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How Faker Just Keeps Winning

22 teams traveled to South Korea to compete in the 2023 League of Legends World Championship. Five and a half weeks later, only two remain.

On Sunday, November 18 at 3:00pm KST, T1 and Weibo Gaming will clash in front of a sold out crowd at Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul, South Korea. WBG, the 4th seed from China’s League of Legends Pro League, has hit its stride in the knockout stage at Worlds 2023 with a clean sweep of North America’s 1st seed NRG and a nailbiter win over LPL 2nd seed Bilibili Gaming 3-2 last weekend to qualify for the finals. T1, the 2nd seed from League of Legends Champions Korea, has been the last hope for the home crowd and is entering the finals off of back-to-back wins against LPL teams in its knockout stage matches (3rd seed LNG Esports, 3-0; 1st seed JD Gaming, 3-1).

T1 was the final victim in DRX’s miracle run through the 2022 World Championship, but this year, that won’t be the case. T1 will beat Weibo Gaming, and Faker will lift the Summoner’s Cup for an unprecedented fourth time.

Shades of DRX

Weibo Gaming’s run throughout Worlds 2023 has been impressive, especially since they started off on relatively shaky footing. WBG was universally considered the best matchup for League Championship Series 1st seed NRG Esports after a shaky swiss stage, and while consistency is still not a point of strength for the squad, its undeniable that both the team and its individual players have continued to play closer to their sky-high ceiling deeper into the tournament. Due to their unlikely run as the 4th seed from a region in the East, WBG has drawn comparisons to Worlds 2022 champion DRX, but there area a few key factors in DRX’s run that differ crucially from Weibo’s hopes at a victory over T1.

When DRX powered up throughout Worlds 2022, it was led by the best individual performance ever on the international stage courtesy of mid laner Kim "Zeka" Geon-woo. While every member of WBG has stepped up at one time or another, no one has been able to do it on a consistent basis.

It was DRX who was best in class with the innovation of ranged supports like Heimerdinger, Ashe, and Lux throughout Worlds 2022. At Worlds 2023, it was T1 support Ryu “Keria” Min-seok flipped the support meta on its ear with a single Ashe pick, and T1 has been superior to every other team in the tournament in properly utilizing their innovation of ranged supports paired with lane bully marksmen in place of picks that were popular earlier on in the tournament like Xayah and Kai’Sa.

Furthermore, Weibo has gotten to the Worlds 2023 final without facing a single Korean team. T1, on the other hand, has faced the other 3 LPL teams in previous weeks, two of them in their last two bouts.

This is all before factoring in that T1, who boasts the same roster as last year, is in superior form when compared to their performance at Worlds 2022 against DRX.

Faker Worlds 2023 Finals promo

A Weibo Gaming win is not out of the question. Top laner has had some transcendent performances, and mid laner is due for some redemption after what has been the worst international performance of his career.

However, odds point towards T1 exorcising their DRX demons from last year and winning their fourth World Championship as an organization — an achievement that would eliminate any shadow of a doubt that Faker’s claim to the title of greatest player in League of Legends esports history will never be topped.