DWG KIA, commonly referred to as DAMWON KIA (Korean: 담원 기아) and formerly known as DAMWON Gaming (abbr. DWG; Korean: 담원 게이밍), is a South Korean professional esports organization. Its League of Legends team competes in the LCK, the top-level league for the game in South Korea.
|Game||League of Legends|
Fortnite Battle Royale
|Founded||28 May 2017|
|Championships||1× World Championship (2020)|
2× LCK (Summer 2020, Spring 2021)
DWG won their first LCK title on 5 September 2020 after defeating DRX in the 2020 LCK summer finals. Eight weeks later on 31 October 2020, Damwon won the 2020 World Championship after a dominant run through the group and knockout stages and a 3–1 victory over Suning in the grand finals.
DAMWON Gaming was formed on 28 May 2017 by computer manufacturer Damwon after it acquired the Challengers Korea team Mirage Gaming. The team's initial roster consisted of top laner Parang, jungler Crush, mid laner TRY, bot laner BeryL, and support Hoit. Despite a strong start and the addition of mid laner CooN midway through the summer split, DAMWON Gaming finished fifth in the regular season. The roster was subsequently revamped, with Nuguri, Alive, and newcomer ShowMaker replacing Parang, BeryL, and TRY respectively. The new roster did not see much success at the 2017 LoL KeSPA Cup, and so jungler Punch and bot laner Veritas were brought in for the 2018 spring split.
During the spring regular season, BeryL briefly played for DAMWON Gaming as a substitute bot laner before swapping to support. DAMWON Gaming finished second in the regular season but lost to Ever8 Winners in the first round of playoffs. Crush, Alive, and Veritas left the team shortly afterwards, and bot laner Nuclear joined the team to fill in the bot laner position.
DAMWON Gaming dominated the summer regular season, finishing first and losing only a single series to Team BattleComics. DAMWON Gaming later qualified for the LCK after defeating Team BattleComics in the first qualifying match of the 2019 spring promotion tournament.
Rookie jungler Canyon was signed to the team prior to the 2018 LoL KeSPA Cup, which he debuted in. DAMWON Gaming was eliminated in the second round of the tournament by Griffin and ended third to fourth. Top laner Flame joined DAMWON Gaming as a substitute player after he returned to South Korea from the United States, where he competed for two years. Bot laner Aries also joined from BBQ Olivers, which DAMWON Gaming helped relegate in the aforementioned promotion tournament.
DAMWON Gaming finished fifth in the spring regular season and fourth in playoffs after losing the third-place match to Kingzone DragonX. Despite receiving praise for his performance in the regular season, Flame was never subbed in during playoffs, a decision which earned the team considerable criticism from fans.
DAMWON Gaming was one of four LCK teams that participated in Rift Rivals 2019; the LCK won the tournament after defeating China's LPL in the playoff stage. The team retained their entire roster for the summer split and finished second in the regular season and third in playoffs, losing to SKT T1 in the third round. DAMWON Gaming later defeated Kingzone DragonX in the final match of the regional finals to qualify for the play-in stage of the 2019 World Championship. This was the first time where a team qualified for both the LCK and Worlds in the same year.
DAMWON Gaming was drafted into Group D of the play-in stage, along with Turkish team Royal Youth and Brazilian team Flamengo Esports. The team finished top of their group undefeated, and later qualified for the main event after defeating Vietnamese team Lowkey Esports in one of the qualifying matches.
DAMWON Gaming was drafted into Group D of the main event as well, along with China's Invictus Gaming, North America's Team Liquid, and Taiwan's ahq eSports Club. The team once again finished top of their group, but were knocked out of the tournament by Europe's G2 Esports in the quarterfinals.
DRX (formerly Kingzone DragonX), which had introduced several rookies to its roster prior to the 2019 LoL KeSPA Cup, eliminated DAMWON Gaming from the tournament in the quarterfinals.
Despite their performance in the 2019 LoL KeSPA Cup, Damwon's roster was kept in its entirety going into the 2020 spring split. Damwon later added Jang "Ghost" Yong-jun, an AD Carry player, to their roster in February. The team finished fifth in the regular season and fourth in playoffs, falling to DRX once again in a close series. DAMWON Gaming was one of three LCK teams that participated in the 2020 Mid-Season Cup; the team did not make it out of the group stage and finished fifth to sixth.
Without making any roster changes once again, Damwon placed first in the summer regular season with only two series losses, qualifying the team for the summer finals automatically. DAMWON Gaming swept DRX in the finals and won their first LCK title on 5 September.
Coming into the 2021 season, Damwon Kia made changes to their roster by promoting one of its academy players, Kim "RangJun" Sang-joon as its midlaner, sharing the position with ShowMaker. They also replaced their star top-laner Nuguri with Kim "Khan" Dong-ha as he departed to FPX. Nonetheless, they won the 2020 KeSPA Cup on 2 January 2021, sweeping NS in the finals.
Damwon Kia ended the 2021 spring split regular season in first place with a record of 16-2. They were locked into the playoff semifinals against HLE, sweeping them and qualifying for their second LCK finals. They were met by Gen.G in the 2021 spring playoff finals on 10 April, ending the series with another sweep against their opponents. This gave Damwon their second LCK title, punching their ticket to the 2021 Mid-Season Invitational.
