Worlds and its casters try to put them as some "another good Korean team that are just there" and try to portray them as "revenge seeking Koreans" but they really have their own narrative, and it is a good one, too.
This will be a long one, but hear me out. This will be worth the time, if you are interested.
Damwon gaming's name first showed up in the Challengers League (basically 2nd tier league) in 2018. However the team was founded on 2017 for Club Series(3rd tier league), and showmaker and his teammates won the Club Series 2017, winning their spot in Challengers League in 2018.
Every step by step taken by DWG was as the Riot Games wanted how the pro-gaming scene to grow in South Korea, and they were always challenging for the very next goal that the Riot Games had in planned for them.
Another good example of Riot Game's progamer youth system would be Wadid. He also started as Diamond support player to do well in Club Series, then to Challengers and all the way to Worlds with G2. It is almost a fairytale of how a Diamond player from Busan can go to Europe and show the world what he is capable of.
Now back to DAMWON.
In 2017, they started as Mirage Gaming with 5 gamers that were rather well known in high rank solo-Qs. After their first season in Club Series, they got the ticket to the Challengers League, winning vs Team Battle Comics (which also happens to join the LCK next season, winning the seat last month in the qualifiers).
Their first season in the Challengers League was rough, to say it nicely. They weren't getting wrecked, but they weren't doing the best as well. They got the 5th place, which gave them no chance at the playoffs that season. That's how their first year ended.
In 2018, they started strong in the Spring season, and they were definetly better. However they also had their arch-enemy, the Griffin (yeah that Griffin at the Worlds last year). They got the 2nd place in their league, but the in the playoff, they lost their chance to prove themselves, losing to the Ever Eight Winners in quarterfinals.
Never giving up, right after Griffin made their way to the LCK, Damwon dominated the Challengers League in Summer. After winning the 1st place in the league, they also won the champion seat in the playoffs, and eventually earned the LCK seat as well, beating BBQ Olivers which that time had Ghost(current ADC of DWG) as their ADC and sending them to Challengers League.
Even after their successful journey from 2018, they never stopped their challenge. Even though not as impactful as their "senpai" Griffin, they held their ground and got to the post-season playoff as the 4th place of the season. Even though they lost to Kingzone in playoff, their challenge continued to Rift Rivals where they showcased their talend brilliantly, winning against JDG with their physical and mechanical prowess and late game big fights.
The Summer season went quite well for them, one could say, earning the 3rd place, a place higher than the last season. But the really important event that took place here is that they won the Worlds ticket after 3:2 victory against forementioned Kingzone. With the sweat smell of revenge, it felt great to be a Damwon fanboy because they are going to Worlds during their first year in LCK.
After getting called "scrim gods", they didn't perform as well as their reputations had it. They indeed shown some really promising plays and aggressive playstyles, but they were a rookie team and could not handle the fast paced intellegent plays from G2. But most importantly, they learned their lesson, and never gave up. They were promising revenge against G2 the moment they went back to LCK.
But, getting a revenge on a formidable and experienced foe like G2 isn't an easy feat. They had to figure out what they were missing, and what their weakesses were. So they struggled pretty hard during the 2020 Spring season. Earning 5th spot in LCK wasn't really what they were going for, but they constantly tested their picks, and kept honing their aggressive playstyles. That led to very entertaining series against KT and DRX which at this point is the DRX you know this year(true successor of Griffin with Chovy and CVMax). Even though they lost against DRX, DWG realized their flaws and started working on them.
So, the curtain for the final play has risen. During their 2020 Summer season in LCK, they dominated. No other word could discribe their performances. Players comeing back from Mid Season Cup(Rift Rivals replacement regional matches) definitely improved their weaknesses. Nuguri now didn't die while pushing without solid evidence of his safety. Canyon toned down his aggression while keeping the intelligent counter jungling capabilities. Showmaker now lanes with everything in mind, coaches were amazed at how many things he thinks about even before just clearing a minion. Ghost and Beryl takes care of the stability of the team by providing ankor to rely on, and their mechanics have gotton to such higher levels that they were going toe to toe with Deft and Ruler bot lanes.
Now they are here at the Worlds, trying to prove their "2nd try is the charm" magic.
Riot Games layed out the map for Korean gamers who wanted to be the best in the world, and Damwon gaming took every step in that map, heading right towards the ultimate prize coming up to this point. From 3rd tier league to LCK in 2 years. From LCK to Worlds finals in 2 Years. Their challenging mindset and work ethic is worth the spotlight of this finals. I really hope Riot showcases this for all the "wannabe Pros" as the fine example of the path they carved and dedication they had shown.
I hope the trophy goes to the better team this weekend, but I just wanted to tell people how Damwon Gaming climbed this ladder with their perserverence and hard work, through trial and error and learning from failures. This team is the true testement to LCK way of improving.
Thanks for reading my crappy writings. Take care!
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