In the wake of G2 eSports’ decisive triumph over Fnatic at the LEC 2023 Season Finals, Riot Games seized the moment at Montpellier’s Arena Sud de France to launch the Play-In Stage Draw for the forthcoming Worlds 2023.
The announcement not only unveils the first matchups in the initial phase but also effectively initiates the last lap to the climax of this year’s League of Legends season. With anticipation reaching a fever pitch, the eSports world is keen to see who will emerge as the true global champions of the popular MOBA game.
An inside look into the play-In phase
The Play-In Stage Draw, shared across Riot Games’ social media channels, has set the tone for electrifying matchups. Group A will witness GAM eSports taking on LOUD and PSG Talon head-to-head with Movistar R7.
The #Worlds2023 Play-In Stage Draw:
— LoL Esports (@lolesports) September 10, 2023
Meanwhile, Group B is no less exciting, with the winner of the WQS between the Golden Guardians and MAD Lions squaring off against Team Whales, along with CTBC Flying Oyster battling Detonation FocusMe.
The drawing ceremony was straightforward yet impactful, with Andrei “Odoamne” Pascu revealing the pairings. Leaders for both groups were identified first—GAM eSports and PSG Talon for Group A, and the WQS winner and CTBC Flying Oyster for Group B.
The tension was palpable in the room as the remaining team matchups were disclosed, creating a fascinating landscape for the next phase of the competition.
Are the underdogs ready to pounce?
While all eyes are on the powerhouses from established regions, the Latin American teams, Movistar R7 and LOUD, could be the dark horses of the Play-In Stage. Coming into the tournament with an indomitable spirit, these teams are no strangers to defying the odds. Movistar R7, for instance, has a track record of overcoming GAM eSports at the MSI, making them a potential threat to PSG Talon.
Their relatively favorable group placements, notably avoiding eSports powerhouses like Golden Guardians and Team BDS, further enhance their chances of a surprising performance. This could be the year that LATAM makes a significant dent in the international League of Legends landscape, providing a fresh narrative to a scene often dominated by established regions.
G2 eSports: From LEC dominance to global ambition
Fresh off their LEC victory, where they bagged a 3-1 win over Fnatic and a $70,000 prize, G2 eSports is eyeing even bigger stakes: global dominance. As the number one seed from the EMEA region, they bring a legacy of 12 LEC trophies and a reputation for show-stopping gameplay.
Number 12 🏆 pic.twitter.com/vaGbjWgV9n
— G2 League of Legends (@G2League) September 10, 2023
Beyond the shadows of League of Legends, Riot Games is investing in the broader eSports ecosystem. Their partnership with Stryda for the Valorant Nordic Clash Championship is a testament to this expansive vision. The tournament runs from October to a grand finale in December, offering an incredible display of skill, strategy, and intensity across the Nordic region.
With the Play-In Stage matchups unveiled, G2 eSports demonstrating the might of the EMEA region, and emerging underdogs from Latin America ready to challenge the status quo, Worlds 2023 is shaping up to be a landmark event.
Set to commence on Oct. 10, this is not just another tournament but a crescendo in a year that has seen unprecedented twists and turns in the League of Legends competitive landscape.