LoL Worlds 2023 Swiss Stage enters the penultimate round on Thursday, October 26, with the first pair of matches between 1-2 teams, who’ll fight for survival and a shot at making the knockout stage.
On Thursday, we’ll see Cloud9 clash with Fnatic in an exciting cross-regional derby and MAD Lions taking on China’s Weibo Gaming in what should be an entertaining match between two LoL esports teams that aren’t known for consistency.
Cloud9 vs Fnatic
When: Thursday, October 26, 9:00 CEST (16:00 KST)
On paper, this looks like a very even match between two teams that are fairly similar quality-wise. That’s why it’s important to note that Cloud9 have side selection, which also explains why the North American representatives are priced as favourites for the upcoming Lol Worlds 2023 Swiss Stage best-of-three (Bo3) series.
Those who’ve been watching the LoL Worlds 2023 Swiss Stage should know how much stronger blue side is, but let’s look at some stats for the blue side.
- 79%% win rate
- 56.7% first dragon
- 66.7% first herald
- 63.3 first tower
- 60% first Nashor
There’s more to stats than meets the eye. But throughout the LoL Worlds Swiss Stage, we’ve seen the red side win just seven of 30 maps. Those include JD Gaming against Team BDS, LNG Esports against Cloud9, KT Rolster against Dplus KIA, Gen.G against G2 (twice), GAM Esports against Team Liquid, and Dplus KIA against Team BDS. The point is the majority of red-side wins happened in games where a heavy favourite played on the red side.
TLDR; Cloud9 having side choice puts them in a good spot to win the first map of the series.
Knowing how Fnatic and Cloud9 like to play, the maps will be decided on which team will get ahead early. I had a lot of hope in Cloud9 and their chances to beat a stronger team – which would’ve happened if Cloud9 gained early leads – but their poor drafting didn’t allow that to happen, which lost them their main win condition.
The same applies to Fnatic, who are efficient when getting ahead early, but during LoL Worlds 2023 Swiss Stage, we’ve only really seen it once – against GAM Esports – and even that game wasn’t the cleanest. This leads to another problem – the sample size of games we have is fairly small – so we can’t draw a clear line of which team is better.
Across the first three rounds of LoL Worlds 2023 Swiss Stage, Fnatic have played GAM Esports, LNG Esports, and Bilibili Gaming, or one very weak team and two of the world’s best teams. Cloud9 have played MAD Lions, LNG Esports, and T1, again one fairly weak team and two of the best teams at the LoL Worlds 2023 Swiss Stage.
For Fnatic to win, they’ll have to count on Iván “Razork” Martín Díaz, who is in excellent form and is one of the top-performing players of the LoL Worlds 2023 Swiss Stage. But he’s not the only player on Fnatic Cloud9 have to watch out for. Óscar “Oscarinin” Muñoz Jiménez has looked great so far, putting up solid performances against some of the world’s best top laners, including Tang “Zika” Hua-Yu and Chen “Bin” Ze-Bin.
The only Fnatic lane that could struggle in this matchup is bot side, but even that will likely be heavily affected by the draft and whether Fnatic decides to remove Rakan. That will likely happen, knowing that FNC lost against Rakan twice this tournament (against LNG and BLG).
This looks like a close series that’ll likely go the distance, but I am leaning toward Fnatic, who’ve looked more stable and field more impactful players in the right positions.
- Prediction: Fnatic to win – 2.00 at bet365
MAD Lions vs Weibo Gaming
When: Thursday, October 26, 12:00 CEST (16:00 KST)
MAD Lions have side selection for their upcoming LoL Worlds 2023 Swiss Stage match, which bumps their chances of winning a bit, but based on what MAD Lions have produced so far, they’ll need a major bump to do well. So far in LoL Worlds Swiss Stage 2023, MAD Lions have beaten just Team BDS but lost against Cloud9 and NRG Esports.
They’ve had by far the easiest schedule of any teams at the tournament, and yet MAD Lions failed to capitalise on it. Admittedly, we can give them some slack for losing against Cloud9 as it was the first match after a long break, and they should’ve won against NRG Esports, who stole the win with a backdoor, but there’s no denying that MAD Lions haven’t looked great.
The big obstacle MAD Lions will have to overcome in this game is the quality gap between the players. Kim “Chasy” Dong-hyeon can’t compete with Kang “TheShy” Seung-lokand Yasin “Nisqy” Dinçer is not ready to face Li “Xiaohu” Yuan-Hao.
Bot lane could be fine, but even there, MAD Lions will go even in the best-case scenario. That said, Weibo Gaming have had two shaky showings during Lol Worlds 2023 Swiss Stage against G2 and KT Rolster, choking despite putting themselves in a very advantageous position and both times, it came down to poor team fight execution.
This is an area MAD Lions could look to exploit, but that’s a huge “what if”. MAD Lions are not as good as it may seem, and they definitely don’t deserve to be considered as a potential threat for Weibo Gaming.
This is Weibo Gaming’s game to lose, and as long as they don’t shoot themselves in the foot, WBG should win comfortably. I am leaning Weibo Gaming to cover the 9.5-kill handicap, but knowing WBG can give up too many kills, I’m passing on it.
Favourites are 20-6 so far in LoL Worlds 2023 Swiss Stage, with the only exceptions being LNG Esports, NRG (twice), G2 Esports (twice), and GAM Esports.
- Prediction: None
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