Dplus KIA Preview showcases a team that has three one-time Worlds winners – can Canyon, Showmaker and Deft get their second title this year?
The 2023 League of Legends World Championship returns this Thursday, with teams such as T1, Gen.G Esports, JD Gaming, Fnatic and G2 Esports joining the fray! The revamped Swiss Stage promises action-packed days of League of Legends, where every match counts, as squads with 3 wins qualify for the Knockout Stage, while those with 3 losses must return home. Among the Worlds teams is Dplus KIA, the winners of the 2020 World Championship who armed themselves with last year’s star, Deft. Can the former DAMWON get their second title?
Dplus KIA Preview
Dplus KIA Team History
First known as DAMWON Gaming, they joined the 2nd division of the Korean Circuit, the CK in 2017. Initially, the squad of Parang, Crush, TRY, CooN, BeryL and Hoit couldn’t make a splash, but after signing Showmaker, Nuguri, Alive, Punch, Veritas and Nuclear, they qualified for the LCK after winning the 2018 Summer CK.
While their first season in the big league didn’t put them on the top, they made it to the playoffs. Before summer, they swapped some players around, and after they settled on the team of Nuguri, Canyon, ShowMaker, Nuclear and BeryL, they managed to make it to their first World Championship. While they didn’t win, they managed to make it to the top 8 which was a huge achievement for such a new team.
In 2020, they signed ADC Ghost after Nuclear got benched, but they couldn’t replicate their success in the Spring. Everything changed when the Summer Split rolled around, as DAMWON stepped their game up immensely. After an almost perfect regular season, they won the Playoffs, then went on to win their first ever World Championship title after beating Suning 3-1 in the finals!
They continued to be a menace even after the departure of Nuguri and the arrival of Khan, winning 2 LEC titles and makint it to the finals of both the 2021 Mid-Season Invitational and the World Championship, something that only a few teams were capable of. However, after Ghost and BeryL left the team, they slowed down a bit, only finishing 4th in the 2022 Summer LCK season, and failing to make it past the quarterfinals of last year’s Worlds.
This year, under the name Dplus KIA, Showmaker and his team struggled quite a bit. While they were always around the top teams, they never managed to beat them, making it to playoffs by defeating weaker squads. They also couldn’t manage to win a single Bo5 up until the LCK 2023 Regional Finals. But they delivered when it was needed, beating Hanwha Life Esports for the last Korean spot of Worlds.
Dplus KIA Roster
- Kim “Canna” Chang-dong
- Kim “Canyon” Geon-bu
- Heo “ShowMaker” Su
- Kim “Deft” Hyuk-kyu
- Kim “Kellin” Hyeong-gyu
Dplus KIA Playstyle
Dplus KIA is a team that finds a lot of success in the early game and can get convincing victories out of them, but sometimes they just can’t find the breakthrough they need. They are a very Dragon-focused team, having the best Soul% of all teams in the world at the Summer Season.
They are a proper Korean squad, with a quiet early game in terms of fights and a slow and controlled style. They don’t try to force Heralds to get wins, focusing on Drakes as mentioned above to better prepare for the later stages of a game. However, they are not necessarily better in the lategame, as their wins and losses take around the same time.
They have two standout players: Deft and Canyon. Canyon is responsible for all of Dplus KIA’S early game, as he gets huge gold and XP leads – but doesn’t help his team out that much. The little attention Canyon gives to his team goes to Deft, who was first in almost every stat in the LCK Summer Regular Season and Playoffs, and he was 2nd in GD@14, which proves just how dominant he is – especially in teamfights. ShowMaker is another player to keep an eye on, as his Neeko prompted bans in 30 games out of 51 that Dplus KIA played in the Summer. It is also a flex pick with Canyon, who is one of the few players that play Neeko jungle, and could whip her out as a pocket pick at Worlds as well.
While Dplus KIA has some issues and haven’t really proved itself in the LCK, they have another chance at Worlds. Last year, Deft did the impossible with DRX, and there’s nothing to stop him from doing it again with Dplus KIA!