Worlds 2022 is long gone now. DRX's new roster retains no more than a single reigning World Champion in Beryl, but the most memorable narrative in "The One and Only" remains as fresh as ever. Not only because it was great, but also due to how Riot seized that opportunity better than they usually do.
The Deft vs Faker storyline that developed throughout the tournament is one to remember. The LCK is making sure it isn't forgotten, announcing just recently that they'll have a sort of All-Star exhibition
of their own between the two veterans.
Yet, even before the broadcast started mentioning the "Lasting Dance", Riot's usage of shoulder content was much better than in previous years. The Worlds theme song was a swing and a miss, yes, but what came after positively surprised me.
Every stage began with a tease to tie everything together and get the fans up to speed. In the Play-Ins one
, Worlds 2022 minor region teams got their time in the spotlight, receiving an opportunity to tell their story to the World.
Yet, the tease was concise and managed to focus on the two crucial points: RNG are the overwhelming favorites and Deft has one last achievement left to conquer.
The Deft winning Worlds narrative might've looked like no more than a heartwarming tale at the time, but the lines uttered by the eventual World champion here were nothing short of prophetic.
"I want to win Worlds and retire while I'm still celebrated."
The remaining daily teases were good. They did a good job of highlighting what was happening and focusing on the teams that were either on the brink of elimination or one step away from ensuring their qualification.
Day 6's tease
stood out to me, though. The full-on banter between the four teams that had their destinies on the line was glorious to watch, especially given the unexpected elimination of MAD at the hands of a struggling EG roster.
Jojo did keep his promise.
Worlds 2022 Group Stage- The true narratives begin
Groups kicked off with one of the best shoulder content piece
s Riot has made. They managed to condense the most meaningful storylines into less than 3 minutes while still highlighting the historical relevance of New York to some of the stars.
Faker and Peanut were returning to a city so sweet to the former and so bitter to the latter. In 2016 SKT were making their way over ROX Tigers to get into the Finals and win their second World Championship. Now, they were back in two of the favorites to win Worlds 2022.
JDG's 369, one of the best players on the planet heading into the tournament had a special spotlight on him and his famous Dice symbolism. It seems like not even a few 9s in a row were enough for JDG to make it to the Finals.
Finally, the two previous World Championship winning teams were highlighted. EDG and Damwon didn't come into the USA as favorites, but their legacy had to be remembered. Somehow, Riot's video team even found a way to fit every other team present for a few seconds each. No one was forgotten.
The remaining daily teases did a good job in keeping people up to date with the results, but this stage wasn't exactly one to remember. The video team did a good job giving every Worlds 2022 team a bit of a spotlight in different teases.
Knockout Stage- Pure greatness
The Knockout Stage teases were a marvel to behold. Rogue vs
JDG did end up being the most disappointing Quarter Final, but the one people had the least expectations for was EDG vs
I know that might be hard to believe now, but remember, EDG only beat western teams in their Group and DRX's run was still considered a fluke. TES did choke and the eventual World Champions still dropped 2 BO1s.
The tease for this series
, though, oh man. Caster Jun completely stole the show, as he usually does.
The storylines were ripe for the taking and Riot didn't miss one. Deft was facing his old team, the one in which he was a star, the one who managed to lift the Summoner's Cup without him regardless.
And here is where the beautiful line was born. As the tease headed to a close, Deft says, in English: "Scout, Meiko, let's dance." And dance they did. The quarter-finals series that should've been one of the weakest ones became one of the best 5 game affairs we have ever witnessed at the World stage.
Even if Deft and DRX hadn't won Worlds 2022, who could've ever forgotten the reverse sweep after the most evil inhibitor respawn of all time?
From here on out, Caster Jun and Deft stole the show every time they showed up. Both Semi Finals teases were excellent and helped give the games the gravitas they deserved.
The prophetic nature of these teases kept growing stronger, too. In the DRX vs GEN tease
, which was believed to be an impossible game for Deft and co. to win, Chovy said the following:
"What I am afraid of the most is when my self-doubts start to creep in." The performance we witnessed from Chovy against Zeka was exactly what GEN's mid laner was most afraid of.
We'll all remember you, Zeka, The Protagonist.
The Finals were the pinnacle of Worlds 2022 and perhaps the best piece of shoulder content Riot's ever created.
The Lasting Dance narrative fused with the Mapo High School storyline and gave us 5 incredible minutes.
This beautiful piece of media was shown live at the fully packed Chase Center to a roaring crowd. These were two players that were meant to meet each other since they attended the same High School all those years ago.
And the Unkillable Demon King was meant to fall.
Worlds 2022- An incredible tournament with shoulder content to match
Deft and DRX kept on doing the unthinkable until the most unlikely possibility became an unavoidable reality. This was the most legendary run we've ever witnessed in a World Championship and Riot's shoulder content was excellent at highlighting how special this was.
Let's hope this high level of production and care towards the history of the game becomes a standard for future Riot tournaments. "The One and Only" truly was one to remember.