It all comes down to one final series: T1 and WBG will face off in the grand finals of the LoL 2023 World Championship (Worlds). On the one hand, there is the rising underdog WBG, who defied all odds and made it to the finals. On the other hand, T1 and the Unkillable Demon King Faker are back on the big stage a year after their loss to DRX.
As this is the final series of the 2023 LoL season, we will conduct a more in-depth analysis of what could unfold during the drafts to find out who is the favorite to win the World Championship.
Make sure you don’t miss this epic game Sunday, November 19th at 5:00 p.m. KST (9:00 a.m. CET, 3:00 p.m. ET).
Worlds 2023 – WBG vs. T1 – Grand Finals
Will T1 take revenge at the 2022 World Cup or will WBG dash the hopes of Korean fans again? – With many important headlines and matchups to consider, let’s delve deeper into the game and see what we can expect in this series.
WBG – TheShy is back! He is back!
The fourth seeded team strikes again. Following DRX’s incredible success at last year’s World Championship, WBG is the second No. 4 seed to make it to the grand final of a World Championship. Although their run wasn’t as long as DRX’s, it’s still an incredible achievement from a team that has been consistently doubted.
We’ve already mentioned in our Worlds Power Rankings that WBG has the potential to be a top team, but it just didn’t quite click coming into Worlds. Well, they decided to do it at the most important moment of the season and found new and creative draft strategies to turn things in their favor. Additionally, players have continued to improve throughout the tournament, making WBG look very different right from the start.
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Much of the credit goes to head coach Daeny, who has done an incredible job since joining WBG before the start of the Summer Split. In less than half a year, he turned a mid-sized LPL team into a world finalist. And the draft preparation shown in the series against BLG is probably one of the best proofs of his work.
He took full advantage of TheShy’s strengths to create new opportunities for his own team. From the Rumble pick in Game 1 to the Graves pick in Game 3 to the game plan change in Game 5, he was able to get the most out of the drafts. If WBG had played like they had up to that point, BLG probably would have dominated them. Instead, WBG reinvented itself in the final week of preparation, pulling off the upset win and securing a ticket to Seoul this weekend.
Now they are the last LPL team standing, and they will face perhaps the toughest opponent they have ever faced this entire season: T1. Not just because it’s the other finalist, but also because this is possibly the strongest version of T1 we’ve ever seen this year.
T1 – Will the inheritance be extended?
All roads lead to Faker, they say. I’m glad we have such a player representing the LoL esports scene: from his mechanics, his ambition to his manners, he is probably the best role model of a player we will ever see.
I still can’t believe that Faker has been relevant for over 10 years and is heading to the top of the world again in 2023. He didn’t succeed last time due to skill and the rise of DRX, but the gods gave him a second chance. An opportunity that arose under much tougher conditions after he even had to sit out due to serious bodily harm. T1 took the risk of benching him knowing full well they could miss the LCK playoffs and World Cup qualification. Yet here we are, three months later, and the GOAT mid laner is just one game away from his fourth title.
Although everyone knew the game against JDG was going to be tough, T1 showed incredible performances across the board on the day. From Zeus’ Yone to Keria’s Bard, Oner’s engagements, Gumayusi’s insane kiting to Faker’s incredible Azir plays, everyone on T1 delivered their best. Maybe it was the support of the home crowd or the pressure of being the last LCK team standing at the World Cup, we’re not sure. What we do know is that this T1 squad is doing better than ever this year, even more so than last year.
While things are looking good for T1, let’s not forget what happened last year and that surprises always come when you don’t expect them. Has T1 learned their lesson and will they finally get their hands on the title? Let’s delve deeper into game analysis.
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T1 vs WBG Worlds Finals Predictions
Before we delve into who is the favorite to win the final, two key takeaways from the knockout phase are worth mentioning. Firstly, there doesn’t seem to be as much of a discrepancy in the Reds and Blues’ team selection as there was in the early stages of the tournament.
The second is the shift once again from melee support supports to ranged support supports, similar to what the bot lane meta dictated in last year’s Worlds. Both WBG and T1 were among the first to pull off this meta-reading, with WBG already using Renata Glasc on the Swiss stage.
T1 in particular was the first to bring back the Double Marksmen bot laners, a key point that was relevant in the series between T1 and JDG. Since the Chinese team knew that T1 had prepared these combos, they had to select them preemptively so as not to let T1 into a comfortable position on the bottom row. However, it was clear that JDG had not yet perfected this style of play.
WBG only had one game with a sniper (Crisp vs. Ashe), but this bot lane draft priority will likely dictate the rest of the map, both in champion select and in-game. The most affected matchup in particular will be top lane, which WBG used to their advantage in the series against BLG.
TheShy is known as an aggressive top laner and is always looking for favorable matchups to gain a significant lead early on. He did it against Bin and it will probably happen again in the final. Zeus doesn’t have to come out on top as long as he can neutralize TheShy. Picks like Rumble, Jayce and Aatrox will be controversial, but I expect more “tech” to come out for the final series. It will be a crucial matchup, especially for WBG, considering that T1’s bot lane currently looks unbeatable.
The Jungle-Mid duo had greater importance in the mid-game battles, as they can set up the team’s success with well-executed plays. Based on what we’ve seen so far, Oner and Faker definitely seemed more connected, but Xiaohu and Weiwei have made huge strides compared to the beginning. If they can keep up, we’re going to have one hell of a series ahead of us.
WBG’s decision to go blue during the Toin Coss makes me think they will willingly sacrifice the bottom lane matchup and try to bypass TheShy. It should help them during the draft phase as they can lock out champions and get the crucial B1 pick.
However, this game is still in T1’s favor as they looked unbeatable throughout the knockout round. I felt like the series against JDG could have been five games, but the meta seems to be too good for the Korean team.
Just like Zeus in his post-game interview after the JDG series, I think it will be a 3-1 record for the Korean team. If WBG can somehow find new picks to counter T1, there is a possibility of a really close match, but a lot of stars will have to come together, including the drafting phase, which for me is the main key that will decide the entire match.
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