The 2021 League of Legends World Championship Quarterfinals rolled on with tournament favorites DWG KIA picking up a 3-0 sweep over Europe's MAD Lions on Sunday.
DWG KIA came into this series on a tear, having not dropped a single game the entire tournament. On the other side, MAD Lions surviveda wild group to grab the second seed with a 3-3 record in the Group Stage. While there were times where MAD Lions showed flashes of something, this series mostly served as a reminder to the rest of the world that DWG KIA is the team to beat at Worlds.
Game 1 saw DWG KIA win in classic fashion in 29 minutes. Everyone on DK enjoyed a lead over their counterpart and the team rotated masterfully in the early-mid game to turn those individual advantages into an insurmountable gold lead. In particular, DK support Cho "BeryL" Geon-hee's Rakan was instrumental in the win, setting up several fights with his roams and crowd control to the tune of a 1-1-11 KDA (Kills-Deaths-Assists) for a game-high 75 percent kill participation.
Game 2 saw MAD Lions jump ahead early, slowly growing their gold lead as time went on. DK didn't make it easy for MAD, contesting them and taking steps to stay within hypothetical striking distance, but MAD still held onto a nearly 5,000-gold lead. Then, MAD Lions started to dance around with DK at Baron Nashor, leading to DK top laner Kim "Khan" Dong-ha's Kennen finding a beautiful flank and destroying MAD Lions with a Slicing Maelstrom ultimate. This led to a DK Baron secure to erase the gold deficit. Despite MAD Lions securing Mountain Soul, they couldn't stop DWG in the late game, leading to Korea's top seed taking the win in 35 minutes.
In Game 3, DK stacked resources into Khan's Jayce to get the top half of the map ahead early on. DK built a huge gold lead, getting as far ahead as 10,000-gold at 20 minutes. Then, MAD Lions found a hail mary teamfight win at 23 minutes to make up some lost ground. MAD secured the Baron, but DK's lead prevented MAD from engaging in any meaningful fights in order to use the Baron buff. Once DK recovered, they took Infernal Soul and cruised through MAD Lions in 39 minutes to complete the 3-0 sweep and advance to a semifinals matchup against T1.
In the 2021 Worlds Main Event, 16 teams competed in four groups based on seeding, contesting a double round-robin of best-of-one matches in the Group Stage. The top two teams from each group advanced to the Knockout Stage, which consists of a single-elimination bracket.
Teams were randomly drawn for the Knockout Stage so that first-place teams will oppose second-place teams, with no two teams from the same group placed in the same half of the bracket.
Matches in the Knockout Stage are best-of-five all the way through the Nov. 6 grand final. The championship team will receive 22 percent of the total prize pool, which would equate to $489,500 based on the minimum guaranteed payout of $2,225,000.
The quarterfinals conclude on Monday with one best-of-five series:
Cloud9 vs Gen.G Esports
--Noah Waltzer, Field Level Media