Nine years. That’s how much time it took “Deft” to reach a Worlds Finals after competing in the highest level and most of the time outperforming all the other players in his role that actually got to play in the Worlds top 2. Everyone immersed in the world of e-sports knew that the young prodigy was a special player but the results were just not there for him and the multiple teams he got to play for. Deft reached the semifinals on his first year of worlds back in 2014 and after that he reached the top 8 four times. While he was struggling in the quarter finals for years his long time rival and schoolmate “Faker” had made a name for himself in the e-sports scene, becoming the world-renowned “Unkillable Demon King” and believed to be the best player to ever play League of Legends by most.

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Enter 2022.

Deft signs for DRX at the start of the year, and proclaims 2022 to be his last year before his mandatory Korean army recruitment. DRX composes a team that nobody thought much of.

In the toplane was Kingen. He never really found much success in the LCK and after a brief adventure with the LPL playing for Bilibili he was back in the LCK trying to prove his worth as a selfless teamplayer.

Pyosik and Juhan were sharing the jungle position. Pyosik had only played for DRX in the past and he had been the starting jungler for 3 years but in 2022 Summer DRX decided that they wanted Pyosik to share time with another young jungler that just came back from the PCS, Juhan. Those two shared some time in the LCK throughout Summer Season and playoffs often subbing in for each other when DRX needed to adapt to a strategy.

Also coming from Bilibili Gaming, ZEKA was DRX’s starting midlaner for 2022. Kingen’s best friend showed a lot of promise in the LPL in 2021 and they both decided to join the same team in 2022. ZEKA was not like the other LCK midlaners. He was proficient in the melee midlaners like Sylas and Akali making him a walking highlight reel in the LCK.

Accompanying Deft in the botlane was none other than previously Damwon KIA’s Beryl.

Beryl won Worlds in 2020 and almost got a repeat in 2021 where Damwon faltered against EDG in the finals.

This DRX roster did not seem like much. Excluding the star-studded botlane, DRX’s top-mid could not compete against the top LCK teams and the same could be said for the two junglers. Beryl was mocked by many due to his “gacha addiction” suggesting that he was not practicing enough for LCK. Spring started off well. DRX finished the Season in 4th place only behind T1, GEN G and DK. Considering the sheer history of those three teams, 4th place should look like a big achievement for a newly composed team. In the playoffs however, DRX could not progress past Kwangdong Freecs in the first round. Teddy and Kiin’s performances were out of this world, completely carrying KDF in a narrow best of 5.

With that series DRX’s Spring was officially over. That led to them reinstating Juhan back in Korea from the PCS and starting off on their double-jungler plan.

Summer Season starts in the LCK and DRX manages to reach the top of the standings in Week 2 with a 4-0 record. That performance could not continue for them though and they ended the season 9-9, barely making the playoffs as the 6th seed. Playoffs start and immediately DRX drops the first series to Liiv Sandbox 1-3.

At this point their only hope for Worlds is the regional finals bracket. First match in the regional finals was against KT Rolster, another team that was eliminated in the first round of playoffs. Loser of this match could not reach Worlds anymore. Winner gets a final chance in the next match. DRX wins Game 1. KT wins Games 2 and 3. DRX is one loss away from watching Worlds on the couch. KT is on Soul Point and they start the Dragon, they end up securing the Dragon Soul but DRX hunts them down afterwards getting two kills and a valuable push in Mid and Bot as well as Baron control. One minute later Baron is started by DRX and KT tries to contest it. Juhan wins the smite fight and after that ZEKA plays an amazing teamfight leading DRX to Game 5. ZEKA locks in Swain mid and solokills VicLa’s Taliyah in the 4th minute. KT answers with two ganks on Kingen, killing him before Juhan reaches top. The game continues quietly until the 17th minute where DRX gets a breakthrough in the midlane. Life’s Sona gets evaporated and DRX just hunts the rest of KT down mid for a 4-0 teamfight. Next 16 minutes are quiet again, DRX is calmly controlling the pace of the game while slowly moving towards KT’s base, getting the Dragons in the process. On DRX’s soul point KT decides that they have to fight and they try their best but to no avail. DRX secures the soul and gets the easy teamfight win, getting them one step closer to Worlds.

The fight for the last LCK Worlds spot was between LSB and DRX. The two teams fought two weeks prior in the Playoffs with LSB winning comfortably. This time would be different though. First three games were stomps. DRX gets the first win and LSB gets the next two.

DRX find themselves in the same position as the day before. Game 4 is slow. Very slow actually, 33 minutes and only 7 kills. DRX are on their soul point however and manage to get the Dragon Soul. After that a fight breaks out near Baron and Prince dies first making it a comfortable teamfight win for DRX and getting them to their Game 5. Beryl picks Soraka!

Juhan has an amazing Game 5 creating many opportunities for his strong topside and DRX sweeps the flour with LSB getting their sweet revenge and also securing the Worlds play-in spot.

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