LCK & LPL Teams Are in Impeccable Form at MSI 2023

Sadakshi Kalyan Ramun
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The Korean and Chinese teams at MSI 2023 have been extremely dominant, with most series against the West looking lopsided.
Here’s all you need to know about the Eastern dominance at MSI 2023 and how the matchups are looking.

League of Legends Mid-Season Invitational (MSI) 2023 is underway and the bracket stage’s round 1 is almost complete. Bilibili Gaming, G2 Esports, and Golden Guardians emerged with tickets to the Bracket Stage after a strong showing in the Play-In. The three joined Gen.G, T1, JD Gaming, Cloud9, and MAD Lions in the Bracket stage of MSI 2023. The biggest headline at this international tournament seems to be the gap between the Eastern and Western teams.

Right after the draw, fans predicted that it would be a disaster for the League of Legends EMEA [Europe, Middle East, and Africa] Championship (LEC) and League of Legends Championship Series (LCS) representatives given that they will have to go up against some of the favorites for the event in the very first round. 

As feared, with every passing best-of-series, the difference in playstyle between the East and the West is apparent and the gap keeps widening further.

Here’s how the teams from Korea and China have been performing against the LEC and LCS teams at MSI 2023.

LCK and LPL teams dominate MSI 2023 Bracket Stage

Firstly, the following are the eastern and western teams in attendance at MSI 2023:

  • T1: LCK [League of Legends Champions Korea]

  • Gen.G: LCK

  • Bilbili Gaming: LPL [League of Legends Pro League]

  • JD Gaming: LPL

  • G2 Esports: LEC

  • MAD Lions: LEC

  • Cloud9: LCS

  • Golden Guardians: LCS

While G2 Esports and Golden Guardians won matches and series in the opening stage of MSI 2023, it proved difficult for these teams to continue their winning momentum against the eastern giants. G2 Esports lost to Gen.G in the first series of the Bracket Stage of MSI 2023 with a 3-1 scoreline. 

The other LEC representative MAD Lions also stood no chance against its Korean counterpart T1 as it lost the series 3-0. In fact, the third game lasted only 16 minutes and 50 seconds, making it the second-fastest game in international League of Legends esports history. The fastest one was the MSI 2019 series between SK Telecom T1 (SKT T1) and Invictus Gaming (IG) where IG won in 16:01 minutes.

On the third day of the bracket stage, Cloud9 faced Bilibili Gaming (BLG), which was also a very one-sided series favoring the LPL team. In fact, BLG won against Cloud9 with a 3-0 score yet again, making it loud and clear that the eastern teams are here to play. 

However, one should not look past the brief but great plays and teamwork that the teams from the LEC and LCS showed. While the games, on paper, look like complete stomps, G2 Esports, Cloud9, and MAD Lions had their share of in-game dominances, but in flashes. 

Talking about the difference in playstyles, League of Legends personality and former coach Nick "LS" De Cesare opined, “You won’t beat LCK/LPL by playing early game or ‘standard’ champions. You’ll beat them by playing scaling & stripping them of their muscle memory by playing ‘unconventional’ things by doing proper analysis of lol champions & comps, but this will never happen, so enjoy the poundings.

Notably, the dominance of Korean and Chinese teams in League of Legends esports is not something new. Every international tournament, both MSI and Worlds, showcase the elevated level of play and brilliance that these teams bring to the table. From reading the meta to playstyle differences, team compositions, and in-game team fighting, the Eastern teams have always had the upper hand. 

While the score between East vs West in the first round of bracket play at MSI 2023 is 3-0 favoring the LCK and LPL, Golden Guardians has one final chance today on 12th May to bring a victory for the west. Following this match, almost all the matchups in the next round will feature inter-regional series.

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Sadakshi has been a gamer throughout her life and has followed League of Legends since Season 3, immediately falling in love with the esports scene. Bringing in her print journalism experience, she focuses on content that is both informative and innovative. While her heart still remains with League, her love for competition has pushed her to explore other titles such as Valorant and Apex Legends.

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