The time has come for another team to become immortalised in the history books - it’s officially League of Legends World Championship (Worlds) season. Jack Stewart looks at the participating teams and their chances of winning.
As always, the League of Legends World Championship promises to be unpredictable and full of entertainment. Victory is never guaranteed at this level, it’s why we all struggle with Riot Games’ Pick’Ems every year.
Unsurprisingly, teams from China’s LPL and South Korea’s LCK are the heavy favourites to lift the Summoner’s Cup, but you never know. Perhaps players will be left fatigued from competing at the Asian Games, especially Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok with his wrist injury, creating a huge opportunity for the LEC and LCS representatives.
Anyway, to help you prepare for the biggest esports event of the year, here’s a look at the Outright odds of the major region teams that will be competing for the trophy.
Silver Stakes - League of Legends World Championship 2023
During the Swiss Stage and knockout rounds of Worlds, Pinnacle will be running the Silver Stakes Esports competition. There will be four rounds, where your bets on pre-game and live matches of Worlds 2023 will generate points towards the Silver Stakes leaderboards. Winning any of these rounds will grant the winner $1,000. There will also be a much larger leaderboard that you can collect points for across the four rounds. The winner of this leaderboard will earn a $25,000 bet on the final match of Worlds!
- Find more information here: Silver Stakes
League of Legends World Championship – Tournament Information
The League of Legends World Championship 2023 is the biggest League of Legends tournament of the year. Twenty-two teams from across the world, representing their regional leagues, will travel to South Korea for their shot at lifting the Summoner’s Cup.
The tournament is split into three different stages: the Play-Ins, the Swiss Stage, and the Knockout Stage. In the Play-Ins, there are two spots for the Swiss Stage up for grabs, and then eight teams from the Swiss Stage will progress to the Knockout Stage.
When is the League of Legends World Championship taking place?
Worlds will take place between October 10 and November 19. There won’t be games every day in this period, as they will mostly be played over the weekends.
- Play-In Rounds: TBA
- Swiss: October 19 - 23 and October 26 - 29
- Knockout Stage: November 2 – 5 and November 11 - 12
- Grand Final: November 19
Where is the League of Legends World Championship being held?
The tournament will take place in South Korea in Seoul and Busan, spread across four different venues. The Play-Ins will be held at LoL Park, the Swiss Stage at KBS Arena, and the Quarterfinals and Semifinals at the Sajik Arena. The World Final will be played in the massive Gocheok Sky Dome, which is normally dedicated to baseball.
Who will win LoL Worlds 2023?
The current favourites to win the League of Legends World Championship 2023 are JD Gaming at 1.917*, who already won both LPL splits and MSI this year.
Analysing the teams at Worlds 2023
Get ready to hear this phrase over and over again throughout the next month…
“The Golden Road.”
In League of Legends, the Golden Road is when a team wins every competition during a single season. Essentially, this means winning your region’s Spring and Summer Playoffs, the Mid-Season Invitational, and Worlds.
LPL champions JD Gaming (JDG) could become the first team to ever pull off the spectacular feat - yes, even the legendary rosters of T1 surprisingly weren’t able to accomplish this.
Considering JDG’s domination this year, it’s not surprising to see them as the favourites to become world champions. However, they aren’t unshakeable. Recently, in the LPL Summer Playoff Finals, China’s third seeds LNG Esports pushed JDG to the limit in a tense five-game series.
Additionally, if you like reading into regular season results, fourth seeds Weibo Gaming have won both of their series against JDG this year. When you have a glass cannon like Kang "TheShy" Seung-lok on your team, you always have a chance of going all the way - at 9.880 they could be an excellent outside pick.
That just leaves second seeds Bilibili Gaming, who proved themselves on the international stage with their spectacular lower bracket run at MSI, in which they defeated both LCK representatives to reach the final earlier this year.
Throughout the year, we’ve wondered if the new LEC format can bring international glory back to Europe. Now, it’s time to finally get an answer.
