DAMWON KIA kicks off 2021 World Championship group stage by crushing FPX

DWG midlaner ShowMaker wreaked havoc on his LeBlanc.

Photo via Riot Games

Defending champions DAMWON KIA kicked off the 2021 World Championship group stage with a statement win against FunPlus Phoenix, the LPL frontrunner in their group.

The South Korean team ended the game in under 30 minutes to match the high expectations that weigh on their shoulders. DWG KIA seemed to have a very specific game plan against FPX coming into this match, giving Yuumi to support BeryL paired with mid laner ShowMaker’s LeBlanc to roam around the map and seek kills. Although Yuumi’s priority has progressively risen after the latest balance patch, it’s the first time in the tournament she was picked first.

After earning themselves an early advantage, DWG players started to snowball the game around the 10-minute mark. While FPX’s top side collapsed around the Herald, DWG’s bot lane simultaneously took a kill on Lwx with a two-vs-one dive. From that moment on, FPX tried to come back into the game, but DWG put growing pressure on them by taking over vision in almost the entirety of their jungle.

Using the high mobility given by Canyon’s Trundle and ShowMaker’s LeBlanc, they jumped on FPX jungler Tian whenever he tried to kill his jungle monsters, preventing him from having any impact on the game. FPX champions died in every attempt to get a kill or an objective on the Rift, offering more opportunities for DWG to snowball their way to victory. At the 20-minute mark, the LCK team had a massive 5,000 gold advantage over FPX, and they ended the game in under 30 minutes.

Although it was the first Worlds match for both teams, it’ll likely have a significant impact on their journey in the tournament. FPX and DWG are both the favorites in their group, so the DWG players might already have increased greatly their chances of advancing to the playoffs.

They still have at least five matches to play until the end of the group stage, however. The next one will see DWG playing Rogue tomorrow, at 7am CT. FPX, on the other hand, will have a chance to bounce back by facing off against Cloud9 on the same day at 10am CT.

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About the author

Eva Martinello

Eva is a Staff Writer from Paris. Her part-time job is charging into walls with Reinhardt. She has been covering League of Legends esports and other titles for six years. She still believes in a Moscow Five comeback. She also fell into the MMO pit and covers FFXIV and Genshin.