How DRX used the Warriors’ championship juju to win Worlds
by Brian Bencomo
Since DRX won the League of Legends World Championship earlier this month at the Chase Center in San Francisco, much has been written about their epic underdog path to victory. They were the fourth of four teams from Korea, had to battle through play-ins, were on the verge of elimination multiple times and beat some great League of Legends teams and players, including the GOAT, Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok.
Their Cinderella tale has been shaped by lots of fun anecdotes and stories, highlighted by the anime-like storyline of Kim "Deft" Hyuk-kyu winning his first world championship against his old high school classmate and three-time champion Faker.
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Was it destiny? Fate? Maybe even a little Golden State Warriors championship juju?
Both teams were vying for the Summoner’s Cup at the home of the 2022 NBA champions, but only one team took full advantage of their experience at the Chase Center.
At the recent unveiling of a new facility for the Golden Guardians (the Golden State Warriors’ esports division), vice president of GSW sports ventures Kirk Lacob shared a fun story about DRX’s experience at the Chase Center.
Photo credit: Golden State Warriors
With the Warriors’ home arena in San Francisco having hosted the Worlds final this year, Lacob said both DRX and T1 got a behind-the-scenes tour of the new building, including the Warriors’ locker room. Lacob mentioned that there’s a piece of the Warriors’ old home, Oracle Arena, in the Chase Center locker room. It’s a piece of the hardwood floor from Oracle where the Warriors won a championship in 2015, their first of four in the last eight years.
“When we were building the locker room I had this thought, you know, these guys are the ones who won it, they played on this floor, I should go ask how much of it I can take and repurpose for the players and make it into a really special, spiritual championship space,” Lacob said. “And so we were able to cut a round piece out, put it right in the middle of the room and so it’s kind of like a walk of champions.”
Lacob said DRX were impressed by this.
“So I told this story when we were giving DRX a tour and we had all their starting players, a bunch of their staff there and they thought it was so cool -- they really loved the idea,” Lacob said. “And so a bunch of them actually got on their hands and knees and were touching it and saying, ‘Take its energy! Take its energy!’ And they were like, ‘This is gonna help us win the championship. We’re gonna channel this championship energy into winning a championship!’”
Photo credit: Riot Games
Lacob said T1 also received a tour but didn’t react as enthusiastically when they saw the piece of championship floor in the locker room. The next day, DRX lifted the Summoner’s Cup. It’s also worth noting that the Warriors won their first NBA championship at the Chase Center this year.
So there you have it. From Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green & Co. to Deft, Kingen, Pyosik, Zeka and Beryl, the Warriors’ championship aura is unbeaten in 2022.
Lead photo credit: DRX