It’s no secret that European teams have struggled on the big stage in recent years. The 2019 iteration of G2 Esports that won MSI feels like a distant dream. However, the organisation has been working hard to recapture that magic, and shouldn’t be underestimated.
When you look at every player from across the top leagues this summer, G2’s Bot Lane duo have dominated. Steven “Hans Sama” Liv and Mihael “Mikyx” Mehle have the highest average kills (6.3) and highest average assists (13.6), respectively.
Of course, those stats have to be put into context. They played fewer games against weaker opponents than their LPL and LCK counterparts. Still, it speaks to G2’s dominance this year. On top of the Bot duo’s consistency, Top Laner Sergen "BrokenBlade" Çelik has stepped up as a carry, Martin "Yike" Sundelin has had a sensational debut year, and Rasmus “Caps” Borregaard Winther was back to his monstrous best in the grand final.
We could be witnessing the return of the G2 that everybody feared.
Elsewhere, Fnatic have withstood a turbulent year to scrap their way to the Worlds stage with their reworked roster. While Martin “Wunder” Hansen was fantastic during the playoffs after stepping in for the injured rookie Óscar "Oscarinin" Muñoz Jiménez, the uncertainty surrounding the position means that there are concerns about the team’s level of preparation for the big tournament.
As for MAD Lions, they’ve consistently been in and around the top of the LEC - they won Spring, and attended MSI. However, the team haven’t been able to maintain the extremely high level of performance that they’re capable of.
MAD have historically struggled at big tournaments, but if everything clicks, they could cause an upset or two.
A quick mention needs to go out to Team BDS, who will compete with Golden Guardians for the final spot in the Play-Ins. BDS have shocked everyone this year with their excellent team play, but have consistently fallen at the final hurdle in multiple Game 5s.
The LCS has been shaken to its very core following the surprise triumph of NRG in the Summer Playoffs. It was one of the biggest upsets the region has ever seen, as the North American league was won by a roster actually made up of mostly North American talent.
It’s great news for the region, but the unexpected nature of their victory makes it hard to predict how they’ll stack up internationally. It’s why, despite being second seeds, Cloud9 have better odds, backed up by the organisation and its players’ international experience.
There’s no doubt that expectations are low for the NA teams this year, even though Team Liquid have a reigning World Champion on their roster in Hong "Pyosik" Chang-hyeon.
However, one place where an NA team is actually favoured is in the Worlds Qualifying Series, where Golden Guardians will face BDS. Golden Guardians played at MSI earlier this year, which should give them an edge over this inexperienced BDS roster. Still, expect that series to be breathtakingly close.
Finally, we have the LCK - the region that produced both of last year’s finalists.
After dominating the global League of Legends scene for many years, the region now has true competition, as their LPL rivals once again overtook them at MSI earlier this year. The LCK will be desperate to return to the top, especially in front of a home crowd on Korean soil.
You can never count out Korea’s second seeds T1. They took favourites JDG to five games at MSI, and were last year’s Worlds runners-up with the same roster.
However, they were outclassed in every way by the impressive Gen.G during the LCK finals. AD Carry Kim "Peyz" Su-hwan recorded a ridiculous combined KDA of 34/3/16 during the 3-0 win that secured the organisation’s third consecutive domestic title.
There has been a lot of talk about JDG’s Golden Road, but Gen.G very well could be the team who kill that dream.
Meanwhile, KT Rolster have returned to the international stage for the first time since 2018. During the playoffs, they pushed T1 all the way to five games in an instant classic, with the final game featuring THREE Baron steals. This is another squad that seriously should be looked at as possible dark horses for the championship.
Finally, we have Dplus KIA. They may be fourth seeds, but when you have the legendary Mid/Jungle duo of Kim "Canyon" Geon-bu and Heo "ShowMaker" Su, you always have a chance at the silverware. Not to mention the fact that they’re backed up by iconic Bot Laner Kim "Deft" Hyuk-kyu.
*Odds are subject to change