LPL Teams Dominating Again on International Stage

With Four Teams remaining in the League of Legends World Championships, it’s apparent that the LPL sent the best teams. Will one of them be able to secure the Summoner’s Cup?

The 2023 League of Legends World Championships are nearing the end, as four teams remain competing for the Summoner’s Cup. Of the four teams, three of them are from the Chinese league. The LPL has had an impressive run of dominance dating back to 2018, since then, an LPL team has won eight of the eleven major international tournaments with good odds of making it nine of twelve at the end of this Worlds. For the longest time, the most feared teams in any international tournament came from Korea and the LCK. Now, T1 remains the sole Korean team, trying not to disappoint the hometown crowd. 

The Introduction of the East 

The competitive League of Legends scene developed pretty quickly after the game’s release in 2009, with the first World Championships being run out of “Phreak’s basement” at Dreamhack 2011. The tournament looks nothing like the esport seen today. However, it gave life to a scene that no one could’ve ever predicted.

The Season 2 World Championship would see the introduction of Eastern teams from all over Asia joining the competition, and very quickly, Korea would establish itself as the frontrunner for the best region in the world. Though neither Azubu Frost nor NaJin Sword would lift the Summoner’s Cup this year, they had very strong performances that made the community take notice. 

Season 3 saw the rise of the SKT Dynasty, which would establish Korea as the best region in the world, marking the start of a 5-year run in which a Korean team would be named World Champions every year. This streak of dominance has caused some fans to overlook some incredibly strong Chinese teams that played in that time frame. Teams like Star Horn Royal Club and Edward Gaming showed the potential to make a run at the Summoner’s Cup, with Edward Gaming even winning the 2015 Mid-Season Invitational. However, at the end of the day, the Chinese teams were having a hard time finding success on the World Stage.

Turning Point

The 2018 Competitive League of Legends Season will forever be seen as a major turning point in the sport’s history. RNG and fan favorite player Uzi was finally able to find their international tournament win, taking down Kingzone DragonX in the MSI finals. This shocking upset was a sign of things to come as the Korean dominance would be upended at the 2018 World Championships. 

The 2018 World Championships was like no other, with three of the final four teams coming from the West. The Worlds’ Playoff bracket would see the Afreeca Freecs and KT Rolster fall in the Quarterfinals to LCS’s Cloud9 and LPL’s Invictus Gaming, respectively. Invictus Gaming would go on to find 3-0 wins over Europe’s G2 Esports and Fnatic to win China’s first-ever World Championship. 

Invictus’s victory on the World Stage opened the door for the other Chinese teams to follow in their footsteps as FunPlus Pheonix took the crown in 2019 and Edward Gaming found the win in 2021. Korean teams have been able to make some noise here and there, with Damwon Gaming winning the Championship in 2020 and DRX winning it last year, but even at those tournaments, the LPL has sent some fierce competition. 

That trend has continued to this Worlds tournament, where we have seen nothing but absolute domination from the Chinese teams. Will the historic organization T1 have what it takes to take on WeiboGaming, Bilibili Gaming, and JDG as they all look to continue the tradition of Chinese dominance on the Rift? You won’t want to miss the exciting conclusion of the 2023 World Championships which you can catch on both Twitch and YouTube.