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League of Legends

T1 Demolish Weibo Gaming to Win Worlds 2023, Faker’s Fourth World Championship

Zakaria Almughrabi

The 2023 League of Legends World Championship has come to a close. In one of the most one-sided Grand Finals ever, T1 stomped Weibo Gaming 3-0 to claim the Worlds 2023 title. While the score sheet points to a straightforward and unexciting conclusion to the season, the games themselves were packed with action. Additionally, the storyline of T1 running through every single LPL team for the trophy after narrowly missing last year’s is the proverbial bow on top of this roster’s journey.

T1 Win Worlds 2023

Image Credit Riot Games | Colin Young-Wolff

Shaky Start, Confident Finish

Game one of the Worlds 2023 Finals was a roller coaster for T1. Their team composition consisted of early game power in the jungle and bot lane. Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok was on a utility Ahri pick while Choi “Zeus” Woo-je had scaling power on Yone. T1 wanted to get Zeus ahead of the curve early, letting bot lane push 2v2 while the focus was placed on top side.

Early skirmishes went back and forth with Weibo doing some great neutralization of T1’s aggression. The gold score was nearly even at 18 minutes, which was a great sign for Weibo who had stronger scaling with Senna, Maokai, and Jayce. T1 knew they had to keep forcing, and they would try again in the mid lane. While Li “Xiaohu” Yuan-Hao escaped by the skin of his teeth, the same could not be said of the rest of Weibo who fell in the Dragon Pit.

Later at 21 minutes in, Weibo thought they had a catch onto T1’s ADC. Instead, Lee “Gumayusi” Min-hyeong and Ryu “Keria” Min-seok kited amazingly to funnel WBG into a meat grinder. From there, T1 took a commanding lead. They accrued a huge gold and objective lead, earning a Cloud Soul to boot. Zeus’s Yone hit four items by the time T1 claimed their second Baron. He then solo killed Kang “TheShy” Seung-lok’s Aatrox under the mid Inhibitor Tower while the rest of T1 ended through top lane for a 30-minute win.

Asserting Dominance

For game two, Weibo’s main draft adaptation was taking away Kalista from Gumayusi. T1 then responded with and instant Draven Renata lane to keep the pressure up. Faker got Sylas through with a Maokai ultimate to steal. Lastly, a Nocturne and Gwen dive duo was locked for jungle and top. This was Zeus’s second straight game with a counterpick matchup against Aatrox.

T1 once again targeted top side early on. While TheShy managed a great gank avoidance at 7 minutes in, he then subsequently ran into Zeus to feed him first blood. T1 knew that the top laner was now flashless, so Mun “Oner” Hyeon-jun ran bot lane and killed him again on his respawn. Better yet for T1, the kill went to Gumayusi’s Draven, cashing him out.

At the same time, Zeus played an even tougher 1v4 situation to perfection, dodging death and getting executed without giving any gold over. T1’s 2k gold lead continued to balloon. Weibo could do nothing as T1 ran them down with a superior composition over and over. The final attempt at a turn by WBG was thwarted when Gumayusi and Keria dodged Crisp and Xiaohu’s engage in the mid lane. Following that decisive fight from T1, they once again controlled the game flawlessly for a 29-minute victory.

Faker Gets His Flowers

Weibo’s final attempt at a draft started with dropping the Azir target ban and giving it to Xiaohu. They replaced it with Renata, whom Keria had piloted to great success. T1’s response was the classic Xayah Rakan duo. They also chose Akali for Faker, a flashy champion to contrast Faker’s more low-key performance in the first two games. Lee Sin and Aatrox rounded out T1’s draft.

Much like game one, Weibo actually did a good job answering T1’s aggression early on. They got kills on both Zeus and Oner in the top lane and earned a 1.3k gold lead by 11 minutes. T1 once again had to keep forcing fights with their early game comp. A couple of exchanges went in their favor, bringing the total gold within sneezing distance. At the 18-minute mark with Soul Point on the table, Keria found his Rakan flash engage which Faker promptly followed up on with a triple kill.

From that point, Weibo would not get another kill in the finals. T1’s comp now had enough of a lead to steamroll through their opposition. A top lane fight led into Baron, which led to the final execution in Weibo’s red jungle. In just 25 minutes, T1 cleaned up game three and secured the organization’s fourth League of Legends World Championship.

The End of the Ride (?)

This T1 roster has been through it all. They’ve seen the highs of an LCK title, countless international appearances, and a Worlds trophy, and the lows of three consecutive LCK finals losses and a Worlds finals loss. These past two years have been a hell of a ride for one of the most beloved rosters in esports. Not only is Faker incredibly deserving of his fourth Worlds title, the rest of the squad is just as deserving of their first.

The future is still uncertain for this iteration of T1. Salary cap is coming next season, and there’s no guarantee that they can keep this roster together into 2024. Even if they do break up, this will always be their crowning achievement. And if they can keep the band together, we might be seeing more of T1 at the top very soon.