Weibo Gaming Preview showcases a team that should’ve done better this year but has a chance to right their wrongs.
16 teams will enter, but only 8 will be left standing in the Swiss Stage of the 2023 League of Legends World Championship. The best North American, South-Korean, Chinese and EMEA – and by winning some incredible matches, the number 1 seed of the VCS, GAM Esports will start their journey towards the Playoffs on Thursday.
The 4th seed of the LPL, Weibo Gaming has made it to Worlds for the first time since their rebranding from Suning, surprising everyone after knocking out Edward Gaming in the Regional Finals. Can TheShy and his comrades keep up the momentum, or will they be a one hit wonder?
Weibo Gaming Preview
Weibo Gaming Team History
Weibo Gaming was created back in 2021, when Suning, the runner-up of the 2020 LoL World Championship rebranded. They kept their roster at first but started to change things up before the start of the 2022 Spring Split. The org signed Invictus Gaming’s world champion toplaner, TheShy, while also signing SwordArt, who was also part of the legendary Suning run.
The first year for Weibo Gaming was not outstanding, but not bad by any rights. They finished in the top 6 in both the Spring Regular Season and Playoffs, but fell back down a bit in the Summer.
In the 2022/2023 off-season, they won their own Weibo Cup, beating Bilibili Gaming in the finals 3-1. Afterwards, they were supposed to be a top contender as they signed Karsa, Xiaohu, Light and Crisp to play alongside TheShy, but couldn’t deliver in either the Spring or the Summer Split, settling for the 5-6th place in both Playoffs. They tried swapping out their jungler, signing Weiwei instead of Karsa, but the new player didn’t elevate them to new heights.
They came out of left field at the LPL 2023 Regional Finals, where they defeated Top Esports 3-1 in the first round of the Lower Bracket, then went on to beat Edward Gaming 3-1 to snatch the last LPL spot for Worlds. They knocked out a former Worlds winning team, proving that there’s more to Weibo gaming than it would first seem.
Weibo Gaming Roster
- Kang “TheShy” Seung-lok
- Wei “Weiwei” Bo-Han
- Li “Xiaohu” Yuan-Hao
- Wang “Light” Guang-Yu
- Liu “Crisp” Qing-Song
Weibo Gaming Playstyle
TheShy returns to Worlds after 2019, trying to win it all again. The Weibo Gaming superteam didn’t live up to expectations, but that doesn’t mean that they are not a strong team. They have loads of international experience, as even their substitute, Karsa has played at Worlds 6 times and the MSI 3 times, while also winning an MSI.
The early game is where Weibo Gaming shines, as they get a lot of turret plates and then the first turret, being second in FT% in the Summer LPL. They have unusually good statistics for a team that finished 6th in both the regular season and the playoffs, but there’s a reason why they managed to get to Worlds. Their early gold mostly goes to Xiaohu, but the rest of the team also gets a share, so they can scale for the lategame better.
While they have a good early, it’s not because of fighting: they are slower than a typical LPL team, playing for objectives and macro plays. They don’t take a lot of kills, but they don’t give up much either, trying to pivot into the midgame. This means that they don’t really have a play for the first Drakes of the match, and their First Herald is also bad compared to other Worlds teams.
They shifted their playstyle in the Regional Finals, focusing more on the botlane – and of course, Xiaohu. They also became faster, shaving off 3 minutes of their average win time and also losing faster. This means they won and lost more decisively, giving less time for their opponents to bounce back, but also not coming back from behind that often. They also became more aggressive from time to time, but still not as much as other teams. Other than Xiaohu, TheShy and Light are the carries of the team. Light really stepped his game up during the Regional Finals, even though the team’s matches got shorter.
Weibo Gaming can be a bit coinflippy, either winning fast or losing fast, sometimes completely disregarding any lead they generated during the early game. That being said, they are an incredibly explosive team, finding wins in matches against stronger teams as they did in the Regional Finals. They also have some great talent, and TheShy might lead his teammates to victory once more – first, against the LCS’s 1st seed, NRG Esports.