The battle of the Cinderella stories, NRG vs Weibo Gaming will be the first match of the 2023 Worlds Knockout Stage.
The Swiss Stage has officially concluded last Sunday, so now we know which teams are still in the run for the 2023 World Championship title: NRG, Weibo Gaming, Gen.G, Bilibili Gaming, JD Gaming, KT Rolster, LNG Esports and T1.
NRG vs Weibo Gaming Preview
The last Western team left standing, NRG now has two regions to represent. Even though the relationship between EU and NA haven’t always been the most delightful, NRG now fights for us all (please).
Palafox and his teammates made the impossible happen, breaking the 3-year hiatus for the region. NRG started out the Swiss Stage by losing to Weibo Gaming, then defeated Team Liquid with ease, struggled against MAD Lions a bit, but ultimately pushed Nisqy and co. to the brink of elimination, then 2-0-d G2 Esports out of nowhere, becoming the first and only NA (then later, Western) team to advance. Now they’ll have a chance to prove themselves again versus Weibo Gaming.
- Niship “Dhokla” Doshi
- Juan “Contractz” Arturo Garcia
- Cristian “Palafox” Palafox
- Ian “FBI” Victor Huang
- Lee “IgNar” Dong-geun
The 4th seed of the LPL are here to make their mark, following in the steps of last year’s 4th seed world champion squad, DRX. Weibo Gaming took the longest route possible to the Knockout Stage, as they qualified with 3-2 after narrowly defeating Fnatic.
Even though Weibo Gaming is a Chinese team, they play a bit slower than other representatives of the LPL. They also depend on TheShy a lot: even though the other players are perfectly capable, with Light being a great carry for the team, TheShy deals the most damage out of all 5 players, while he doesn’t get as much gold as Xiaohu and Light. But if the Korean start toplaner is doing bad, the team becomes much, much weaker.
Weibo Gaming Roster
- Kang “TheShy” Seung-lok
- Wei “Weiwei” Bo-Han
- Li “Xiaohu” Yuan-Hao
- Wang “Light”
- Liu “Crisp” Qing-Song
NRG vs Weibo Gaming Predictions
If we look at their first match, Weibo Gaming is the clear favourite in this bout. Even though TheShy didn’t pop off, the rest of Weibo Gaming delivered, with Weiwei countering the NA team’s draft with Poppy, while issuing ganks around the botlane to put Light in a commanding position.
Even though NRG lost in under 30 minutes, they have shown to be able to adapt in a Bo3, as well as preparing against those they face. If the NA team can keep TheShy in check while also getting good drafts, they should be able to surprise everyone again – just as they did against G2 Esports.
Where to watch NRG vs Weibo Gaming
The first match of the Knockout Stage will take place this Thursday at 9:00AM CEST on the official LoL Esports YouTube and Riot Games Twitch channel, as well as lolesports.com. Don’t forget to follow ESTNN all throughout the 2023 League of Legends World Championship!