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East versus West: Will The Gap Ever Close?

Will Korea and China Always Dominate in League of Legends?

Well, it’s hard to believe that a simple yes or no can answer such a complicated question, we have to take a deeper look into the history of the League of Legends competitive scene. While a lot of league of legends betting experts don’t believe that the western teams will be able to catch up to the eastern teams, there’s solid evidence that proves otherwise.

Some western teams are more than capable of taking eastern teams down in a best-of-5 series, which is the ultimate way to prove that you are the superior team. The problem is that they are so inconsistent at doing so that it’s hard to believe that the gap is actually closing and it’s not the opponents just fumbling down from time to time.

East versus West: Will The Gap Ever Close?
Lee "Faker" Sang-hyeok is a three-time world championship winner

There is also another point to this question that many people seem to ignore, and it’s the fact that, initially, Korea was the only region brought up when it came to “eastern teams”. Right now, it’s easy to forget that China was far from being a region competitive enough to consistently beat down the Korean competition on the international stage. Sure, China always managed to reach the deeper stages of the tournaments, but it was extremely rare to see them as a region strong enough to defeat the Korean teams in a consistent manner.

For quite a few years, Korea completely dominated the international stage, and maybe, just maybe, one Chinese team would have the opportunity to score a victory against their Korean counterparts during important matches. It wasn’t until the 2015 MSI that the whole picture changed for the international scene after Edward Gaming deciphered a way to take down SKT T1, the Korean overlords. Once that happened, more than ever, it seemed really possible that the Chinese region would be able to overcome the best region of the world, which meant that the gap between Korea and the rest of the world was actually closing.

North America and Europe Still Were a Few Steps Behind

East versus West: Will The Gap Ever Close?
Invictus Gaming became the first Chinese team to win a world championship

While all of this was happening, North America, Europe, and the rest of the world never seemed like strong contenders against the Korean teams because they never had solid international performances. Some European teams might have been able to reach playoffs in multiple instances on the international stage, every single international grand finals was between two asian teams. Then MSI 2016 happened, where Counter Logic Gaming became the first western team to reach the final stage of MSI or Worlds. Once again, the whole picture changed but now for the western fans, although it ended up being a deceiving event.

It’s hard to believe that North America or Europe are actually catching up to the Korean and Chinese teams, and that’s because while they are able to score a few wins here and there during best-of-1’s, they keep struggling way too much to overcome them on the best-of-X’s stages. The 2022 MSI is another great example of this, where Royal Never Give Up thrashed Evil Geniuses in the semifinals, and T1 did the same against G2 Esports. The “gap” will seem apparent until we have a couple of years in a row where they are able to consistently beat down LCK and LPL teams in best-of-5s, and I’m not talking about the best European team being able to beat LCK/LPL’s 3rd seed.

Is There Any Hope for The Rest of the Regions?

East versus West: Will The Gap Ever Close?
Rasmus Borregaard Winther is one of the few players capable of taking down eastern teams

The silver lining is that there is one thing that we can be sure of, and it is that we have seen individual players actually take down LCK and LPL players in a very consistent manner, G2’s Caps is a perfect example of this. The problem for the west is in their teamplay and lack of ability to adapt quickly to meta changes during a tournament, which are some of the strongest traits for Korean and Chinese teams.

It’s still hard to pinpoint the main reason for this, but many lol bets experts believe that this is due to the lack of international tournaments throughout the year unlike other esports, like CSGO or Dota 2.

Also there is another aspect of the question that people don’t talk about enough, and it’s the fact that the VCS and PCS teams are starting to look stronger and stronger on the international stage. But if we look at the history of the League of Legends bets competitive scene, these smaller regions are going through the phases that NA and EU did a few years ago.

In the end, it’s safe to say that EU and NA are far from being the worst regions in the world, but they are still far from being the best, which puts them in some sort of limbo. Yes, those regions always end up figuring out how to beat the Chinese and Korean teams, but by the time they figured out how to do so, they are already another 10 steps behind.

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