The reigning champion of Worlds 2018 has returned!
Both 2018 World champion Kang “TheShy” Seung-lok and the 2019 champion Liu “Crisp” Qing-Song have successfully reached the final again!
In this year’s series, Weibo Gaming and Bilibili Gaming have only competed once, in a best-of-five encounter during the LPL Spring 2023. In that contest, Bilibili Gaming won and managed to eliminate Weibo Gaming from the playoffs.
During the LPL Summer 2023, Weibo Gaming were knocked out by LNG Esports in a tight 3-2 first round defeat. However, they bounced back in the regional playoffs, defeating Top Esports and Edward Gaming to secure their place as the fourth seed in Worlds 2023.
The team progressed through the Swiss stage, sweeping aside NRG in the quarterfinals, and then winning the all-LPL semifinals, edging out Mizore 2018 runner-ups in a nail-biting 3-2 series against expectations.
Weibo Gaming’s TheShy carried the team through the Worlds 2023 semifinals against Bilibili Gaming
The inaugural match already got high tension from the start. At the first level, TheShy needed to consume all his Summoner Spells, potions, and began the lane with only a quarter of his HP.
Despite his early disadvantage, he kept wave control and was still able to apply pressure against Chen “Bin” Ze-Bin’s selected champion. After an early gank by Wei “Weiwei” Bo-Han’s Bel’Veth, TheShy capitalized and got his first kill just 11 minutes in.
In spite of his initial setbacks, TheShy was still able to take control of his lanes effectively, and he even managed to grab a kill in the first 11 minutes, thanks to a successful gank by Wei “Weiwei” Bo-Han’s Bel’Veth. This early success allowed him to exert greater influence over the team clashes, with a perfectly timed flash that saved him from Zeng “Yagao” Qi’s Syndra stun, helping him secure a double kill.
During the final key team fight, TheShy managed to successfully land an Equalizer on the opposing team’s AD carry, which cut Zhao “Elk” Jia-Hao’s Xayah’s health by half.
Ending with a 8/1/3 KDA score, TheShy contributed a whopping 23.2% of his team’s total damage, even outpacing his bot laner despite an early setback at level one.
In the second bout, however, BLG managed to stage a comeback, thanks to Yagao’s Sylas who repeatedly stole high-value ultimates from Weibo Gaming, a strategy that proved crucial in the team fights.
This was also the first time in the tournament that a full-on 2v2 ranged bot lane match – Varus and Ashe versus Caitlyn and Lux – was witnessed. Despite the defeat, TheShy kept making commendable play, and almost managed to turn the tide during a late-game base defense by securing a crucial kill on Elk’s Varus.
For the third and fourth games, he picked Graves and Quinn as top laners, resulting in one victory and one defeat. By building lethality Graves, TheShy replicated his earlier Rumble performance, ending with a perfect 6/0/2 KDA and a massive contribution of 25.9% to his team’s total damage.
In the post-match broadcast interview, he explained that he’s always looking for counters to current meta champions, hence his rationalization for picking those two characters.
The series stood at tie 2-2 and the decisive fifth game saw him playing a traditional Ornn, employed to ensure a superior late game scaling with Living Forge.
Weibo Gaming got completely wiped out 20 minutes into the game, but they managed to turn things around in just five minutes later by winning a critical fight at Baron and securing the buff.
The team focused on collecting dragons. With Kalista as part of their draft and their attention concentrated on their bot side (allowing their top laner to play weak side), they managed to secure three dragons before wrestling control of the Mountain Soul, which helped boost their team composition further.
Wang “Light” Guang-Yu was the standout player in this monumental clash. Collaborating with TheShy and Crisp, they rapidly depleted Peng “XUN” Li-Xun’s health, forcing him to use Smite but still missing the kill on the dragon.
Hostile Takeover isolated the jungler from his team at the perfect time, enabling Weibo Gaming to pick off the members one by one while securing the soul for themselves.
Playing a less dominant role this time around as Ornn, TheShy tanked damage, initiated battles, protected his teammates, and even sacrificed himself for his team, leading Weibo Gaming to a 3-2 victory in 35 minutes and a berth in the Worlds 2023 finals.
Li “Xiaohu” Yuan-Hao, who has qualified seven times for the Worlds series over his career with Royal Never Give Up, but missed it this year, has finally made it to the Worlds final. Newcomers Light and Weiwei are also stepping into their first final.
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