Three of the four 2022 League of Legends World Championship semifinal tickets have been claimed. On the third day of the Knockout Stage LCK champion Gen.G took down fellow Korean team DWG KIA in a sizzling best-of-five series.

Gen.G strikes first

Both Gen.G and DWG brought flair to the first game of the series. Mid laner Jeong “Chovy” Ji-hoon drafted the first Ryze of the tournament, but on DAMWON’s side, jungler Kim “Canyon” Geon-bu went with Kayn. These two picks turned out to be the defining champions of the series. Canyon flexed his gray matter by stealing the wolf camp and Gromp right from under Gen.G’s noses. But DWG KIA struggled to convert their jungle advantage into more. Two ganks top resulted in nothing. Gen.G was far more efficient and gave Chovy first blood with a top gank of their own. The early game was bloody and chaotic, but the teams traded evenly throughout it. It was Gen.G, however, that remained composed. Chovy and Park “Ruler” Jae-hyuk melted through DAMWON, who kept pushing their limits too far. Gen.G showed why they are the reigning LCK champion and put their first win on the board.

Unsurprisingly, DWG KIA switched to blue side in the second game. Surprisingly, though, they drafted another Lucian/Nami bot lane and allowed Gen.G to counterpick with Miss Fortune/Yuumi again. However, DWG KIA found a lead this time around. For twenty minutes, they had the initiative on the map and seemed to tie the series. It all changed when they went for Baron and Gen.G collapsed on them. A well-coordinated play from Ruler and Han “Peanut” Wang-ho zoned DAMWON away from the objective and gave Peanut free access to the pit, allowing him to steal the Baron. Gen.G didn’t hesitate for a second. Instantly they clasped their hands around the game and didn’t let go. DAMWON fought back initially, most notably with outstanding Azir play from Heo “ShowMaker” Su, but the team’s punches got weaker and weaker. After 42 minutes, Gen.G closed out the game, led again by Chovy and Ruler.

Canyon pulled off an amazing jungle performance to keep DWG KIA’s hopes alive. (Source: Colin Young-Wolff for Riot Games)

DWG KIA bounces back

On the edge of Worlds 2022 elimination, DWG KIA finally woke up and banned Yuumi in the draft phase. They also stepped away from the Lucian/Nami bot lane—Gen.G locked it in this time around—and gave Seo “deokdam” Dae-gil his renowned Aphelios. Though it drastically helped with the game, the main difference came from the mid lane. ShowMaker had shifted to fifth gear in the second game and continued racing at full speed, this time on Swain. After he solokilled Chovy in the laning phase, ShowMaker became unstoppable. DWG KIA could claim every objective they wanted on the map simply by moving ShowMaker and deokdam to the fight. There was nothing Gen.G could muster against the onslaught DAMWON brought in the third game. For the first time in Worlds 2022, a quarterfinal would not end in 3-0, as DWG KIA brought the score to 2-1.

The DAMWON train kept rolling in the fourth game. Gen.G had switched back to the blue side and went for a late-game scaling composition, locking in Jinx/Lulu. DWG KIA also drafted late-game insurance, choosing Aphelios once more, but needed an early lead for their LeBlanc and Renekton in the mid and top lane. That lead is exactly what they got. A clever play from Canyon on Viego on the top side granted him two kills. This allowed Jang “Nuguri” Ha-gwon to play as aggressively as he needed to be, freeing up Canyon to look for plays everywhere on the map. DWG KIA soared across Summoner’s Rift. By fifteen minutes, they had accumulated a 5k gold lead. For the second time in the series, Gen.G was helpless. DAMWON wiped them from the map after a dragon fight and brought the series to a fifth game.

Chovy’s steady hands in the mid lane gave Gen.G the stabilization they needed in the final game. (Source: Colin Young-Wolff for Riot Games)

Fireworks close out the series

Although Gen.G still did not get the memo that deokdam’s Aphelios was one to be feared, and allowed him to pick it again in the fifth game, they understood their own composition well. Canyon, who picked Kayn again, haunted Peanut’s jungle in the early game. Gen.G leaned back and didn’t try to force plays, calmly building up a lead. Chovy amassed a great gold lead in the mid lane and got his team in full control. Drakes, towers, everything was going Gen.G’s way. Until Canyon turned his head. The jungler pulled out one of the greatest jungle performances in Worlds history to get DAMWON back in the series. He set up a perfect teamfight in the mid lane that allowed his team to take down Baron. The unkillable Canyon stole objectives right from under Gen.G’s nose and, for the longest time, it appeared that DWG KIA wore impenetrable plot armor. But after 40 minutes, Gen.G found one incredibly clutch teamfight in the top lane. With a quadrakill for Ruler, Gen.G advanced to the semifinal.

Gen.G’s next opponent will be the winner of the last quarterfinal of Worlds 2022. On Oct. 23, at 11 PM CEST, LCK fourth seed DRX takes on reigning world champion EDward Gaming for the final semifinal ticket. The other semifinal has already been locked in, as JD Gaming and T1 will go head to head in Atlanta next week.