Damwon Gaming upset T1 in 47-minute slugfest at 2020 Mid-Season Cup

The underdog team from Korea showed that they shouldn't be counted out.

Photo via Riot Games

Damwon, the lowest-seeded team from Korea heading into the 2020 Mid-Season Cup, upset the LCK champions T1 today in a brutal back-and-forth match that lasted just shy of an hour.

The opening day of the latest international League of Legends tournament saw teams T1 and Damwon from Korea and Top Esports and FPX from China battle it out in a round-robin format. Damwon came into the tournament as underdogs, and after dismantling T1, they also came into this match severely underrated.

Despite eventually winning in a late-game setting, Damwon drafted an early-game focused composition with heavy poke damage. But after 10 minutes, T1 were ahead and looking to snowball the match from their early kill and its subsequent map pressure on the bot side.

At 20 minutes, Damwon were battling against a lost draft and were forced to cede any control over the map that they began with. Against all odds, Nuguri on the squishy top lane Kennen turned the tides of battle by hitting a four-man Slicing Maelstrom that then allowed Damwon to secure some towers and a Mountain Drake.

At that point, Damwon had map control but were still playing from behind because of the lack of crowd control and frontline in their composition. They were able to play ping pong with the minion waves and take a tower or two, but T1 were forcing their way back into the game through decisive teamfights.

At the inevitable Baron teamfight at the 40-minute mark, T1 had all the superior pit vision and a man advantage. But Canyon stole the Baron from over the back wall and managed to escape to give the buff to his entire team. It’s generally considered a death warrant when a Korean team locks in Lee Sin because of their historically poor showings on the champion and his low win rate in the region. But here, when it mattered most, Canyon was able to show that he can perform on Lee Sin too.

After taking Baron, Damwon slowly began to push toward victory. Despite a few heart-wrenching backdoor attempts from T1’s Twisted Fate, the underdog team from Korea took down the Nexus after an absolute slugfest of a match. Nuguri earned the MVP honors with a K/D/A of 2.2.

Damwon have a record of 1-1 after losing to Top Esports in their first match. Their final game of the day will be against China’s FPX, in which they’ll likely need another victory to progress to the next round of the tournament.