The first semifinals match of the 2021 League of Legends World Championship between DWG KIA and T1 will likely go down in history. Not just because of the intense gameplay, but also because of the impressive viewer numbers.
In the five-game thriller between the two LCK rivals, DWG KIA took the victory over Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok and the rest of T1. This win sends DWG KIA to its second Worlds final in a row, giving the team a chance to defend the Summoner’s Cup. This storyline attracted an incredible amount of viewers, peaking at 3,540,094 according to Esports Charts.
This is by far the most-watched match of Worlds 2021 to this point, with second place being the quarterfinal between DWG KIA and MAD Lions which hit 2.3 million. These numbers solidified the popularity of the two Korean organizations but also how high the competitive level was throughout all games.
Even though T1 got the short end of the stick in this semifinal and won’t advance further in the tournament, the team remains popular. T1 was represented in three out of the four Worlds 2021 matches with the highest peak viewership so far. Besides this match against DWG KIA, T1’s matches against DetonatioN FocusMe and Hanwha Life Esports reached over 2.2 million viewers at their peak.
It’s no surprise that the team with Faker himself is the most popular, as both eastern and western viewers usually come together to see the greatest player of all time duke it out on Summoner’s Rift. This year was even more special as T1 has been looking competitive throughout the whole tournament and this could have been the chance for Faker to reclaim the Worlds throne this year.
Unfortunately, DWG KIA was too strong as a team today despite T1’s greatest efforts. The team started out by losing the first game, but answered with two wins in a row. At that point it looked like T1 would pull off the upset, but DWG KIA bounced back strongly to take the series with a 3-2 victory and earn a spot in the Worlds 2021 finals.
Such a close battle between two legendary Korean organizations can only go down in history, despite it not being a final. Some will remember the epic semifinal between T1 and Rox Tigers during the 2016 World Championship and this series today could become just as remembered.
DWG KIA will be the one to continue in the tournament and will face the winner of Gen.G and EDward Gaming in the grand final on Saturday, November 6.