After a long grind with League of Legends (LoL) season 2023, one team finally peaked at this year's World Championship.
South Korean juggernauts T1 have raised the Summoner’s Cup after sweeping Chinese powerhouse Weibo Gaming 3-0 in the Grand Finals on Sunday (19 November) at Gocheok Skydome in Seoul, South Korea.
While T1 and Weibo struggled with different challenges that both teams had throughout the year, they still made it through the grand finals after defeating the strongest teams in the World.
And on their last chance of the year to prove themselves, T1 reigned supreme in a sound 3-0 sweep.
How T1 defeated Weibo Gaming
In the first game, Weibo on Blue Side went for Aatrox top, Maokai Jungle and Jayce Mid. They then went for the Senna Tahm Kench combination in the bot lane, also banning out a lot of mid lane and Jungle champions.
Meanwhile, T1 went with Yone top, Lee Sin Jungle, Ahri mid, and Kalista-Renata Glasc in the bot lane.
Weibo tried to find wins in the early game, with Li "Xiaohu" Yuan-Hao taking first blood on Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok, but T1 kept up in the laning phase, even earning a very small gold lead against Weibo.
Weibo continued to find small wins against T1 in the laning phase, taking early kills, but T1 kept up with the pace, taking map objectives in place.
However, T1 made smart trades that kept increasing their gold lead. In a team fight at the mid lane, T1 finished Weibo in a chase that got punished by Ryu "Keria" Min-seok's Renata ult.
This allowed T1 to take the Baron and the Dragon, snowballing their lead to 8,000 and allowing them to push forward and take down inner turrets.
With Choi "Zeus" Woo-je snowballing and completing his Hullbreaker, T1 were able to split push even in bigger map objectives like the Dragon.
After a 30-minute dominant encounter and a 14-5 kill lead, T1 destroyed Weibo’s Nexus to win the first game.
In the second game, WBG remained on the blue side, retaking Aatrox and Maokai the top lane and jungle, respectively. They then took Ahri in the mid lane to deny the pick from Faker. Rounding out the composition were Kalista and Senna in the bot lane.
Meanwhile, T1 went for a very different draft, prioritising Keria Renata Glasc, and pairing it with Draven for Lee "Gumayusi" Min-hyeong to answer the Kalista threat on Weibo’s side. T1 then went off meta once again, taking Gwen in the top lane and Nocturne in the jungle.
T1 found early game kills in the laning phase, setting back Weibo’s Kang "TheShy" Seung-lok in the top lane.
Although Weibo were able to stop plenty of ganks from T1, the South Korean powerhouse were still able to find wins that allowed them to pick up an early gold lead, with most of it in Zeus’s and Gumayusi’s pockets.
Weibo continued to try to find ways to catch T1 in ganks, but T1 were able to sidestep potentially dangerous ults from the enemy.
With the combination of Faker’s Sylas stolen ultimates, Mun "Oner" Hyeon-jun’s Nocturne turning the lights out for the enemy with the Paranoia ult, and Zeus’ huge damage output, Weibo were unable to fight back or even take any more kills.
After a 29-minute encounter and a 14-1 kill lead, T1 take down Weibo’s Nexus to win the second game and take their team to match point.
In the third game, Weibo dropped Maokai priority and went for Bel’veth in the jungle, Kennen top and Azir mid. They then took Varus and Bard in the bot lane to complete the team.
Meanwhile, T1 went a bit more conservative with meta picks, going for Xayah and Rakan in the bot lane, and then taking Akali for Faker in the mid lane. They then went for Aatrox in the mid lane and Lee Sin in the jungle.
Weibo found ways to build a top lane lead with Crisp and Weiwei assisting TheShy in the top lane. After a few failed attempts to gank, T1 pulled off a successful play in the river, to get back in the game, and delay Weibo from going back to the Top lane where Zeus was trying to catch up on CS.
T1 continued to scale and outplay Weibo Gaming in all side lanes, allowing them to take all map objectives. And after a 30-minute siege, T1 destroyed Weibo Gaming’s Nexus to win the third game and the series.
With their victory, T1 have raised the Summoner’s Cup to become the LoL World Champions for 2023 and take home US$445,000.
Zeus was notably given the Most Valuable Player honours, after having snowballing on all his picks throughout the series.
Meanwhile, Weibo Gaming bow out of the competition in second place, taking home US$333,750.
Anna is a freelance writer and photographer. She is a gamer who loves RPGs and platformers and is a League of Legends geek. She's also a food enthusiast who loves a good cup of black coffee.