As the dust settles following one of the most memorable League of Legends World Championships in recent memory, we take stock of our Oceanic representatives both from home and abroad and look back at what was a tumultuous campaign for our Aussies in Mexico.
As a whole, Aussie players across The Chiefs, Cloud9, and 100 Thieves finished 2-15 — a massive step back from the 17 wins OCE players snagged collectively last year.
LCO Champs Chiefs exit 0-5; roster set for off-season shake up
There was plenty of hope for our LCO champions Chiefs in Mexico.
A dominant 27-1 record in Split 2, international experience across the roster and an LCO finals win in front of a packed out Melbourne Park had some pundits banking on a OCE upset at the Play-In.
But it wasn’t to be after all.
COVID threw a curveball on day one of the Play-In — two Chiefs players were kept in the hotel and played remotely against a Fnatic squad missing starting support Hylissang.
After a narrow 15 minute opening, Fnatic’s advantage in the laning stage grew wider and the European squad overpowered The Chiefs.
By day three, the hopes of an OCE main event appearance was over.
It’s back to the drawing board for The Chiefs as the off-season begins, and there’s a good chance we won’t be seeing these five return for the Split 2 champions next split.
Topoon, Arthur, and Aladoric have been given permission to explore their options for 2023, meaning this is likely the last we’ll see of this iteration of The Chiefs.
Fudge at C9, FBI at 100T fall short in groups
After The Chiefs’ fall at the Play-In stage, the LCO was out of the running at Worlds. But, even though The Chiefs were done, Oceania still had players representing the region through the North America LCS.
Both NA’s Cloud9’s and 100Thieves’ rosters host Australian players, with Ibrahim “Fudge” Allami and Victor “FBI” Huang playing for NA as the remaining representation for OCE talent at Worlds.
Both skipped the Play-In and qualified directly for Worlds groups following successful summer splits, with Cloud9 defeating 100 Thieves in the split final to take the number one seed.
However, both the remaining Aussies’ squads struggled to find much footing against the strength of the LCK, LPL and LEC.
Cloud9 and 100Thieves both ended the group stage with a single win each. Cloud9’s only win came against LEC third seed Fnatic, while 100T stole a victory against wildcard team CTBC Flying Oyster.
After dropping their opening Worlds game against Fnatic, Fudge pulled out his Ornn for the first time in the tournament for the rematch. The Cloud9 top laner was on point in the 27 minute win, posting 11 assists and 72% kill participation.
Unfortunately, he wasn’t able to find much success in the rest of his picks, with his Fiora, Aatrox, and Jax failing against the other teams. Across Cloud9’s five losses, the 20-year-old managed just three kills with thirteen deaths and struggled as a whole in his third Worlds appearance.
Nick “LS” De Cesare was quick to come to the defence of the Australian after his Worlds performance drew criticism from across the community, especially from C9’s own fan subreddit.
Fellow countryman FBI also struggled throughout Worlds 2022. Similarly to Fudge, it took a first-time Kalista pick for the 100 Thieves ADC to post his sole Worlds victory against CTBC Flying Oyster.
Like Oceania, North America’s performance at Worlds was abysmal in retrospect. Between the three main event qualifiers of Cloud9, 100 Thieves and Evil Geniuses, the region finished a lowly 3-15.
At one point, NA LCS representatives were 0-9, with C9’s victory over Fnatic finally breaking the win drought on day five of the main event.
Korea number one: DRX makes fairytale run to the Summoners Cup
The LCK as a region confidently demolished all others at Worlds 2022.
Three of the top four finalists at Worlds were from Korea, with LCK fourth seed DRX defeating fellow reps Gen.G and T1 to claim the 2022 Summoners Cup.
DRX’s run began from the Play-In, where Kim “Deft” Hyuk-kyu’s squad went undefeated to swiftly book their spot in the main event.
Dropping just two games in the main event group to Rogue and Top Esports, DRX locked in a quarter-final matchup against Chinese third seed EDward Gaming, where they overcame the LPL squad 3-2 to keep the dream alive.
After dispatching of LCK’s first seed Gen.G in the semi-final, many were starting to believe in the DRX dream — and they couldn’t have met a better opponent than Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok’s T1.
Faker was shaping up to claim his fourth Worlds win, with T1 clear favourites heading into the grand final.
But DRX stood up to the challenge, and behind stellar performances from Hwang “Kingen” Seong-hoon and Kim “Zeka” Geon-woo, DRX fought to the end to take a five-game classic to win the Summoners Cup.
It was Deft’s first Worlds grand final appearance and win since his debut Worlds appearance with Samsung Blue in 2014, where he fell in the semi-finals to Samsung White 3-0.
Worlds 2022 easily finished as one of the best League of Legends international tournaments in recent memory, complete with fantastic storylines and close matches all throughout the playoffs.
5.1 million fans tuned in to watch DRX claim the Summoners Cup, blowing away the previous record of 4.1 million for Worlds 2021.