Damwon Kia finished their group stage with a 5-1 record with one loss against NA's Cloud9 in the 2021 Mid-Season Invitational group stage. They headed into the Rumble Stage pretty dominant, though they dropped 2 games to China's Royal Never Give Up, ending with a 8-2 record. This gave them the 1st seed heading into the playoffs and they chose Europe's MAD Lions as their semifinals opponent, managing to narrowly beat them 3-2 to lock in a spot at the 2021 Mid-Season Invitational final on 23 May, facing off against China's Royal Never Give Up, the same team they dropped two games against in the Rumble Stage. Damwon Kia ended up losing the close series with a score of 3-2, crowning China's Royal Never Give Up as the best team in the world for the first time in three years.
|DWG KIA League of Legends roster|
Lee "PoohManDu" Jeong-hyeon
|Placement||Event||Final result (W–L)|
|5th||2017 CK Summer Split||7–7|
|9th–12th||2017 KeSPA Cup||0–2 (against Jin Air Green Wings)|
|2nd||2018 CK Spring Split||11–3|
|3rd||2018 CK Spring Playoffs||1–3 (against Ever8 Winners)|
|1st||2018 CK Summer Split||13–1|
|Qualified||2019 LCK Spring Promotion||3–1 (against Team BattleComics)|
|3rd–4th||2018 KeSPA Cup||0–3 (against Griffin)|
|5th||2019 LCK Spring Split||11–7|
|4th||2019 LCK Spring Playoffs||0–3 (against Kingzone DragonX)|
|1st||Rift Rivals 2019 LCK-LPL-LMS-VCS||3–1 (against LPL)|
|2nd||2019 LCK Summer Split||13–5|
|3rd||2019 LCK Summer Playoffs||0–3 (against SKT T1)|
|1st||2019 LCK Regional Finals||12–4|
|5th–8th||2019 World Championship||1–3 (against G2 Esports)|
|5th–8th||2019 KeSPA Cup||0–2 (against DRX)|
|5th||2020 LCK Spring Split||9–9|
|4th||2020 LCK Spring Playoffs||2–3 (against DRX)|
|5th–6th||2020 Mid-Season Cup||1–2 (group stage)|
|1st||2020 LCK Summer Split||16–2|
|1st||2020 LCK Summer Playoffs||3–0 (against DRX)|
|1st||2020 World Championship||3–1 (against Suning)|
|1st||2020 KeSPA Cup ULSAN||3–0 (against Nongshim RedForce)|
|1st||2021 LCK Spring Split||16–2|
|1st||2021 LCK Spring Playoffs||3–0 (against Gen.G)|
- Kay, Megan (5 September 2020). "Damwon Gaming crowned LCK champions, secure first seed at Worlds 2020". Dot Esports. Retrieved 6 September 2020.
- Moncav, Melany (5 September 2020). "DAMWON Gaming takes four spots on LCK All-Pro team". WIN.gg. Retrieved 6 September 2020.
- Stubbs, Mike (5 September 2020). "Damwon Gaming Win The LCK Summer Split, Will Be Top Seed At Worlds". Forbes. Retrieved 6 September 2020.
- Erzberger, Tyler (31 October 2020). "DAMWON Gaming win 2020 League of Legends World Championship". ESPN. Retrieved 31 October 2020.
- Kang, Ashley (20 September 2018). "Welcome Damwon Gaming to LCK 2019". Korizon. Retrieved 6 September 2020.
- Abbas, Malcolm (20 September 2018). "DAMWON Gaming qualify for the LCK 2019 Spring Split". Dot Esports. Retrieved 11 September 2020.
- Heath, Jerome (16 December 2019). "Flame rejoins DAMWON Gaming as the team's top laner". Dot Esports. Retrieved 11 September 2020.
- Kim, Kevin (7 September 2019). "DAMWON Gaming qualifies to Worlds, Nuclear wants to beat Fnatic". Korizon. Retrieved 11 September 2020.
- Kwon, Daniel (7 September 2019). "League of Legends: DAMWON Gaming Makes History by Becoming the First Team to Qualify into LCK and Worlds in the Same Year". InvenGlobal. Retrieved 11 September 2020.
- Geracie, Nick (5 October 2019). "League of Legends: [Worlds 2019] Play-In: DAMWON Gaming qualifies for Knockout Stage". InvenGlobal. Retrieved 11 September 2020.
- "DAMWON Gaming secure 1st seed in Group D, iG and Team Liquid to fight for 2nd". VPEsports. Retrieved 11 September 2020.
- "Worlds 2019 Knockout Stage: G2 Esports defeat Damwon Gaming 3-1". ONE Esports. 29 October 2019. Retrieved 11 September 2020.
- Mukherjee, Sarjyo (22 December 2020). "DAMWON Gaming partners with KIA Motors". TalkEsport. Retrieved 23 December 2020.
|Awards and achievements|
| League of Legends World Championship winner
With: Nuguri, Canyon, Showmaker, Ghost, BeryL and Zefa (coach)
| League of Legends Champions Korea winner (2 titles)
2020 Summer – present