GAM Esports had lost all three best-of-one games in the first half of the Worlds 2022 Group Stage. Heading into the second round robin, their first game was against LEC’s Rogue, which they unfortunately also lost, diminishing their chances of qualifying for the Knockout Stage greatly.
With nothing more to lose, they went up against LPL’s second seed Top Esports next, and showcased one of the most exhilarating games here at Worlds 2022 so far.
Đặng “Kati” Thanh Phê, who’s known to have one of the largest champion pools in pro play (17 unique champions used in VCS Summer 2022), came out swinging on mid lane Sett, while Đỗ “Levi” Duy Khánh played jungle Karthus in an unconventional draft that worked wonders for VCS’ number one seed, especially when they were hanging on by a thread.
Top Esports almost got the better of GAM Esports, before they pulled off one of the best Nexus defenses in League of Legends
TES had a gold lead this entire game. There was no clear winner in team fights around objectives, as each team consistently traded blows and lives.
But as the game progressed, it was obvious that GAM had a better late game scaling draft in Karthus and Ornn, played by top laner Trần “Kiaya” Duy Sang.
With three dragons under their belt at Soul Point, and only one secured by TES, GAM were looking for the Mountain Soul. Both teams clashed at the 32-minute mark at the dragon pit. Each team’s front liner — Kati’s Sett and Huang “Wayward” Ren-Xing’s Renekton, jumped into the opposing backline, only to Flash out after soaking enough damage.
Even though Levi’s Karthus was the first to fall, all five retreating TES members were low on health, which is when he took the chance to cast Requiem, earning an easy double kill.
The next and last fight at dragon, however, did not go GAM’s way and could’ve cost them the game. Despite having the numbers advantage in a 4v3, it was Yu “JackeyLove” Wen-Bo who stole the Elder Dragon from GAM. Levi didn’t even get a chance to Smite, as they had killed him off a fraction of a second before.
Chasing down the rest of the VCT squad, TES scored an ace, and ran down straight to the Nexus where a respawned Kiaya awaited. Expending all his abilities, going in 1v4, TES took some time to take the chonky tank down a second time.
But this was enough. More than enough. The time he bought meant that his teammates still had the chance to respawn to defend. The moment Levi resurrected, he used Requiem to shred health bars while Kati cast The Show Stopper onto JackeyLove’s Lucian to take him off the Nexus, killing him in the process while the rest of GAM cleaned up the two remaining members, their Nexus eventually falling to 15 percent HP.
After pulling off this incredible Nexus defense, GAM ran it down mid for a euphoric victory that got the crowd roaring.
“When we had four men down, we were shaking,” Levi said, explaining what went on behind-the-scenes in the post-game broadcast interview with Eefje “sjokz” Depoortere. “It was my responsibility to press R, and it was all over!”
Because GAM won against TES, in one swoop, Rogue secured a spot in the quarterfinals alongside DRX while TES and GAM were eliminated from contention. In the last tiebreaker game, DRX defeated Rogue to secure first seed out of Group C.