The S11 Global Finals of League of Legends ended in the early hours of Sunday morning, when Edward Gaming (EDG) from the League of Legends Pro League (LPL) defeated DWG KIA (DK) from League of Legends Champions Korea (LCK) with a thrilling 3-2 result in the 2021 League of Legends World Championship Final.
This victory brought EDG unprecedented popularity on the internet, as well as on various Chinese social media platforms such as WeChat moments and Weibo. At the time of publication, the topic #EDGWinning, which once topped the Weibo trending topics list, has been read 2.97 billion times, triggering more than 3.836 million discussions.
Before the final, almost everyone predicted that DK would win. DK is the defending champion, the top seed in LCK and once the world champion. After EDG’s victory, China’s state media and the Shanghai E-sports Association both immediately sent congratulations to the team.
In 2013, Zhu Yihang, the eldest son of Zhu Mengyi, founder of real estate company Hopson Group, set up EDG and also founded SUPERGEN Inc. This firm’s business covers e-sports industry operations, industrial education, theme industrial park, new cultural creations and other ventures, and is engaged in the e-sports industry chain.
In May, 2018, EDG received financing of nearly 100 million yuan ($15.6 million) from Yao Capital, led by basketball superstar Yao Ming, and China Idol Entertainment Industry Fund, led by CICFH.
League of Legends Global Finals has 12 competition areas worldwide. EDG has also become the eighth champion team in the history of global finals, and its player Scout won the title as FMVP.
This year, LPL is themed Make Break. Back in 2014-2015, EDG became the first and only team in LPL history to win three consecutive championships. However, since the 2014 World Finals, EDG has fallen into the curse of repeatedly losing in the quarterfinals.
Especially in the S7 season of 2017, EDG, which competed locally, failed in the group stage and was defeated in the global finals. EDG performed poorly during the 2018-2020 seasons.
In an interview after the game, EDG referred to the victory as a miracle, adding that both the contestants and the supporting teams were extraordinary. The championship is what they have long yearned for, and is the hard-won result of the whole team’s concerted efforts.
iResearch’s report, China’s Live Game Industry in 2021, suggests the size of the live game audience in China was 355 million viewers in 2020, an increase of 18.3% compared to 2019. It is estimated that the overall market size will exceed 43 billion yuan in 2021.
In addition, at a special press conference on November 5 for the 19th Asian Games held in Hangzhou next year, eight events including “League of Legends,” “Honor of Kings (Asian Games edition)” and “Game for Peace (Asian Games Edition)” are confirmed as official competitions.