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League of Legends

T1 vs JDG: Which Team Will Make Finals at Worlds 2022?

Zakaria Almughrabi

There are only three matches left at Worlds 2022. The initial pool of 24 teams is now reduced to four: three from Korea and one from China.  The first match of semifinals pins T1, the LCK’s second seed against JDG, the LPL’s first seed. This isn’t necessarily a “winner takes all” match, as Gen.G and DRX on the other side are both very capable opponents. Still, there is a lot riding on this potential last international matchup of Worlds 2022.

T1 Worlds 2022

Image via Riot Games | Colin Young-Wolff / All stats provided by Oracle's Elixir

T1 – Side Lane Hard Carries

While T1 were the LCK’s second seed, their performance throughout the Group Stage and Quarterfinals has inspired a new confidence in them. In the bot lane, Lee “Gumayusi” Min-hyeong and Ryu “Keria” Min-seok are back in form after a shaky summer split. In top lane, Choi “Zeus” Woo-je is contending for the title of best top laner in the world.

Even though they haven’t been individual standouts at Worlds, Mun “Oner” Hyeon-jun is leading in average assists for junglers and supporting his team perfectly. And of course, mid laner Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok has had his fair share of highlights despite being relentlessly targeted in-game. This T1 roster is operating at full capacity and have taken the spotlight as Worlds nears its end.

JDG – Top Side Focus

On the other side of the Rift this weekend will be JDG. The LPL’s number one seed was certainly being looked at as title contenders coming into Worlds. They’ve made good on that perception for the most part. Top laner Bai “369” Jia-Hao is the only player who can rival Zeus in top prowess. Seo “Kanavi” Jin-hyeok is the hardest carry jungler at the tournament.

JDG’s bot side tends to take less resources overall, but Wang “Hope” Jie and Lou “Missing” Yun-Feng still have tons of impact later in the game. Lastly, mid laner Zeng “Yagao” Qi is a suitable match for Faker, as he also doesn’t get much love from his team, but is still sporting average damage dealt and kill participation stats.

T1 – Winning through Zeus and Guma

Coming into this matchup, T1 and JDG have exhibited very different overall strategies throughout their play at Worlds 2022. T1 is a team that plays for early game priority through strong lanes and rotations. They have the fastest average game time at Worlds (besides C9 and EG who went 1-5 in Groups) at around 29:25. That’s over a minute faster than any other top eight team.

T1 accomplishes this by making sure that Zeus and Gumayusi feel comfortable in lane. Zeus has gotten counter-pick in 67% of T1’s games, tied for the second most of any top laner. With this consistent advantage, Zeus has the biggest CS difference at 10 minutes. His +7.9 CSD is 1.6 higher than second place, which belongs to 369.

Gumayusi gets the most CS per minute of any ADC at 10.1. T1 tends to focus more on Rift Herald rather than first Dragon. As a result, they have the second most average Turret Plates per game at 6.7. The majority of these go to Gumayusi, skyrocketing his average gold earned per minute to 369, which is the most of any player at Worlds 2022.

JDG – 369 and Kanavi Lead the Way

JDG’s run through Worlds has been an interesting one. They’ve only lost a single game overall, a best-of-one to DWG KIA in groups. As expected of a top four team, JDG are top five in gold percentage rating (0.80) and gold difference at 15 minutes (+786). However, their real strength comes later on in the game, which we’ll talk about in a bit.

JDG’s win conditions have similarly been bolstered by their top laner. 369’s counter pick rate is 60%, so still very high. While he doesn’t have the highest CS numbers in a vacuum, his CSD is still second highest overall. 369 also gains a bigger average XP lead than any other top laner at +302 (compared to +121 for Zeus). And he does all of this while being middle of the table in total gold share for top laners.

The biggest difference in playstyle between T1 and JDG comes in the jungle. Whereas Oner is a definitively team support-focused jungler, Kanavi takes the resources himself to carry. He is number one overall in gold share (22.6%), CS per minute (7.0), and CS share post-15 minutes (21.7%). Using all of this gold, Kanavi is number one in damage per minute for junglers at 465.

Kanavi Worlds

Kanavi is the centerpiece of JDG, will he be able to carry against T1? (Image Credit Riot Games | Bruno Alvarez)

Who will Win Early Game?

As mentioned earlier, T1 is one of the most oppressive early game teams in the tournament. They are third overall in gold difference at 15 (+1492) and early game rating (a stat that calculates a team’s win probability based on game state at 15 minutes) at 63.8, only behind DWG KIA and DRX. T1 don’t focus too hard on getting kills or shutting down a specific part of the map. Instead, they’re fine with letting their win conditions get resources and scale into the mid-game.

Once there, T1 are better than anyone at closing out the game. They have the highest first Baron rate at 78% and highest Baron control rate at 82%. T1 are seemingly always able to get to their power spikes, take Baron, and end the game quickly. This also clocks them in at a 25.1 mid-late game rating, good for second at Worlds.

How Does JDG Win Games?

While JDG do have players that they can rely on to win early, they’re much less focused on ensuring a swift and decisive ending. Their early game rating is 53.8, down by 10 from T1, and their gold difference at 15 is about half as much. Often, it won’t even look like JDG are particularly favored in the game until the deciding moments. Where JDG truly shines is the late game.

Reaching back to the LPL summer split, JDG made themselves known as comeback kings. They win more games than anyone else while at a mid-game gold disadvantage. The highest mid-late game rating of the tournament goes to JDG at 36.2, higher than second place by nearly 11. This means that even though JDG may not look like they’re in a winning position, they find ways to win anyways quite often.

JDG don’t get as many Dragons or Turrets as other top-level competition, but JDG farms more than any team period. They control 51.9% of lane CS (second overall) while also crushing everyone in jungle CS control at 56.8%. Hope and Yagao are both bottom two in gold share percent in their roles, yet they still get enough resources eventually to be sixth and tenth in damage dealt per minute.

T1 vs JDG – What to Look For

This weekend, we’ll be seeing a clash of styles in the first semifinals matchup. T1 will continue playing for Gumayusi to get leads early and frequently. Oner and Keria’s sole role is to help enable that. Expect to see T1 focusing Rift Herald more than Dragon first, then taking it down to bot lane. This game plan likely won’t be contested seeing as how JDG don’t put the same emphasis on Hope.

As for the top lane clash of titans, this matchup will be a major sway point. Both Zeus and 369 are very used to getting counter pick and playing for early lane domination. Tank picks will likely be shelved in favor of things like Jayce/Kennen for range, or Fiora/Renekton for heavy trading. We might even see Zeus’s Yone make a reappearance if 369 does go back to Ornn.

If T1 does succeed in their usual routine of spiking for important mid game fights, it won’t necessarily be the end of the game like it has been previously. No one has been able to consistently break JDG’s defenses before. It’s the reason why they won LPL and have gone nearly flawless at Worlds. T1 will need to show that they can use their macro to end games before JDG comes roaring back as usual.

The worst case for JDG would be getting overwhelmed by T1 in the micro. Zeus, Gumayusi, and Keria are three of the most mechanically-talented players in their roles worldwide. If you give T1 a single chance, they’ll be able to crack the game wide open. Even their perceived weaker points of Faker and Oner have proven to be more than capable of stepping up and performing given little to work with.

Worlds 2022 Semifinals Schedule

The T1 vs JDG Worlds 2022 semifinals match begins on October 29 at 5:00pm ET.

The second semifinals matchup, Gen.G vs DRX, begins on October 30 at 5:00pm ET.