TheShy is too good. His mechanical prowess feels unfair. His outplays look like solo queue highlights, even when they are against the best players in his region and the world and in official competitive matches. Nobody can lane against him.If you've started following LoL esports in the past few years, this might seem odd to you. Hell, he hasn't even made Worlds since that time, four years ago. He stayed true to Rookie and Invictus Gaming, but the magic never returned. The Tyrant's reign slowly and unceremoniously ended. Nuguri took his mantle in 2020 and 2021, displaying a similarly aggressive playstyle and absurdly high ceiling. Bin kept this legacy going when the 2020 World Champion lost his flame, becoming the hottest prospect coming out of the LPL in these past two years. He is confident and dominant, he doesn't crack under pressure and he doesn't fear anyone.
Image via Riot GamesAs Christian "IWDominate" Rivera put it in April of this year: "Bin is who Theshy fans think Theshy is.". The Tyrant's crown was getting passed around through this new generation of talents, while his fans reminisced of days of glories past. TheShy turned his back on IG and Rookie, the project that brought him his one and only International title, and decided to try something new at Weibo. This supposed Super Team of veterans and young stars was here to make it big, but as we pointed out in our previous article, things didn't seem to go as planned.
Image via Riot GamesYet, he is one of the names that is highlighted the most in T1's crushing losses in finals. He was dismantled by Bin at MSI 2022 and MSI 2023. He's been dominated by Doran multiple times in LCK Finals despite being the better player of the two throughout the last two years. More recently, he got massively outperformed by Kingen in the Finals of Worlds 2022 despite being an overwhelming favorite in that specific lane match-up. Unlike TheShy, Zeus hasn't performed when the stadium spotlights shine on him. His lightning fizzles out and we're left with a harmless player that disappears into Summoner's Rift's grass. But, (there's always a but) Worlds 2023 has been his best international showing yet. To be fair, we've not yet arrived at the stage where T1 have crumbled (6 finals losses in a row), but Zeus had never been this dominant internationally. He has been one of the best players in this T1 roster and he's been facing his demons. He made Bin look like a toothless tiger in Swiss, destroyed the LPL's most recent Top lane phenom in LNG's Zika and, this past weekend, gave 369 a dice with nothing but 3s on it. Is he at long last bringing his lightning to the Grand Finals? A Top lane Heavyweight bout On Sunday, we will witness the two best Top laners at Worlds 2023 put it all to the best in front of a packed Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul. Their arsenal is nearly identical, and so is their playstyle. T1's young phenom has played 6 different champions in 12 games:
Image via Games of LegendsHe is an utter menace on Aatrox and Jayce, and has only needed to go to his long-time favorite Gnar once. The similarities between his and TheShy's picks is obvious.
Image via Games of LegendsThey both prefer Aatrox above anything else, but TheShy has opted a lot more for the Rumble and K'Sante than Zeus has. As can be seen in the images, they've both pulled off some unconventional picks, to mixed success in both cases. Zeus' Yone and TheShy's Graves were fantastic performances, while Gragas and Quinn, respectively, not so much. These are two confident players at the top of their game with very active early-game junglers. They share a lot of their champion pool and I expect nothing other than an electrifying duel for the entirety of this series. In the left corner: Zeus, the God of Thunder, the two-time, back to back, World Finalist. And in the right corner: TheShy, Tyrant of the Top Lane, former World Champion. Is the Tyrant back and here to stay, or did he only come to pass the torch to our new Top Lane overlord?