3 big things we learned during the Worlds 2022 semifinals

The stage is set for a legendary Worlds final.

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After a grueling month of practically nonstop League of Legends, the 2022 World Championship is set for its final stage. This past weekend, the semifinals of Worlds set the stage for what has the potential to be the most historic final in the history of the esport. 

On either side of the bracket, two teams emerged: one a heavy favorite, and the other, a massive underdog. While T1 were supposed to make a push to the final at the bare minimum, DRX still have no business going as far as they are on this miracle run. The team rolled past Gen.G, a team they had never beaten in 2022 prior to their semifinal matchup, to secure their spot in the finals. 

At the center point, though, the driving stake between T1 and DRX remains their home region of the LCK. Despite playing eight individual games against each other in Korea this season, T1 and DRX havent played a best-of-five against each other all season. 

Before we start to lay out storylines, plans, and dreams of what the grand finals could be, lets take some time to reflect on what the semifinals were. Here are three key takeaways we gathered from the 2022 Worlds semifinals. 

Zeka is on fire (and he may never cool off)

Photo by Fernando Decillis via Riot Games

It should go without saying at this point that Zeka is the breakout star of Worlds 2022. After serving as nothing more than an average mid laner throughout the majority of the regular season, Zeka has ascended on the international stage, taking every opponent to task. In the semifinals, he held an average gold lead of 388.5 at 15 minutes over Chovy, while also earning two solo kills during the series. Zeka leads all players at Worlds with a total of 16 solo kills, according to League stats site Games of Legends

Related: League fans call for creation of Zeka award following DRX stars breakout performance at Worlds 2022

Zekas KDA, CS per minute, and damage per minute numbers at Worlds are all higher than his 2022 averages as well. So while this recent string of performances may represent Zekas ceiling (and he could regress to the mean come 2023), sometimes all you have to do to win Worlds is get hot at the right timeand theres no League player on the planet right now hotter than Zeka. 

T1 have leveled up since the summer

Photo by Lance Skundrich via Riot Games

For the first time in five years, Faker will compete in a Worlds final. And all signs point to him and T1 walking into this match as the heavy favorites.

With a clean record of 12-2 at Worlds, this version of T1 looks much better than the team that got swept out of the LCK Summer Split convincingly by Gen.G just two months ago. At Worlds, T1 have a higher team-wide KD ratio, a higher early-game rating, and have shaved about two minutes off their average game time that they had in the LCK, according to League stats site Oracles Elixir. This T1 is more kill-hungry, more proactive, and, overall, more efficient. 

Still, T1 have lost in the finals of back-to-back major events (MSI, LCK Summer), and at Worlds, theyll have a familiar foe in DRX waiting for them. Luckily for T1, the team has won all eight of their individual games against DRX in 2022. But that doesnt seem to mean a whole lot against a red-hot DRX team that also had a 0-8 record against Gen.G this season before they dispatched them in the semis. 

Korea is back on top

Photo by Fernando Decillis via Riot Games

Theres nothing that should dissuade you: the LCK is back on top. After a Korean team failed to win the World Championship last season despite owning three of the four semifinal berths in 2021, the region found itself in an identical situation this year. This time, the LCK firmly stomped on Chinas neck, posting a combined 16-7 game record against the LPL at Worlds and setting up an all-Korean final in the process. For reference, the LPL won the head-to-head at last years World Championship by a score of 10 games to nine. 

Related: EDG Scout on his legacy: I want to be remembered as a herolike Faker

All four Korean teams posted winning records against China at Worlds, while DRX aloneKoreas weakest team on paperearned wins on three different LPL squads during three different stages of the tournament. 

T1 and DRX will face off in the Worlds finals on Saturday, Nov. 5.

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