In last match of the day in Worlds 2022 Group B, chart toppers JD Gaming and DWG KIA fought for seeding after eliminating Evil Geniuses and G2 Esports. Leading the group with five wins and no losses, it was JDG’s chance to secure first in the group.
DWG KIA took full advantage of their growing momentum, however, after scoring convincing wins against G2 Esports and Evil Geniuses earlier in the day. Against the LPL first seed, DK’s bot lane consistently outdueled their counterparts, who blind picked a nerfed Lucian and Nami combo.
Combined with ganks from Kim “Canyon” Geon-bu’s Graves and roams from Heo “ShowMaker” Su’s LeBlanc, they won in 29 minutes with 21 kills to just six.
Sharing the same 5-1 match score, DK forced a tiebreaker, so both teams stayed in their seats and played a second game right after. Still, things were not looking up for JDG, who were down by as much as 4,800 gold, trailing in kills and towers — until one team fight at dragon changed everything.
JD Gaming and DWG KIA duke it out in tiebreaker to determine the first and second seed
According to the English broadcast, DK bot laner Seo “deokdam” Dae-gil on Aphelios set a record for Worlds 2022 this game. At his peak, he was ahead by more than 3,900 gold compared to the most farmed player on JDG, the most so far in this tournament.
It’s hard not to see why. While Bai “369” Jia-Hao‘s Aatrox was getting leads at top against Jang “Nuguri” Ha-gwon’s Irelia with the help of Seo “Kanavi” Jin-hyeok’s Vi, this opened up opportunities for DK to strike on the bot side of the map in favorable 3v2s.
ShowMaker’s LeBlanc paid particular attention to Wang “Hope” Jie’s Kai’Sa in team fights, taking him out of the equation before JDG could initiate.
At the 22-minute mark, JDG’s fortunes turned. Even though it looked like DK had better positioning at first, which allowed them to secure the third dragon and force Zeng “Yagao” Qi’s Sylas to flash over the wall, they started to retreat.
Lou “Missing” Yun-Feng’s Nautilus and 369 led the charge, with Yagao coming back into the pit using Abscond. While ShowMaker nuked Hope’s Kai’Sa in the jungle, the rest of JDG shredded through DK’s front line in the river. Once key cooldowns were burnt, Kanavi and Yagao used both their ultimates–including a stolen Solar Flare–on deokdam, whose Stopwatch wasn’t enough.
Taking back tempo, JDG never let go of their gold lead for the rest of the game. They won team fight after team fight, firmly putting LCK’s third seed in second place. For his strong performance on Aatrox, 369 was awarded the MVP.
In the post-game broadcast interview, Eefje ‘sjokz’ Depoortere asked 369 why he thinks JDG always seems to have the ability to comeback, he answered that is could be attributed to their team’s coordination.
As to whether he considers himself the best Aatrox player at Worlds, he replied, “At least for this game, my Aatrox was invincible.”
Read more about the storied top laner, and how JD Gaming coach Homme brought out the best in 369 when no one else could. Watch the 2022 World Championship matches live on Riot Games’ official channels on Twitch and YouTube.