The curtains have fallen for the Western contingents in the League of Legends World Championship as NRG bowed out to Weibo Gaming in a decisive 3-0 series. Taking place on South Korean soil, the most celebrated LoL event has once again showcased the ever-widening rift between Asian powerhouses and their Western counterparts.
Europe’s Historically Worst Performance
Europe’s disappointing run in this year’s Worlds is a stark reminder of 2014 – the year they last fared so poorly. North America, represented by NRG, entered the quarters with hopes high, especially against Weibo Gaming, arguably the least menacing among the surviving teams. Sadly, the result was a humbling shutout.
After an incredible run through the Swiss Stage, @NRGLeague are out of #Worlds2023. pic.twitter.com/NLWuLkCtTR
— LoL Esports (@lolesports) November 2, 2023
The Increasingly Apparent Gap
The chasm between Asia and the West isn’t narrowing anytime soon. It has become evident that teams from China and South Korea continue to raise the bar at an international level. As the seasons progress, the distance only seems to increase, posing serious concerns for Western ambitions in the arena.
LEC and LCS: A Concerning Streak
It’s been a haunting three years since an LEC or LCS team managed to secure a map win in a best-of-five series at Worlds. Tracing back to 2020, we recollect G2 Esports standing tall as the West’s beacon of hope. They delivered a commendable performance, even as the pandemic raged, reaching the semis only to suffer a 3-1 defeat at DAMWON’s hands.
Regarding best-of-five series, it was the very same year that the West last tasted victory. G2 Esports blazed their trail into the semis, effortlessly handling Gen.G with a clean 3-0 sweep. The European fanbase’s dreams soared, but as history reminds us, DAMWON was relentless, especially showcasing their dominance in the fourth map.
Time for Western Introspection
The current state of Western League of Legends is undoubtedly challenging. It’s a pivotal moment for introspection. The path forward might lie in embracing young talents, revisiting training methodologies, or broadening team staff to nurture and advance player skills.
Rethink the Strategy!
While the Asian dominion in the League of Legends World Championships continues, Western teams need a formula to bridge the skill and strategy gap. With the evolving meta and gameplay dynamics, it’s high time the West rethink their approach if they aim to be contenders for the Summoner’s Cup.
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