Eastern domination headlines the 2022 LOL World Championship quarterfinals
Rounding out the 2022 League of Legends World Championship will be the beginning of the Knockout Stage. Starting with the Quarterfinals, after a strenuous Group Stage, a total of eight teams will be making the final push to capture the ever-so-illustrious title of world champions by hoisting the Summoner’s Cup.
This year, similar to others in the past, the Knockout Stage is dominated by the East, with both China’s League of Legends Pro League (LPL) and Korea’s League of Legends Champions Korea fielding at least three teams. Currently, thanks to EDward Gaming’s World Championship win last year and Royal Never Give Up’s win at this year’s Mid-Season Invitational (MSI), China holds the title of best region in the world, but that doesn’t mean that Korea won’t take that spot if left unguarded.
All roads lead East
Coming into the tournament each Eastern region had four teams representing them and although China’s Top Esports failed to make the Knockout Stage after unexpectedly faltering in the Group Stage, both of the Eastern regions have formidable representation as the tournament progresses. The LPL has three teams in EDward Gaming, Royal Never Give Up, and JD Gaming while the LCK has four in T1, Gen.G, DRX, and DAMWON KIA. This is not to say that the West’s last hope in the League of Legends European Championship’s (LEC) can’t make waves, on the contrary, as opposed to the previous years they’ve made Worlds, they’ve shown that they can compete…but will they withstand the might of their opponent JD Gaming and subsequently—if they defeat the Chinese first seed—other Eastern teams in the process? Most likely not.
Starting it all off will be Europe and the West’s final hope, Rogue, taking on the best team to come from China, JD Gaming, who are poised to win it all, or at least make the finals. After that will be T1 taking on Royal Never Give Up in a rivalry as old as League of Legends history can remember it, one that has multiple World Championship finals and other high-stakes encounters under its belt. Following that historic match will be Korea’s number one seed, Gen.G, taking on Korea’s number three seed and 2020 reigning World Champions, DAMWON KIA, in a Korea vs. Korea team kill. And finally, it will be rounded out with yet another Korea versus China matchup in DRX, who made it this far after qualifying through the Play-in Stage, taking on the third seed from the LPL, and the reigning World Champions, EDward Gaming.
From top to bottom, these upcoming Quarterfinal match-ups will surely deliver. While fans, pundits, and analysts alike might cast their doubt on Rogue’s potential performance versus JD Gaming, there is still much to enjoy in the rest of the competition from the East.
Historically, to begin the general aura and presence of the World Championship, Korea dominated. This was with the teams like T1, then SK Telecom T1, taking multiple titles in various years, and Samsung White demolishing everyone in their path before disbanding. These types of performances were all without equal, for the most part. But surely enough, an equal began to show up, and not only did it match the region, but it superseded it, this was China.
Was it not for DAMWON KIA’s recent World Championship win, China would still be holding complete control of the international throne, starting with Invictus Gaming’s victory in 2018 all the way to EDward Gaming’s in 2021. Barring any major level-up or miracle run from Rogue, all signs point toward an all-Eastern semifinals and subsequently finals. One that, seeing the past Worlds finals might stand amongst the top of best finals of all time.
It all begins Thursday, October 19, at 9 pm GMT (5 pm EST) with Rogue taking on JD Gaming.