The 2022 League of Legends World Championship has found its next top-four team. LCK second seed and three-time Worlds-winning team T1 wiped the floor with LPL fourth seed Royal Never Give Up in the quarterfinal. In the best-of-five series, held in Madison Square Garden’s Hulu Theater, the South Korean lineup asserted their dominance with a relentless 3-0 score.
The unkillable T1 squad strikes
The series started with fireworks, as T1 took notes from fellow Korean Worlds 2022 representative DRX: they opted for an Ashe/Heimerdinger bot lane duo. Although it helped create a stable factor in the early game, T1 found advantages elsewhere. Jungler Mun “Oner” Hyeon-jun aggressively farmed through his own jungle camps and through RNG’s camps with Graves, rapidly putting RNG on the backfoot with his map pressure. RNG did stem the early bleeding with a great collapse on the Rift Herald, which netted Yan “Wei” Yangwei a triple kill, but the joy was short-lived. T1 was ahead of RNG at every step on the map and slowly suffocated their opponents. Top laner Choi “Zeus” Woo-je put on a masterclass with Camille, jamming the final nail in RNG’s coffin for the first game.
Game 2 swung completely in the other direction. RNG, now on blue side, understood that they’d have to play even more to the top side. Wei perfectly fulfilled his duty. A few early roams from the jungler put Chen “Breathe” Chen ahead on the Fiora. It was all RNG needed to take over the game completely. With unfaltering discipline, RNG played the map and seemed to tie the series comfortably. However, T1 thought differently. 32 minutes into the game, when RNG went for the Cloud Soul, T1 secured the Baron and used its buff to stack up objective bounties. RNG started to fall apart. It all came down to a standoff at the Elder Dragon. T1 bot laner Lee “Gumayusi” Min-hyeong positioned himself well and freely struck RNG’s members with a barrage of auto attacks, tilting the fight in T1’s favor. The LCK squad managed to win the fight, secured the Elder Dragon, and put themselves on series point.
T1 complete the sweep
With their backs against the wall, RNG changed their strategies again. This time, Wei was put on heavy gank jungler Vi and Shi “Ming” Senming had to keep his team alive with Soraka. T1 answered with a Yone in the top lane for Zeus and a Varus for Gumayusi. The early game was a bloodbath. RNG found kills on the top side, but T1 traded them for kills on the bot side. When the dust had settled, T1 pumped the gas like they had done in the first game of the day. They understood the state of the map far better and positioned themselves well in anticipation of RNG’s movement. Ryu “Keria” Min-seok had a fantastic performance on Tahm Kench, saving his teammates in clutch moments and aggressively locking down RNG’s players. Although the game was far from as clean as the first game had been, T1 didn’t lose control once past the twelve-minute-mark and swept RNG out of Worlds.
By making it to the semifinal of Worlds 2022, legendary mid laner Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok plays in the seventh Worlds semifinal of his ten-year-long career. But a heavy hitter awaits T1 in the semifinal of the tournament. LPL champion JD Gaming also put on a clean show in their quarterfinal, eliminating LEC champion Rogue 3-0. The two teams meet each other next week in Atlanta on either Oct. 29 or Oct. 30.
The Worlds 2022 quarterfinals continue on Oct. 22 at 11 PM CEST with a best-of-five series between LCK first seed Gen.G and LCK third seed DWG KIA. The quarterfinals round up the day after, when LCK champion Gen.G meets reigning world champion EDward Gaming.