The relocation from Seoul to Busan for Worlds 2023 marks the beginning of the Quarterfinals. Eight elite teams vie for the world champion title. As anticipation builds, so does speculation about the outcome. Amidst this uncertainty, Han Wang-ho, known as “Peanut”, may hold the key. Historically, Peanut’s trajectory in Worlds has unwittingly signaled the eventual champion.
Peanut: The World Champion Tollbooth
Defeating Peanut during Worlds playoffs has historically ensured a team’s championship. This pattern first emerged in 2016.
Peanut, famed for his mechanical prowess and aggressive playstyle, reached the Worlds 2016 semifinals with ROX Tigers, anticipated to challenge T1’s reign. However, Peanut and his team were bested by T1. This victory set T1 on the path to another championship, starting the narrative of Peanut’s curse.
The next year saw Peanut joining the ranks of the legendary T1. However, this change only fortified the curse as T1 experienced their first World Championship loss, paving the way for Samsung Galaxy to seize the title.
The Resurgence of the Curse
After a brief hiatus from the Worlds playoffs, Peanut returned in 2022 with Gen.G. His revamped playstyle, transitioning from a carry jungler to a master of resources, earned him elite status. Yet, history repeated itself. Gen.G’s 2022 Worlds journey ended with a defeat to DRX, the eventual champions.
Five years since his last Worlds playoffs, Peanut’s legacy as the indicator of the next world champion was solidified. Ironically, while this curse highlights his pivotal role in Worlds dynamics, it’s a bittersweet reminder of the championship that eludes him.
The Prospects for Peanut in Worlds 2023
Unfazed by the past, Peanut’s ambition remains undiminished. With a commendable 3-0 score in the Swiss round, Gen.G’s journey through Seoul was smooth, steering them confidently towards Busan and the coveted Worlds 2023 trophy. Awaiting them in the Quarterfinals is Bilibili Gaming (BLG). Should BLG defeat Gen.G, they might inherit the blessing of Peanut’s curse.
Given BLG’s history, having eliminated Gen.G in MSI 2023, the upcoming match promises to be riveting. Yet, Gen.G, having demonstrated superior gameplay by conquering formidable teams like GAM Esports, T1, and G2 Esports, remains undefeated. As Worlds 2023 progresses, Gen.G stands alongside JDG, the Grand Slam aspirants, as favorites. However, the intense gameplay is shadowed by the overarching narrative surrounding Peanut, captivating fans worldwide.
Will He Break the Curse?
The lore of Peanut’s curse adds a layer of intrigue to Worlds 2023. While the gameplay speaks of strategy, teamwork, and skill, the legends woven around players like Peanut breathe life into the e-sports realm. As we wait for the Quarterfinals, one can’t help but wonder: Will the curse prevail, or will Peanut finally hoist the championship trophy? League of Legends esports.