League of Legends World Championship 2023 kicks off on Tuesday, October 10, 2023, with the first round of the LoL Worlds Play-In stage, where eight LoL squads will battle it out for two tickets leading into the main event.
The Play-In stage will divide the teams into two double-elimination groups of four, with all matches played as best-of-three (Bo3). The upper bracket winner of one group will then face the lower bracket winner of the other group in a Bo5 series to determine which two teams will enter the main event.
Here is our LoL Worlds 2023 Play-In Round 1 betting preview.
Movistar R7 vs PSG Betting Pick
- When: Tuesday, October 10, 9:00 CEST (15:00 KST)
Movistar R7 and PSG Talon will kick off the LoL Worlds 2023 Play-In Round 1 in their first meeting ever. And while two teams meeting for the first time definitely adds a bit of randomness, the bookmakers all have the same idea of how this game will play out.
PSG Talon, who have become regulars at LoL international events, are priced as 1.083 favourites to defeat South American representatives, who enter the match as 7.00 underdogs. The price difference mainly has to do with the fact that the Pacific Championship Series (PCS) is a much stronger league than Liga Latinoamérica (LLA), which is realistically the only way to measure the teams’ strength. Perhaps that’s the only right way to do it.
PSG Talon are arguably much better than any minor region team but much weaker than any major region team. This comes with a huge asterisk since PSG Talon have only three international games under their belt this season – from MSI 2023.
Movistar R7 also attended and crashed out of MSI 2023 early; however, they beat Vietnam champions GAM Esports and were even more dominant in the final LLA split than in the first split of the season. So, considering Movistar R7 have improved and had done relatively well at MSI 2023, they might be able to do some damage against PSG Talon.
It’s tough to accurately rank minor-region teams and especially figure out how they’ll do when they face each other. But I like Movistar R7 to win a map. This is more of a speculative bet and not a testament to my faith in Movistar R7’s strength. Rather, it has to do with the fact that I don’t believe PSG Talon are as solid as the esports betting odds suggest.
- Prediction: Movistar R7 +1.5 Maps – 2.62 at bet365
LOUD vs GAM Esports Betting Pick
- When: Tuesday, October 10, 12:00 CEST (18:00 KST)
LOUD vs GAM Esports match in LoL Worlds 2023 Play-In Round 1 should be a “banger” and a must-watch match for anyone who enjoys chaos. These are two teams from two leagues that are notorious for high-paced, aggressive playstyles, which often lead to unexpected results. But that works both ways.
It’s important to note that LOUD and GAM are flawed teams, and as we’ve seen at the Mid-Season Invitational 2023, they are prone to making massive blunders. Perhaps more so LOUD, but it’s not like GAM impressed anyone with their last-place finish in the UK.
I expected LOUD to be priced as underdogs due to the perceived strength of the two regions, but considering what GAM have shown at MSI 2023, it’s more than fair to believe that they’ll struggle. At the same time, can you really trust LOUD to win based on what they’ve shown?
At plus money, I would consider taking any of the two teams since this looks more like a 50/50 match than anything else. But at 2.00 on GAM and 1.72 on LOUD, I don’t like either side of the bet.
- Prediction: None
DetonatioN FocusMe vs CTBC Flying Oyster Betting Pick
- When: Wednesday, October 11, 9:00 CEST (15:00 KST)
DetonatioN FocusMe got caught in some drama this season, which led to the departure of their top laner, and him getting replaced by ADC Yuta “Yutapon” Sugiura, who filled the gap until the end of the regular season. Even with this handicap, DFM won their domestic league and secured another appearance at an international event. But we likely won’t see Yupaton as the starting top laner for LoL Worlds 2023 Play-In stage.
DetonatioN FocusMe were not great at Mid-Season Invitational 2023, and there’s little to suggest that they’ll do any better here. Even though DFM field a proper top laner now – Ryo “apaMEN” Odagiri – this is almost the same exact roster that represented DetonatioN FocusMe on the international stage over the last few years, with no notable results. This suggests that DFM perhaps don’t have the tools to do well.
CTBC Flying Oyster enter LoL Worlds 2023 Play-In stage following a shaky performance at LoL Worlds 2022 (11th-14th place finish) again as complete outsiders and a bit of an enigma. CTBC Flying Oyster did well domestically this season; however, they didn’t win a single split, so the best way to describe them is a lesser version of PSG Talon.
Still, CTBC Flying Oyster are priced as 1.30 favourites to win their first match of LoL Worlds 2023 Play-In, which likely has to do with the fact that the Japanese league isn’t particularly strong or is at least weaker than the PCS. That doesn’t necessarily mean much.
No result would surprise me, and while CTBC Flying Oyster should win, they’re more than capable of losing a map against a weaker opponent.
- Prediction: Over 2.5 maps – 2.10 at bet365
Team BDS vs Team Whales
When: Wednesday, October 11, 12:00 CEST (18:00 KST)
Team BDS crushed Golden Guardians (3-0) in the LoL Worlds 2023 Qualifying Match and secured their ticket for the Play-In stage. Despite being only EU’s fourth seed, Team BDS can easily be considered one of the main favourites to make it through the LoL Worlds 2023 Play-Ins – not necessarily because Team BDS are that good, but because most other teams are significantly weaker.
That includes Vietnam’s second seed, Team Whales, who enter this match priced as 8.50 underdogs. At this number, it’s fair to explore options to back the underdogs because the opening series of Play-Ins are usually very chaotic, mainly because the teams are not used to the meta and have no experience playing against one another.
There’s probably some value in backing Team Whales to win at least one map (3.25), but there’s a huge talent gap between the two teams, which might be too much for Whales to overcome.
- Prediction: None