The 2023 World Championship has been full of surprises already, including a playoff run by underdog NRG and a total wipeout by all four LEC teams.
For the first time since 2014, there will be no European teams in the playoffs of the League of Legends World Championship. All our teams representing Europe’s top pro league, the LEC, were knocked out in the swiss stage. Two of those teams were defeated by North American side NRG, who have made a surprising run to the quarterfinals with more potentially in store.
G2, Fnatic, LEC teams drop out at 2023 Worlds
It was a stark fall for LEC teams at the 2023 Worlds event. Coming into the biggest League of Legends competition of the year, European fans had high hopes for the region’s competitors. G2 Esports and Fnatic were particularly hopeful.
Those hopes have all been dashed. G2 was shocked by North American counterpart NRG, losing in a one-sided series. The team had another shot to move on against the LPL’s BLG, but G2 once again came up short, albeit in a closer series.
It was a dramatic turn of events for G2 after starting the swiss stage with two consecutive victories. The European side had three attempts to move forward into the playoffs, but was not able to do so.
Fnatic had a bumpier road to its own exit. After narrowly avoiding elimination at the hands of Cloud9 with a 2-1 series victory, the team came up short versus Chinese side Weibo Gaming.
The other two LEC teams fared even worse. Team BDS was one of the first two sides eliminated from the tournament after having narrowly made its way into the swiss stage from the play-in matches. MAD Lions’ only victory came over BDS, otherwise losing its matches to Cloud9, NRG, and Weibo.
NRG starts playoff run at 2023 World Championship
As the LCS’ top seed, NRG had some reason to be confident coming into the 2023 World Championship, but few fans gave the team much of a chance to make the playoffs. The squad has now done exactly that.
An early loss to Weibo Gaming set NRG on the back foot, but it was smooth sailing from there. NRG defeated Team Liquid and MAD Lions to set up a deciding series versus G2 Esports. G2 was favored in the series, but NRG didn’t seem to care about the odds, stomping G2 in what might have been the most dominant series of the event.
NRG will now face Weibo Gaming in the 2023 World Championship playoffs’ quarterfinals. It’s an opportunity to avenge the team’s previous loss at the event, and to make the deepest tournament run by an LCS team since Cloud9 made the semifinals in 2018.