Bilibili Gaming did it again on Saturday when they defeated T1 (3-1) and singlehandedly eliminated LoL Champions Korea (LCK) teams from Mid-Season Invitational 2023 after knocking out Gen.G (3-0) and G2 Esports (3-1) from the tournament. But while Bilibili Gaming’s Cinderella Run was remarkable, they now have to face their demons and meet with JD Gaming, who have been causing them problems since the 2023 season started.
THE #MSI2023 FINAL:@JDGaming vs @BilibiliGaming!— LoL Esports (@lolesports) May 20, 2023
Who's your pick to win it all?
⏰ Sunday, May 21st, 12PM BST
📺 Watch here: https://t.co/Q95UAT7Bys
🗓️ Schedule in your local time zone: https://t.co/6caS1eW0O4 pic.twitter.com/omFEbQAIOQ
Esports bookmakers have Bilibili Gaming priced as 3.25 (bet365) underdogs to win the MSI 2023 finals and JD Gaming as 1.32 favourites, which isn’t that shocking given the team’s history. But BLG have defied the odds twice already, so it is fair to ask ourselves – can Bilibili Gaming do it again?
JD Gaming vs Bilibili Gaming
When: Sunday, May 21, at 12:00 BST
Bilibili Gaming had a long road to reach the MSI 2023 finals, and even that’s an understatement. They finished the LPL 2023 Spring regular season in fifth place and had to start their quest to qualify for the MSI in the second round of the playoffs, and then completed the lower-bracket run in London.
In total, Bilibili Gaming have played 86 stage games this season, which is quite a number, but it has its positives. Even at the MSI, Bilibili Gaming have played nearly the maximum possible games which gave them enough time to find their momentum, and it could be one of the reasons they’ve made it so far.
2/3✅— Bin (@BLGBinGe) May 20, 2023
Next one @JDGaming
It hasn’t helped them improve – as I still don’t believe Bilibili Gaming are really as good as it may seem – but they have been winning games. That’s all that matters at the end of the day, even though I would mainly attribute their success to the fact that neither G2 Esports, Gen.G, or T1 managed to exploit BLG’s cracks.
But if there is one team that should be able to achieve what no other squad before them managed to do, it’s JD Gaming, who already bested Bilibili Gaming (3-0) in the second round of the tournament.
Fourth Bo5 Between The Two Teams
Bilibili Gaming and JD Gaming have met four times this season; once during LPL 2023 Spring regular season, twice in the LPL 2023 Spring Playoffs, and once in the MSI 2023 Bracket Stage. And all those games have one thing in common – JD Gaming won.
The closest of the four meetings was the LPL 2023 Spring Playoff semifinal when BIlibili Gaming won two maps (2-3), but even that success holds very little weight considering JD Gaming won the finals 3-1 and added a 3-0 sweep in London. Obviously, we shouldn’t put too much weight on results from months ago, but I wouldn’t ignore JDG’s sweep of BLG from the second round of the MSI 2023 Bracket Stage.
Welcome to the LPL era! pic.twitter.com/eZ4rdtPF3i— LPL (@lplenglish) May 20, 2023
JD Gaming have been very efficient in beating Bilibili Gaming this season, and there is nothing that would suggest BLG will manage to turn it around on Sunday. Yes, they’ve defied the odds and humiliated T1 and Gen.G, but I’ve not seen any improvement in their play, so it’s not like BLG have been getting better and more so that the two LCK representatives failed to stop BLG’s early game and exploit their weak mid-late game.
We have to take into account that Bilibili Gaming have momentum on their side, which isn’t to be ignored, but JD Gaming have a lot more film on BLG to analyse. That, on top of the fact that JD Gaming are simply a better version of BLG, is enough for me to expect the Chinese champions to deliver BLG their fifth head-to-head loss on Sunday.
- Prediction: JD Gaming -1.5 maps – 1.952 at Pinnacle
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