Two League of Legends juggernauts, Gen.G and EDward Gaming, will lock horns on Sunday, October 31, in the 2021 League of Legends World Championship semi-finals. It will mark EDG’s first semi-finals appearance in the organization’s history, as they are now only one step away from making it to their first finals.
For Gen.G, making a deep run into the LoL Worlds is business as usual. Even though the Korean esports organization have yet to make it thus far since rebranding, Gen.G boasts a long and impressive history as Samsung Galaxy, having hoisted the Summoner’s Cup twice in 2014 and 2017.
The LoL Pro League (LPL) vs LoL Champions Korea (LCK) classic promises an exciting affair, but who will come out ahead and book a spot on the big stage?
EDward Gaming: China’s Last Hope
Chinese LoL teams were billed as by far the strongest in the world ahead of the LoL Worlds, but they soon got exposed. One by one, the LPL squads started falling out of the tournament, and it soon became apparent that China might not be as strong as initially expected.
The biggest disappointment was the premature exit of the 2019 LoL world champions, FunPlus Phoenix. The Chinese powerhouse had a strong start to the tournament but slipped and crashed out of the group stage.
Similarly, albeit far less shocking was the early exit of LNG Esports from Group D, leaving EDward Gaming and Royal Never Give Up as the only two LPL representatives to enter the LoL Worlds playoffs.
Unfortunately, the draw put RNG and EDG against one another in the quarterfinals. The highly exciting game saw EDG edge out a 3-2 victory against their regional rivals, securing the organization’s first semi-finals appearance.
EDG have done well to defeat RNG; however, they also showcased some notable flaws. Their bottom lane is still solid, but EDG looked a bit off during teamfights and seemed to lack synergy.
EDG are still a very talented roster, but from what we’ve seen, they are not as crisp as they were when they won the LPL 2021 Summer Playoffs.
Gen.G: Second Time’s a Charm
Following a highly disappointing performance in the 2020 LoL World Championship, Gen.G, surprisingly, decided not to make any roster changes but run it back with the same roster. Even more surprising is that Gen.G have been playing much better this time out.
Admittedly, they haven’t looked as clean as many expected; however, Gen.G delivered when it mattered and secured the no.1 seed in Group D, defeating Team Liquid and MAD Lions in the tiebreakers.
Gen.G received a fairly favorable draw in the quarterfinals, as they had to face NA’s third seed, Cloud9, who they disposed of with relative ease. However, it wouldn’t be fair to celebrate Gen. G’s victory over C9 too much, considering C9 were arguably the weakest team to enter the playoffs; there’s more to that victory than meets the eye.
The Koreans played well against the North American side, and while there were moments when C9 were ahead, it was more Cloud9 playing well than Gen.G showing any serious weaknesses. Much of Gen.G’s success comes from Gwak “Bdd” Bo-seong, who has been playing better with each passing game.
To put it into a perspective of how good Bdd has been – he has been doing 29.4% of his team’s damage (damage share) yet is allocated the third-least resources (team gold). Some may say that “Worlds Buff” isn’t a thing – Bdd would beg to differ.
And when you talk Gen.G, you can’t forget to mention their bottom lane, namely Park “Ruler” Jae-hyuk, who is averaging some of the best stats for an ADC player at the tournament. Most importantly, Ruler has looked much better than Park “Viper” Do-hyeon, who is EDG’s key player.
What Should Happen?
EDward Gaming are expected to win, which may seem fair since they had to beat a much tougher opponent to make it to the semi-finals. However, that doesn’t mean much knowing how good Gen.G played against Cloud9.
Admittedly, EDG field better individual talent and should win if they play near their peak; however, the question remains whether they will reach that form. Given the teams’ trajectory, this match has upset potential, and it wouldn’t be too shocking to see the Koreans come out ahead.
For that to happen, they will have to put some early pressure on EDG, work around claiming drakes and execute team fights the way we know they can. Whether they’ll manage to achieve that is anyone’s guess, but one thing is for sure – this should be a highly competitive match with no clear winner.
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