DWG vs T1: LCK Summer Finals Preview
The LCK 2021 Summer Playoffs will reach their conclusion on August 28 as DWG KIA takes on T1 for the coveted LCK title and first seed at the 2021 World Championships. On one side we have the two-time defending LCK Champions looking to secure another first seed to defend their Worlds title. On the other side is the winningest organization in both Korean and international League of Legends history looking to add yet another Grand Finals win to their resume.
Based on recent results, these squads are not too far apart. DWG finished the Summer Split 12-6, while T1 was 11-7. Their head-to-head was also tied at one match apiece with a total game score of 3-3. Both squads have also looked dominant in the playoffs so far with only one game being dropped between the two of them.
Each team has clear strengths that they will be looking to play around. Some matchups look like they could flip either way, while some bring a clear skew towards one side. Let’s take a look at how DWG KIA and T1 stack up going into the LCK 2021 Summer Finals.
Top – Khan vs Canna
The top lane matchup pits veteran Khan against the relatively newer Canna. Khan is no stranger to LCK Grand Finals. Not only has he won five LCK Championships in his career, he’s also won two with the organization he is facing down on Saturday. Canna on the other hand did win LCK in his first Split ever in Spring 2020. A disappointing Summer and Spring 2021 has kept him out of the finals until now.
Neither of these top laners is currently the focal point of their squads. They both have very similar champion pools meant to compliment the overall team composition. Jayce and Gnar will likely trade hands multiple times in this match. Kennen is also a big pick that has found its way into the meta. We’ve only seen Canna break it out multiple times in playoffs alone, although Khan can likely play it just fine.
In terms of summer statistics, both players were middle of the table in CS and XP difference at 10 minutes which continued into average gold and damage percent shares. KDA and kill participation are both Canna favored, but only slightly. All signs point to this matchup not being the breaking point. The only major caveat is that Khan’s experience could allow him to stay cool and collected if the series turns into a back-and-forth slugfest.
Jungle – Canyon vs Oner
To more casual viewers, this matchup looks pretty lopsided. Canyon is notably one of the best and most consistent junglers the LCK has produced in recent years. He is known to be a driving force behind DWG’s success in their previous LCK and World Championship runs. Oner is an 18-year-old in his second LCK Split who was just promoted to the starting spot a month and a half prior to his first Finals appearance.
However, Oner has actually shown up quite strong leading into this match. He is right beneath Canyon in KDA, gold and XP difference at 10 minutes, and damage percent share. Their champion pools have overlap with Xin Zhao, Lee Sin, and Diana, although Oner is much more willing to take picks like Nidalee and Viego.
Just like with Khan vs Canna, experience is a massive difference here. The pressure of a first LCK Finals appearance could prove to be detrimental for the young Oner’s performance. In the case where he is able to maintain composure for the entire series, expect him to give Canyon a run for his money.
Mid – Showmaker vs Faker
The mid lane matchup of Showmaker vs Faker is certainly one of the focuses going into the Finals. Faker will be playing for his 10th LCK title which would be an insane accomplishment. Unfortunately, he has somewhat slowed down throughout the Summer Split. In terms of effectiveness, Faker was towards the middle of the table in CS and XP at 10 which translated into some of the lowest gold and damage percent shares of any mid laner. Faker has managed to kick things up a notch in the playoffs so far, but his biggest challenge lies ahead.
Showmaker actually had similar laning stats to Faker, putting him around the middle as well. After lane is where Showmaker made most of his value. He was top four in kill participation and kill share, had the highest damage per minute among mid laners, and died the least by far. Showmaker was also phenomenal in DWG’s playoff series against Nongshim, a sign that he is ready for Finals. Showmaker wants to carry that momentum to another LCK trophy, but Faker will certainly try to match him.
Bot – Ghost vs Teddy
The biggest discrepancy in this Finals matchup has to be in the bot lane. Teddy topped the charts in many important metrics for an ADC during Summer. He’s first in KDA, first in gold difference and second in XP difference at 10, has the lowest death percent share, and has the third-highest damage percent share. Even just watching Teddy play makes it clear that he is the carry T1 can rely on to do tons of work.
On the other end, Ghost has been struggling to reach the form he had last year. He is bottom half in all laning stats and deals the lowest percent of team damage of any ADC in the LCK. DWG knows that they have a clear weakness here, so their play tends to ignore Ghost as much as possible in favor of other lanes.
Teddy is the most important piece for T1 in the Finals. They need to be able to support him so that they have the same consistent DPS machine that has been present all season. For DWG, putting too many resources into stopping him early runs the risk of sacking other aspects of the map. Ghost just needs to do his best to keep up.
Support – BeryL vs Keria
Lastly is the support matchup of BeryL vs Keria. In addition to Ghost, BeryL has also been contributing to the lackluster performance of DWG’s bot lane this Split. Not only is he dead last in kill participation for supports, he also has the second-highest death % share. Keria has done fairly well in these metrics while also helping with T1’s macro play.
With Keria and Oner as the catalysts, T1 led the LCK in first blood rate at a whopping 68 percent. T1’s early game and map play have been their greatest strengths throughout Summer. Not only do they have the highest gold difference at 15 minutes, they also have the most wards placed and cleared. While this is due to the team’s overall strength, it is apparent that Keria helps a great deal in orchestrating this success.
The LCK 2021 Summer Finals begin on August 28 at 4:00 A.M EST.