T1 vs DRX – LoL Worlds 2022 Final Preview & Analysis
After more than one month of action, only two teams are left in contention for the 2022 League of Legends World Championship. T1 and DRX have had to go through loads of games to get to the final that will take place in San Francisco. That being said, only one team will reign supreme.
Who will it be?
T1 vs DRX – Worlds 2022 Finals Preview
Will it be T1 and Faker’s fourth title? Or will the Cinderella story of DRX and Deft gets a sweet ending?
Worlds Power Rankings be damned. With so much at stake, it’s time we dive into the most important series of the year for League: it will be the most extensive breakdown we ever had this year.
The Demon King is back… at the top of the world
Almost a decade has passed ever since his debut but Faker is still here to prove to everyone that he still has the skills and the mechanics to be fighting at Worlds. Earlier this year, most thought it was going to be T1’s year, especially after how the team was able to go 18-0 during the regular spring split. Those expectations were gone when T1 lost to RNG at MSI and then be the shadow version of their own during LCK summer, with loads of criticism from fans and enthusiasts. The players, however, went back to the drawing board before Worlds and it seems like the change of coaching staff was the right decision.
T1 looked confident, and composed, finding that roster that dominated hard in the first part of the season. T1 AD Carry Gumayusi silenced all the doubters and has put on a streak of stellar performances, rarely dying and always ready to pull the trigger. Keria is strong as ever and Zeus does as he pleases up in the top lane, hard-stomping every top laner he has encountered. But the guy who keeps all these youngsters together is still him: Faker.
He might not be the flashiest guy anymore or the most mechanically gifted among the new rising generation of talents, but his leadership and clutch factor are always there, carrying teamfights over and over again, making as few mistakes as possible. It’s been almost six years after Faker lifted the Worlds trophy: it must’ve felt like an eternity for him, but he’s now back at the top of the world. A victory on Sunday will establish him as the one and only GOAT of League… That being said, DRX are on their way to making the most insane run we’ve ever seen at Worlds…
DRX goes from Rags to Riches
If someone told you DRX was going to be playing at the Worlds finals earlier this season, you probably were thinking that person must have been crazy. Well, he probably wasn’t… DRX have made it to the last stage of season 12 and they will be fighting for glory in what might become the most important series of their careers.
After finishing sixth in the LCK Summer Playoffs, DRX fought their way to a play-in spot at Worlds after beating Liiv Sandbox in the Regional Gauntlet. Based on how they were performing, fans weren’t putting that many hopes on them, even though a qualification to the group stage seemed plausible.
DRX, however, immediately silenced everyone, going 5-0 in the play-in group and beating the LPL fourth seed RNG to qualify directly and get their seed in Group C. Teams were beginning to take notes of the team but even then, they didn’t seem like the real deal until they finished first in the group stage as well and beat EDward Gaming in the quarterfinals. Being the fourth team to make it to the semifinals, and facing the first LCK seed Gen.G, most expected DRX to end their journey there.
But miracles do happen… and Gen.G dropped 3-1 to DRX in what was a really convincing win. Pyosik absolutely demolished Peanut in the jungle and apart from the ADC position, DRX felt like they had the better players across all the roles, including Zeka in the mid lane.
From almost unable to qualify for Worlds to one series away from the Summoner’s Cup, DRX’s run is bound to go into the history books, regardless of the outcome. For Deft, it’s almost ten years of waiting and he will have his chance against his high school mate Faker. BeryL will be in his third consecutive World Finals. For the rest, it will be their first time and a breakthrough that many can only dream of…
T1 vs DRX Pick Analysis – High Priority and Pocket Picks
We had the most diverse League of Legends Worlds meta this year, with a total of 107 champions unique champions played so far (between play-ins and the main event). There are a lot of highly contested picks while others have started rising up in priority. Let’s break down which champions are going to be present in the finals and which might be crucial for the outcome of the series.
Starting off with the must-bans, we have three main picks: Aatrox,Yuumi (100% win rate), and Caitlyn. The Darkin has been an overturned champion that has no weakness up in the top lane. Caitlyn is too strong of a bully champion and Yuumi scales too well into the late game with little to no downsides in the early game. They will likely stay banned during the series.
Following those, we will have the most contested picks, which will be traded back in forth between the two teams. You can find the most popular picks, categorized per role:
- Top: Renekton, Fiora, Gragas, Camille, Jax
- Jng: Viego, Graves, Sejuani
- Mid: Akali, Sylas, Azir
- ADC: Lucian, Aphelios, Varus
- Support: Lulu, Renata Glasc, Nami (with Lucian), Soraka
Aside from these strong picks, we also have to take into account the pocket picks by the two teams. On T1’s side, we have Zeus’ Jayce and Yone, as well as Faker’s iconic Ryze which has already made it onto the Worlds stage once. Gumayusi took out his Xayah to carry the team in the quarterfinals game against RNG. Oner is super comfortable on Viego or Sejuani while Keria seems to be the one without a particular comfort pick in this meta, although he showed a high level of flexibility with his champion pool.
