With Ghost often pointed out as the weak link of 2020’s world champions, they took drastic measures in a messy but ultimately successful win against AFS.
Ahead of the second LCK game of the day, fans got something of a shock. It was revealed by journalist Kenzi that world champions and MSI finalists DWG KIA would play with a lineup of Khan-Canyon-ShowMaker-Malrang-BeryL.
Jang “Ghost” Yong-jun, the team’s AD Carry, was often pointed out as a weak link of the roster. But swapping in Kim “Malrang” Geun-seong, the team’s sub and an always middling jungler, to the ADC position was a shocking move.
Then we got another surprise. Malrang wasn’t playing ADC at all. Two roleswaps would come in, with the team’s two stars changing positions. Kim “Canyon” Geon-bu went from jungle to Mid, and Heo “ShowMaker” Su from mid to ADC.
The crazy thing is how well it worked. Canyon dominated Afreeca Freecs’ own mid laner, veteran Song “Fly” Yong-jun, two games in a row. And while there were some bot lane missteps for ShowMaker, he ultimately did a ton of work in teamfights. The games were messy, but they were successful.
Was Ghost really the problem? Is this the lineup DWG KIA should use in the future? Are other LCK mid laners bad enough that a roleswapped jungler can dominate them? These are all questions the community now has to grapple with.
ShowMaker shows up big for DWG KIA on Ezreal in game 1
For game one, DWG KIA drafted Rumble for Malrang in the jungle, Viego for Canyon in mid, and Ezreal for ShowMaker. While he struggled a bit in laning phase, late-game the Ezreal contributed massively to teamfights.
While ShowMaker had a great ADC debut game, Canyon also shined. By the end of the game, he’d pulled off the “Flame Horizon”, getting 100+ CS more than his opposing mid laner. It was ultimately a relatively clean game for DWG KIA, as they didn’t let their foot off the gas and closed it out in 37 minutes. It was the kind of clean performance you’d expect from the world champions – but not from a team with two roleswapped players.
Canyon and Malrang shine to close out the series
The early game in game two was messy, at least for DWG KIA’s bot side. Some ill-advised engages put them on the back foot early.
But the team wrestled back control. Malrang had a great game in the jungle, and by the late game was one-shotting AFS’ carries. Canyon put together a great Ryze game, locking players up at the right time for his team to capitalize. And who can forget about Kim “Khan” Dong-ha?
By the end of the game, the story was the same as the first. It was a pretty solid performance, one you’d expect from the MSI finalists against a team lower in the standings. But not one you’d expect from a team with two roleswapped players.
Now the question is: where do we go from here? Will DWG KIA keep trying this lineup out, looking to improve Canyon and ShowMaker in their new roles? Is it simply a one-off to light a fire under Ghost? The only people who know are DK’s coaching staff. We’ll see the team back in action on Saturday, where they’ll face DRX. It’s a higher-calibre opponent than Afreeca, but still not top competition, so it will be incredibly interesting to see what DWG KIA decide to go with.