off against the G.O.A.T.

Ethan: DWG KIA

  • The outcomes of both semifinals matches made contemplating a winner a lot more difficult than I expected it to be. On one hand, DWG look even fiercer than they did in last year’s finals against Suning. Yet on the other hand EDG’s fire has been ignited as the sole representatives of the LPL remaining, clearly taking FPX’s unprecedented loss in the group stage to heart as they steamrolled through the competition to make it to their first finals. But what I keep coming back to is DWG’s reverse sweep against T1; if EDG were in their spot, the likelihood of that outcome would be very slim. Therefore I’m placing my hopes in DWG to bring home their second consecutive world championship win—something only T1 has been able to do up until this point.

Henrique: DWG KIA

  • It’s not that EDG can’t win. Not at all. I wouldn’t be surprised if EDG won, but it would be an upset, make no mistake about it. But just because I’m going last and had my heart broken when my crystal ball pick in FPX crashed and burned like they did, doesn’t mean I’m going to stop trusting my gut. DWG KIA have the best player in the world on their team in ShowMaker, who has been getting it done by playing just seven champions over his 14 games at Worlds. Same with Khan and Canyon, the latter of whom might be the second-best player in the world. What that tells me is what we already know: DWG KIA’s pre-existing synergy and well-drilled, familiar playstyle has worked to near perfection across two full years, Khan has been plug-and-play as they come in the top lane, and not even kkOma could make them deviate from the formula now. DWG 3-1, book it.

The battle begins on Saturday, Nov. 6 at 7am CT.

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