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EDG Finally Made It Past Quarters, Here’s How They Did It

Photo by Riot Games/Getty Images

Written by 

André González Rodríguez

Posted 

29th Oct 2021 10:16

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This coming weekend, China’s Edward Gaming faces off against Korea’s Gen.G.

Edward Gaming has been a dominant mainstay in their region since 2013, having had made the League of Legends World Championship six times and won the LPL seven times. It’s safe to say this is the dominant team in the Chinese region. 

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But one thing that seemed to constantly shadow Edward Gaming was their inability to make it past the quarterfinals at each World Championship they participated in. 

Let's delve deep into each World Championship run by the team, as well as where and how it ended.

Worlds 2014

As one of the more infamous Worlds, thanks in part to the dominance that the eventual tournament winners, Samsung White, displayed, this tournament had it all: upsets from minor regions onto major regions, Korea’s international dominance bloomed, North America had two teams in the semifinals, and Europe had none. But in the midst of all this was Edward Gaming. 

This Worlds was the organisation’s first, and as a team who took first in both the spring and summer splits, Edward Gaming had high expectations. Unfortunately for them, they wouldn’t meet them.

Having been placed in the tournament’s Group A meant that they not only had to play against the aforementioned Samsung White, they also had to play against the Taiwanese ahq eSports Club, who were on the come up themselves. The group was rounded out by Turkey’s Dark Passage. 

The group proved to be difficult as Samsung White went flawless, this meant that it became a battle between Edward Gaming and ahq eSports Club. A battle that the Chinese representative managed to narrowly win in a tiebreaker. This pit EDG against Starhorn Royal Club in the semifinals in which they lost 3-2.

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Worlds 2015

The following year, EDG would revisit the tournament with high hopes, but as the Chinese second seed. This put the team in a group with new rivals whom they had beat at MSI that year and eventual tournament winners, SK Telecom T1. The group also had Europe’s H2k-Gaming and Thailand’s Bangkok Titans. 

Photo by Riot Games
Photo by Riot Games

Like 2014’s group, the Korean team dominated and went flawless but this time around, EDG proved to be better, finishing 4-2 and not having to play a tiebreaker. This put the team up against Europe’s Fnatic in the semifinals. But unlike the 3-2 loss to Starhorn Royal Club, Fnatic swept the floor with EDG, handing them a 3-0 loss.

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Worlds 2016

At third Worlds in a row, much of the same happened. Like 2014, they came into the tournament as the Chinese first seed putting them in a group with H2k-Gaming once again, ahq eSports Club, whom they had played against at their first Worlds and Brazil’s INTZ.

It was a sort of combination of the 2014 and 2015 years. There was no Korean dominant force which meant that theoretically, the first seed was theirs for the taking. That’s where H2k came in and took it right from under their noses after taking a tiebreaker for first place.

This meant that EDG faced off against Korea’s Rox Tigers. The Tigers were a formidable team and in many people’s eyes, were one of the favourites to possibly take the title away from SKT T1. This Tigers team narrowly did so as well as they lost to SKT 3-2 in the semifinals, after beating EDG 3-1 in the quarterfinals.

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Worlds 2017

EDG finally broke their 5th-8th placing curse in this tournament but in the worst way possible. Once again as the first seed from China, the team had high expectations. Their group consisted of two teams they had faced previously in the past in SKT T1 and ahq eSports Club, North America’s Cloud9 rounded out the group.

Unsurprisingly SKT T1 took sole possession of first place after only dropping one game. Surprisingly, EDG on the other hand struggled. They finished in last placed under ahq eSports Club, after they went 1-1 with both them and Cloud9 and not taking a single game from SKT T1.

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Worlds 2018

The Chinese “returned to form” this tournament once again placing 5th-8th. But before they failed to make it past the quarterfinals yet again. EDG first actually had to qualify for the main stage itself via the play-in, in which they dominated. This put them in Group C.

Group C contained Korea’s KT Rolster, the new North American dynasty Team Liquid and Taiwan’s MAD Team. 

Yet again, the Korean team in the group dominated only dropping one game to EDG - making this one of the rare wins for EDG over a Korean team. And EDG finished in a close second, after dropping an extra game to Team Liquid. 

In the quarterfinals, EDG got a rematch versus Fnatic but it wouldn’t go much different as the Chinese team only managed to get themselves one win in the series.

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Worlds 2021

This brings us to this year’s Worlds. After having missed both Worlds 2019 and 2020, breaking their five-year streak, EDG was back - and once again they were favourites to either do well and go deep in the tournament or just win it all.

As the Chinese first seed - surprisingly taking it over a FunPlus Phoenix team that was dominant in the summer regular season - EDG had a lot of pressure on their shoulders. China was no longer the region that would do just well enough. The two years that EDG missed Worlds were the two years that the region consecutively hoisted the Summoner’s Cup with Invictus Gaming in 2018 and FPX 2019.

Photo by Riot Games/Getty Images
Photo by Riot Games/Getty Images

EDG was placed in Group B. They once again saw a familiar face in SKT T1, now T1, and were accompanied by new ones in North America’s 100 Thieves and Japan’s DetonatioN FocusMe who had just made history, bringing Japan to its first-ever group stage.

Like years in the past, the team once again finished at 4-2, taking second place. If it wasn’t for an uncharacteristic loss against the Thieves, they could have well fought in a tiebreaker versus the Korean team for the first seed. This put them against Chinese rivals, and reigning MSI 2021 champions RNG (previously Starhorn Royal Club). In the only close quarterfinals at this tournament, EDG took a narrow 3-2 victory over RNG and qualified for the semifinals.

This win not only advanced them further into the tournament but broke their curse. Prior to this, the team had gone five years at Worlds without making the semifinals. Four of those years were a 5th-8th place finish, with a lack of a quarterfinals visit in the other.

EDG has their fate in their own hands this week when they face off against a surprise performing, Gen.G on October 31.

 

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Cloud9 Never Settles: A Paragon In The LCS

Oshin Tudayan/Riot Games via ESPAT

Written by 

André González Rodríguez

Posted 

27th Nov 2021 13:39

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