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Western League of Legends Teams Face Uphill Battle at World Championship

Fans have set low expectations for Western League of Legends teams at this year's World Championship, and it's not without reason. The Eastern teams headed to the tournament are incredibly strong, leaving little room for optimism. In recent years, Eastern teams have dominated the international scene, winning the game's most prestigious tournaments. In contrast, Western teams have struggled to make a mark.

At last year's World Championship, seven out of eight teams in the bracket stage were from Korea and China. The sole Western representative, Rogue, was swiftly eliminated in the quarterfinals with a 3-0 sweep by JD Gaming. North American teams had their worst performance yet, losing nine consecutive games in the group stage and ending with a combined record of 3-15.

The gap between the East and West has only widened in recent years, as demonstrated by the results of the Mid-Season Invitational (MSI). Six of the top eight teams in MSI were from the East, and the Grand Finals featured an intra-regional matchup for the second consecutive year. It's safe to say that the Eastern teams are the favorites.

While some fans remain optimistic, believing that one Western team advancing to the knockout stage would be a miracle, many recognize the decline in performance from Western teams over the past five seasons. In 2018, three out of four teams in the semifinals were from the West, but since then, there have been no Western semifinalists at Worlds.

Currently, eight teams have secured their spots at Worlds 2023, including all four Chinese representatives and three North American teams. The representatives from Korea and Europe are yet to be determined, but they are expected to be confirmed soon. Additionally, there will be a “grudge match” between the fourth-place teams from North America and Europe to determine an additional representative.

Given the lopsided record between the East and West in recent years, the grudge match could turn out to be the most intense series of the tournament for both regions. However, Western teams will still face an uphill battle against their strong Eastern counterparts.