Everyone expected first seed JD Gaming and third seed KT Rolster to deliver a great quarterfinals series.

What we did not expect was that a single minion was all it took to send JDG to the semifinals.

Dropping the first game, the LPL representatives adjusted and bounced back very quickly in a 25-minute win. Taking another victory, they put themselves up 2-1 before KT showed signs of life in game four.

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They led in kills, gold, and objectives, putting themselves in a good spot. At the 24th minute, they even killed Bai “369” Jia-Hao’s Gragas and forced Seo “Kanavi” Jin-hyeok’s half HP Lee Sin to reset. This opened up a numbers advantage at Baron.

This was also the moment that also costed them the game, the series, and Worlds 2023 contention.

How in the world did a minion help JD Gaming beat KT Rolster in the Worlds 2023 quarterfinals?

JD Gaming at the League of Legends World Championship 2023 Knockout Features Day on October 31, 2023 in Busan, South Korea
Credit: Riot Games

To understand the outcome, we must first grasp the late game Baron fight that completely swung tempo into JDG’s hands.

After clearing KT’s control ward in the bush, Zhuo “knight” Ding’s Orianna and Park “Ruler” Jae-hyuk’s Kai’Sa postured around the top side of the pit out of sight.

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At first, knight kept Orianna’s ball in the pit for vision and possibly a steal. What happened next took everyone by surprise.

Invisible, Ruler used Supercharge to sneak up front into Gwak “Bdd” Bo-seong’s face, channeling a full Icathian Rain and Plasma hit onto that one single target. Combined with knight’s damage, they took him out quickly.

Shockwave clipped Son “Lehends” Si-woo’s Lulu as well, which prompted Ruler to flash in for the kill.

One by one, KT’s attention was pulled away from the Baron thanks to Ruler’s strategic aggression. Kim “Aiming” Ha-ram tried to help his teammates, but the more he kited back, the more he found himself sandwiched between knight and Ruler.

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Taking out four, including Kim “Kiin” Gi-in’s Jax on the top side, JD Gaming took a free Baron which they used to down the inhibitor at bot that evened out the gold.

Four minutes later at the fifth dragon spawn, Bdd attempted to cut off JDG’s retreat with a teleport into Hourglass stasis — but it completely backfired. Trading two for two, the dragon and next Baron still went over to JDG.

Running down their opponents in mid at the 32nd minute, JDG’s final onslaught begun.

Downing mid inhib and the Nexus towers, it was actually knight who consistently auto attacked the Nexus before Ruler repositioned and took over as the rest of their teammates danced with KT’s four remaining members.

With the Nexus down to five percent, KT successfully killed two and pushed the rest back well away from their crown jewel.

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However, there were three Baron-empowered minions left still hitting the objective — a caster and two cannons. The very last shot from the last living cannon was all it took to bring the Nexus down to zero, eliminating KT Rolster and sending JDG to the semifinals.

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