Chovy vs Faker. Deft and Keria vs Teddy and Effort. A dance of Titans.
A clash of some of the top talents in the World, decorated veterans and impressive rookies alike, any match between DRX and T1 is a must watch. As we reach the second round of LCK playoffs, we have the chance of witnessing five games between these powerhouses.T1 are undoubtedly the favourites. Despite having the same record as DragonX, they haven’t dropped a single series to either them nor Gen.G. The head to head with DRX is especially convincing, with T1 winning both series and dropping only one game.The numbers don’t tell the whole story though, as CvMax’s squad seems to have a specifically hard time dealing with Faker and company.The only game DragonX managed to win against T1 was with a “Sinner Comp” that managed to blow the game open extremely early, but they have looked very dangerous in most T1 wins. The raw talent is superior to maybe any other team in the League, even Gen.G’s.Related: The endless passion of SsumdayChovy is having one of the most impressive splits for any player, and his best game yet was against BDD himself— he finished the game 13/0/2 as Zoe with 43% of his team’s damage — go watch it. Keria has just won the award for Rookie of the Split, performing extremely well and boasting an incredibly deep champion pool. And Deft is the veteran of the team, helping the rookies in the most nerve-wracking moments and maintaining an impressive level of individual performance, especially on Varus.Despite the very one-sided record, T1 and DRX do have a few similarities. The topside of the map is the weakest for both teams, while bot is their strong point. Keria and Chovy have individually outperformed their counterparts in Faker and Effort, but T1 have their ever-lasting invisible edge, inevitably associated with the legendary mid laner and the org itself. On the LCK’s English broadcast LS tried to put some of it into words: “They’ve managed to outdance, at very key points, their opponents in the face of a compositional deficit.” The caster has been pretty vocal about how both teams consistently lose draft, despite being able to win the games anyway. What the games between the two have come down to is key moments in mid to late game. T1 have made the right decisions when it mattered most and that has given them the upper hand over the younger squad in DRX. Atlus pointed it out after one of their games, “They make decisions better than their opponents in high pressure, late game situations.” While DragonX have the edge in raw talent, individual play and impressive teamfighting, T1 have more experience due to the presence of veterans like Faker and Cuzz. The way they maneuver around neutral objectives, often in worse situations for them, is second to none. As soon as their opponents make the mistake, they pounce and never give you a window back. DRX’s performance against Damwon Gaming wasn’t their best, but this should be a close series nonetheless. Deft is hungrier than ever for a title and has been performing to his highest level in the playoffs. As the “big brother” figure for the team, he is ready to lead by example and not falter in the high pressure moments. When asked about his personal thoughts on the T1 series in an interview with Ashley Kang, his answer was that of a leader that does not fear any battle, regardless of how intimidating the opposition might be.“At the core, DRX has this mindset: We do our best in what we believe is the perfect game plan for us.”I predict T1 to take the series 3-1, but DragonX’s limitless ceiling might give us a pleasant surprise.If you enjoyed this piece, follow the author on Twitter at @Kaaaosh.
Image courtesy of Lol Esports's Flickr.