MSI 2023 Preview: JDG

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MSI 2023 Preview: JDG

London’s MSI 2023 is the next target for the newest LPL dynasty.

There have been many organizations like EDG and RNG that made their marks in the LPL in the past. Lately, the new rising organization has been JD Gaming. Not strangers to the top, JDG has been on the rise after a couple of years of mediocrity and they won their first title since LPL 2020 Spring just last Summer. Unsatisfied with their result at Worlds 2022, JDG made some massive moves during the offseason, bringing two big names in knight and Ruler.

Properly a superteam now, JDG’s eventual victory in the 2023 Spring was seen as a guarantee. They managed to win their back-to-back titles in the end, but the road to get there was harder than anticipated. With EDG and LNG challenging them in the regular season and OMG and BLG making incredible runs in the playoffs, there were some moments people thought maybe they would lose. JDG’s star power and team play prevailed ultimately, which is exactly what makes them the biggest favorites coming into the Mid-Season Invitational.

As the LPL 1st seed, JDG will be skipping the Play-in stage. They are starting their journey directly in the Bracket Stage, which will begin on May 9. The first opponent and the bracket draw for JDG will be done after the Play-ins end. You can follow JDG's run and the full event schedule via our MSI schedule article.

Everything a team needs in a single bag

If LPL is known for one thing worldwide it is the aggression and the constant fistfighting. JDG is a bit of an outlier when it comes to this. They aren’t one of those teams that never saw a fight they didn’t like such as OMG, they play a much slower macro-oriented game. Of course, this doesn’t mean they won’t take advantage when other teams give them an opportunity in the early game. Kanavi and knight love to play the meta mid-jungle duos like Wukong/Ahri or Lee Sin/Syndra. These champions excel at early river skirmishes and the players piloting them are some of the best in the world. Just because JDG might not be the most aggressive team doesn’t mean they won’t proactively push for leads.

Even when JDG is not ahead, they still know how to control games. Both the team and players know how to play around the objectives on the map. JDG showed this best during the LPL Finals against BLG. During Game 4, JDG had a decent gold lead going into the late game, but they were against a strong split pusher in Bin’s Fiora. Any other team probably would have to give up some part of their base to gain advantages on the other side of the Rift, but 369 played the situation great and nearly nullified his opponent’s impact. 369’s massive performance throughout the series was also great news for JDG. Generally known to be a coinflip player, 369 showed that he was in form coming into the MSI 2023 and could hold his own against one of the best carry tops in the world, even if he is stuck on tank duty most of the time.

Aside from their incredible team play, JDG also has one of the most stacked rosters in the event. 369, Kanavi and Missing are all top players in their roles, and then there are knight and Ruler. These two players have been nothing short of great this season. Knight is one of the most flexible mid laners playing the game. He has games on 17 different champions this split, from Syndra to Lee Sin. He can get advantages in lane, can roam for his teammates or can carry games in later stages. Although knight has an unfortunate history on the international stage, not a lot of weaknesses for him at the moment. Ruler on the other hand is still proving he is one of the best ever to do it, winning the LPL in his first split along with the Finals MVP. He had the best K/DA among all players who played 25+ games in MSI qualifying leagues, with a staggering 8.8.

JDG roster and players to watch

  • Top lane: Bai “369”  Jia-Hao
  • Jungle: Seo “Kanavi” Jin-hyeok
  • Mid lane: Zhuo “knight” Ding
  • Bot lane: Park “Ruler” Jae-hyuk
  • Support: Lou “Missing” Yun-Feng

Even though JDG is probably the most stacked team attending this MSI, it’s not hard to look at the roster and see who their carries are. It’s hard to imagine a team with Ruler and knight, but they aren’t the stars of the show. Not to say don’t expect any special performances or big games from the other JDG players, but this team generally wins through their two traditional carry roles.

For more of our coverage during MSI 2023, follow us on ESTNN.

MSI 2023 Preview: JDG
Rohat Dicle Kılınç
Rohat is a writer mainly focused on the League of Legends esports scene, and an LCS hopeful.