The Final Showdown
DRX have been the Cinderella story of Worlds 2022. However, as they head into the Final in San Francisco, they have one last demon to slay. T1, the Korean dynasty, is an enemy well-known to DRX and especially their ADC, Kim “Deft” Hyuk-kyu.
A brief history of T1-induced pain
The world is far removed from the heyday of DRX, or KING-ZONE DragonX as they were known back in 2018. Following a quarterfinals appearance at Worlds 2020, the team’s best performance in the LCK has been fifth-place finishes in Spring 2021 and Spring 2022.
In recent years, T1 has been a recurring thorn in the side of DRX. Excluding one game DRX took off T1 during a 3-1 loss in the LCK Spring 2021 playoffs, they have not beaten T1 since February 19 of that year. As well as the 3-1 loss in Spring 2021, T1 also ended their playoff hopes in Spring 2020.
But the pain runs deeper when you focus on Deft, who has become the face of DRX’s Worlds 2022 run for many fans. Deft was a new addition to the team ahead of 2022, having joined from Hanwha Life Esports. Deft last beat T1 on the final day of the Summer 2021 regular season (August 15). Since then, T1 eliminated Deft and Hanwha Life in the Worlds 2021 quarterfinals before going 4-0 (8-0) against DRX across 2022. For the veteran bot laner, T1 has been a perpetual roadblock.
Could 2022 be the year of DRX?
However, this is a unique situation. Can DRX truly be called the underdog heading into the Worlds 2022 final? Their playoffs run has seen them eliminate both the defending champions of the tournament and a bonafide tournament favorite. If DRX can hang with Gen.G, they can absolutely go toe-to-toe with T1.
On November 5, DRX will attempt to complete their anime arc and become Demon Slayers. Or, more poetically, they will ride once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more.