DRX, instead, have a lot of interesting picks that they have showcased throughout the tournament. Kingen primarily plays weakside within the team, but he also showed the ability to pilot damage-oriented top laners like Camille and Fiora. Pyosik always has his signature pick Kindred ready but found success also with Viego and Graves.
Zeka has been a god with Akali and Sylas, smurfing entire series on both champions. He also has a great Azir, which makes the picks and bans extremely easy since he has no problems playing any of the three.
Compared to other ADCs, Deft has had quite a different champion pool. One of the few still playing Miss Fortune and Ashe, as well as his pocket pick Ezreal. He never played Aphelios or Lucian at Worlds so far, and we’ll explain why later. BeryL took out his Heimerdinger pick and we’ll likely see him again during the finals. He also played Braum with strong success: against enchanters and specific team compositions, it will have great value.
Team Playstyles and how the two teams will likely play
We always say how the drafts will impact how a team should be playing the game in order to reach their win condition. T1’s strength lies in their ability to draft almost anything they would like since they have such reliable lanes to play around. In the summer T1 was one of the few teams that played around the top lane and Zeus became the backbone of the team.
The issue with this playstyle was that the bot lane would always be heavily targeted and Gumayusi and Keria not delivering to their standards. At Worlds, this issue is no longer present: bot lane has become super consistent and reliable, giving T1 the ability to draft in different ways within the same series. Faker is more of a playmaker and covers a utility role together with Oner: his goal is to keep the enemy laner in check and not bleed any advantage.
DRX, on the other hand, love playing around Zeka. Both Pyosik and BeryL love to hover around mid and make sure he gets a lead or the resources needed. Deft gets relegated to sit back and scale onto his items, and that’s why he doesn’t play Aphelios or Lucian. The first one, if left alone, is too vulnerable of a pick and Lucian is usually banned away from DRX since enemies would pick it to hard punish during the laning phase.
If the ADC gets through safely in the lane, then the team always gets two damage carries in the mid game. It’s a straightforward but effective playstyle, and there aren’t many meta-picks that can beat it which also explains why DRX has had this level of success. The Heimerdinger pick works perfectly for them also for this reason: the donger puts a lot of pressure within the laning phase and ganking the donger is super hard to do so with his turrets up. Not only that, but he stacks Spelltheif’s Edge extremely quickly, allowing him to get the ward upgrade faster compared to the enemies and protect Deft with more vision while he moves toward the mid-lane.
In the mid-game, DRX uses their advantage to take control of neutral objectives and force fights with item advantage if they can. Their teamfighting skills are what allowed them to get the better of EDG and Gen.G and I think it’s on par with T1’s, which is why I’m expecting very close games throughout the series.
To conclude, the key to victory for both teams will be on who can exploit the enemy’s weakness more. T1’s greatest shot is punishing Kingen up in the top lane, and let Zeus take over the game while trying to stay even elsewhere on the map. For DRX, instead, it will depend on whether Zeka can exert lane dominance on Faker and whether DRX can get the right resources on their two carries. Dragons will also be a high priority for both teams so expect a lot of fighting around that objective.
T1 vs DRX Prediction & Match Outcomes
Last year, the series went to Silver Scrapes but the games weren’t really that close, as one team would prevail over the other. This year’s Worlds is the exact opposite. A team might win over the other, but games don’t feel like hard stomps and there is always a chance for a comeback.
DRX proved to us that they are not the underdogs and that they have the tools to win it all, but coming into the series, T1 are looking like the favorites. Nonetheless, I’m expecting DRX to take at least one game somewhere in the series, so it shouldn’t be a fast 3-0 for either side. As a fan, Silver Scrapes would be the best ending for such an important final, but 3-1 seems more of a reasonable score.
- Winner: T1 (1.26x)
- Map 1 Winner: DRX (2.81x) – depends on the draft, can also be Game 3
- Total maps: over 3.5 (1.42x) – very likely to happen
- Correct Map Score: T1 3-1 DRX (3.18x) – consider also going 3-2
- Match Total Kills: over 90.5 (1.75x) – finals are usually bloodier since nerves also come into play so more kills will be on the board
- Map 1 Duration: over 34.5 (2.23x) – Game 1 are always slower compared to the following matches, and it happened in both semifinals as well
- First Blood: DRX (2.25x) – T1 doesn’t have a high first blood rate, so DRX are favored – great odd and it can be done for multiple games
- Race to 5 kills: DRX (2.4x)
- Total Dragons Slain: over 4.5 (1.77x) – both teams have an average of 2+ dragons per game, souls are also an important win condition for both teams
- Map 1 Total Kills: under 23.5 (1.88x) – Korean teams don’t like making too many mistakes as it can ruin their form, so kills count will grow as the series goes longer.