This year's dark horse.
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After their victory against EDward Gaming in the quarterfinals of the 2022 League of Legends World Championship, DRX have become the first team in history to claim a new milestone.
The South Korean squad are the first-ever fourth seed to reach the semifinals of the World Championship. Previously, fourth seeds have only advanced to the quarterfinals at best, including Royal Never Give Up this year and Hanwha Life Esports in 2021.
Fourth seeds were first introduced to Worlds in 2020, where they were claimed by the LPL’s LGD Gaming and the LEC’s MAD Lions. Both teams, though, failed to make it to the knockout stage of the event.
A year later, LNG Esports and HLE were fourth seeds from their respective regions, with only the latter making it to the quarterfinals before losing to T1. This year, RNG were close to achieving the feat, but they were swept by Faker and his crew in the quarterfinals.
Play-ins teams have, however, had deep tournament runs at Worlds. In 2018, Cloud9, G2 Esports, and EDG all qualified for the playoffs despite beginning the event in the play-ins. G2 and C9 both made it to the semifinals in that instance.
Sunday’s victory was especially emotional for DRX’s Kim “Deft” Hyuk-kyu, since it marked his second Worlds semifinals appearance since Worlds 2014. After pulling off a reverse sweep, the player broke down in tears having reached a personal milestone.