DWG KIA had the unenviable task of facing up against its LCK bogeyman in Gen.G during the League of Legends Worlds 2022 Quarterfinals. Coming into the tournament, DWG KIA had yet to win a series against the reigning LCK champion all year, with each one going all the way in terms of games.
Unfortunately, as with the rest of the year, today did not go DWG KIA’s way, and Gen.G walked away victorious. However, while DWG KIA may have lost today’s bout, it can at least take solace in knowing that it participated in one of the finest series the MOBA game’s world championship has ever seen.
The bloody best-of-five was initially looking to be a quick 3-0 stomp – mirroring the results of the previous Quarterfinals ties – after Gen.G took a 2-0 lead. However, DWG KIA fought tooth and nail – led by its core duo of Heo ‘ShowMaker’ Su and Kim ‘Canyon’ Geon-bu – to level out the tie. Back and forth, play after play – and believe us there were some absolute belters – DWG KIA and Gen.G traded blows in the deciding game until only Korea’s first seed remained.
Following the match, we sat down with ShowMaker to discuss the series and why DWG KIA vs. Gen.G always goes the full monty. Additionally, ShowMaker reveals his favourite moment from this year’s campaign, and what it’s like to play in a series that will undoubtedly go down in LoL Worlds history. Oh, and you’ll also want to read on to find out who he reckons will go the whole way and lift the Summoner’s Cup in San Francisco.
The Loadout: ShowMaker, thank you for joining me, and commiserations on the loss. I just wanted to start by getting your general thoughts on the games today.
Showmaker: I was actually expecting today’s match to be pretty much toe-to-toe, and it turns out that Gen.G’s players are very good. It was quite bloody, and quite the competition, and it’s such a bummer that we lost today.
This year DWG KIA and Gen.G have always gone the full distance when you’ve played each other. What do you think makes it such a close matchup every single time?
Gen.G is a very strong team, and I think the reason we always go to game five is because they’re very hard to beat. One of their strategies is that they usually prepare a very diverse draft, so it catches the opponent off guard.
Although we lost all of the best-of-fives [we played against them] this year, I will make sure to win against them next year.
I’m looking forward to it! Thinking about surprise picks in the draft, we saw Jeong ‘Chovy’ Ji-hoon pick Ryze – a champion we hadn’t yet seen at Worlds this year. I’d just like to get your thoughts on the pick.
Since Chovy is a good Ryze player, I wasn’t too surprised. It kind of made sense to pick Ryze, especially since I was playing Lissandra, and we were all playing such short range champions.
One other pick I – among others – was surprised to see make it onto the Rift today was Yuumi. What was the thought process behind letting Yuumi through the ban phase in games one and two?
Internally we had a lot of discussions regarding Yuumi, but in the end the ultimate conclusion was to leave her open and try playing it out. Since the results didn’t really go as planned, we ended up banning her later on.
Thank you for your insight. Perhaps turning away from the match and towards happier moments, what was your happiest memory from this year’s tournament?
It was actually today’s match, because whenever we were winning we were able to hear and feel the energy from the crowd. That was really something that makes you feel so proud to be a professional player. I had a lot of fun.
For us as viewers the series was definitely an emotional rollercoaster. For you, experiencing it first-hand, what was it like going from game to game?
It would have obviously been a lot better if the results were good. It was electrifying and fun at some times, and sad [at others], but overall it was a really, really good time. I think this is probably going to be one of my memories that lasts for a lifetime.
Thinking more broadly about your year, although you didn’t get to lift the Worlds trophy again, what has 2022 been like for you?
So ever since the Spring Split we had high expectations from everyone, but I think because we didn’t meet those expectations it was a very difficult year.
I know it’s perhaps too early to think about it now, but where do you feel yourself and the team need to focus your energies heading into the offseason, and onwards into 2023?
I feel like there’s so many things left for us to discuss [regarding what’s going to happen next year]. League of Legends goes through so many changes, so I’m not too sure what to say regarding the future.
For now, I think I should definitely focus on resting up and making sure I fill my head with optimistic thoughts.
Looking a little less far ahead to the rest of the tournament, who do you think will win Worlds and why?
So far I feel like it’s definitely going to be one of Gen.G, T1, or DRX. I feel like, compared to JD Gaming or EDward Gaming, the LCK is just better at this point – I’m definitely expecting an LCK vs. LCK Finals.
Before I let you go, do you have anything else you’d like to say to the fans who have been cheering you on?
The only reason I’m here today is all because of the fans. So to everyone all over the world cheering for us and watching me: thank you so much.
For next year, I want to work even harder, and despite today’s result I want to make sure that I deliver more exciting games just like the ones we played today. And I’ll work even harder to transfer that good energy and make sure that you enjoy every game that I play.