The 5 Best Games of Worlds 2023

Mush 2023-12-02 01:24:11

Worlds was an excellent tournament with a very disappointing Grand Finals. That doesn't mean the remained for the competition was bad, though, quite the contrary. There were a lot of exciting matches, and these are the ones that we consider the 5 best games of Worlds 2023.  

The finals were bad, in usual fashion

  Let's be clear here: Faker did get his fourth title, the uncrowned T1 roster finally got their first International victory, but the series against WBG itself was a wash. The narratives surrounding the match made it exciting to watch, but if you just look at the games in isolation, they were terrible. Weibo Gaming drafted like a team who had no idea what their team had done to get to Finals in first place. TheShy didn't get a single counter-pick throughout the whole series, Crisp let Renata go multiple times even though WBG were Blue Side in all three games.  

ImageImage via Riot Games

The full series didn't even make it to two hours total. If you only joined the tournament for the exciting context surrounding this Grand Finals and felt disappointed, or if you want to rewatch some bangers while the next season doesn't arrive, we've got you covered with the 5 best games of Worlds 2023 to watch.   The list isn't ranked. The games were chosen in chronological order: the sooner they happened in the tournament, the sooner they appear in the list.  

Swiss Stage 1-0: GEN vs T1

  This BO1 was an excellent game when it happened, but it became even more interesting when the rest of the tournament unfolded. This was the first of T1's two losses in the entire tournament. Not only that, it was the only "series" loss T1 sustained in the entirety of Worlds 2023. Their other dropped game was against JDG, but they won the BO5 3-1. People will completely discount GEN after their playoffs performance, but it is important to stay objective in our analysis. They were the #1 seed from the LCK and were looking incredibly dominant, reaching Knockout Stage without dropping a single game. They took T1 down here and swept G2 in an hour. This duel against T1 was their best performance in the tournament, and likely made the eventual World Champions adapt into what would be the Worlds 2023 defining meta.

GEN vs T1 GOLImage via Games of Legends

This looks like a classic T1 comp, until you get to the bot-lane. This was Guma's only game on Kai'sa and Keria's first and last showing on Alistar. Delight and Peyz made this game their own and Chovy outclassed Faker when laning-phase ended. This was Faker's only loss on Orianna the entire tournament and he was caught in side-lanes constantly by Delight and Chovy, diminishing the benefits of T1's early lead, until the entire game exploded in a dragon fight that sealed the match. It is a game filled with flashy plays and moments of incredible tension, it is Chovy and Delight's best game of the tournament and a glimpse of what this team could've shown throughout Worlds 2023. Above all else, though, it probably was the catalyst for the change that put T1 in the path of victory.  

Swiss Stage 2-0: JDG vs LNG Game 3

  This game is raw LPL at its best. These teams were fighting tooth and nail the entire year, with JDG barely getting the victory every single time. At Worlds 2023, it was no different. This was LNG's best series at the tournament and one of the best example's of the JDG Aura of Invincibility.  

Image via Games of Legends

Both teams have way too many engage tools, everyone can be blown-up and there is little to no range to work with. The LPL dream. LNG have quite a good start to this game, trading upwards at every change they get. Drakes are even and they're slightly ahead in gold. Tristana and K'Sante both scale quite comfortably and Ruler has no tools to deal with the amount of Point and Click CC that LNG have at their disposal. The issue is, JDG don't need much of an opening, all they need is an inch. When LNG slip at the third dragon, a seemingly close game that was heading one way, completely collapses and goes from even to over in a matter of 7 minutes. This was JDG's killer instinct on display and Knight's best game of Worlds 2023.  

Swiss Stage 2-1: T1 vs BLG Game 2

  If JDG came into Worlds 2023 with an Aura of Invincibility around them, T1 built their own, starting with this game. After a very dominant victory in the first match of the series, BLG kick Game 2 off in a very comfortable position.  

Image via Games of Legends

They go into the second drake of the game 4-0, with Hextech Dragon and a 2k gold lead. T1 start the objective up and the entire arena goes quiet, but here's where the team transcends into an invincible titan. They force a 4v4, Oner wins the 50/50 Smite and T1 take 3 kills for 1, evening out the Drakes and nearly evaporating BLG's gold lead. The rest of the game is a masterclass from the eventual World Champions, with Keria and Oner dominating the entire map.  

Quarter Finals:  JDG vs KT Game 4

  This series surprised everyone who watched it. JDG were the overwhelming favorites to win the entire tournament and barely broke a sweat making Playoffs. They only dropped a Game against LNG, a team who knew them better than most and still looked nearly unstoppable. KT, on the other hand, was seemingly getting worse and worse since their peak in LCK Summer Regular Season.  

Worlds 2023 Image via Games of Legends

This was the most heart-breaking and nerve-wracking game of the tournament. KT won the first game of the series and were pushing JDG to their limits. The 1# LPL seed won two games in a row, but they were extremely close affairs. For the majority of this fourth game, Silver Scrapes felt like a guarantee. A complete bloodbath of a match keeps going more and more in favor of KT. This lead peaks at 24 mins when they're 6k gold ahead, they've just forced 3 out of 5 JDG members back and they're looking at a Baron that would surely close this game out. But the 2 JDG players that stood ready to fight were about to make the third best play of the tournament. Ruler and Knight single-handedly turn the game around and crush KT's dreams, silencing the roaring crowd that had been bursting with joy just a few seconds earlier.  

Semi Finals: T1 vs JDG Game 3

  This list isn't ranked, but I'll go ahead and say it: this is the best game of the tournament, by far. If, instead of making a 5 Best Games of Worlds 2023 list, I had to give you a single match to watch, I wouldn't think twice before choosing this one. Not only does this match have the narratives behind it, it has the best League of Legends we saw played on stage and the two best plays of Worlds 2023, in one game! Game 3 of this BO5 series was an all-out war between the two best teams of Worlds 2023. 28 kills in 30 minutes, 10 turrets down, 1 Baron for each side and a Gold Graph that looks like the heartbeat monitor of the fans at the arena. JDG had their grip on this game for the first 15 minutes, comfortably. Kanavi was fed on his signature Wukong, giving the team a 3k gold lead when the third Dragon came around.  

Worlds 2023Image via Games of Legends

Most of T1's gold was on Keria, who was obviously not the ideal target of it. JDG were using their poke comp flawlessly, slowly but surely suffocating the life out of T1 and Oner specifically, who was at 40% health, isolated from his team, before the fight even started. And that's when he makes the best play of Worlds 2023. He flashes Missing's arrow and catches both him and Knight out in the same movement. Faker and Keria follow, the fight is over in the blink of an eye and the entire game turns in T1's favor. The gold lead was gone and the sole LCK representatives had three dragons. But, this wasn't going to be easy. T1 made their best KT impression and nearly threw the entire game around Baron, much like KT did in their 4th game against JDG. The teams kept on trading objectives and kills for the next 9 minutes. The game was sitting on a knife's edge, but that edge kept turning more and more towards JDG. Were they really about to win another game after being on the brink of defeat? And that's when Faker pulled off the second best play of Worlds 2023, catching Ruler off with an incredible Flash into Shurima-Shuffle, putting and end to the closest game of the series and taking one step closer to the inevitable hoisting of his fourth Summoner's Cup. This match was pure poetry in motion.  
Featured image courtesy of Riot Games. If you enjoyed this article, follow the author on X @mushwrites. Did you enjoy The 5 Best Games of Worlds 2023? For more content like this, keep an eye on our LoL page.

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