The ‘Magicians of Banpik’ coach Yang Dae-in sends the Underdogs to their ancestral home. After finishing sixth in both the Spring and Summer seasons of this year’s LoL Pro League (LPL), Weibo Gaming (WBG) has been working on its shortcomings, one by one, and has managed to make it to the LoL World Championship finals.
WBG defeated BLG 3-2 in the semifinals of the 2023 LoL World Championship at Sajik Indoor Gymnasium in Dongnae-gu, Busan, on Nov. 11. With the win, the team advances to the finals of the tournament, which will be held next week on April 19 at the Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul.
Yang, who has tried a number of fresh approaches since his time in the LoL Champions Korea (LCK), has proven himself in China. He took over in the middle of the summer when the team was floundering. He turned the team’s fortunes around in the summer, qualifying them for the fourth seed in the region, and then followed that up with another triumph in his homeland.
Yang’s strengths of meta analysis, tier organization, and banfic play worked well. On this day, WBG showed several attempts to turn around unfavorable games with banpicks. The highlight was the Top Graves pick in Game 3. WBG entrusted Kang “TheShay” Seung-rok to pick the champion, which was uneven for all teams in this tournament, and won a valuable point on top difference.
Top Graves is a pick that was thought to be dead since last year. However, WBG rediscovered the champion and succeeded in killing the chi of Chen ‘Bean’ Zerbin, who had the best momentum of any top laner in the tournament. ‘Bean’ picked up Arox, but didn’t do much until the end of the game.
Their picks of Belves in Game 1, and Quinn and support Heimerdinger in Game 4, albeit in defeat, also helped disrupt BLG’s composure. “We lost because we didn’t expect top picks like Graves and Quinn,” BLG midfielder Cheng “Yagao” Qi told the Kookmin Daily after the match.
Despite being categorized as the underdogs of the Top 4, there was already a sense of caution and respect for WBG led by Yang among industry insiders and players alike. T1’s Lee “Kumayushi” Min-hyung said in an interview after the quarterfinals against Lining Esports (LNG), “I think Yang’s ‘banpic twist’ will be tricky, so I think it’s better to meet BLG (if we reach the finals).
ThunderTalk Gaming (TT) player Son “Yukal” Woo-hyun also recently predicted in a video interview with Kookmin Ilbo that “WBG is the least favorite team (in the quarterfinals), but I’m not sure how they’ll fare,” adding that “their play and bans have changed a lot since coach Yang Dae-in took over.
It’s not just the banter that has changed. Since Yang’s arrival, WBG has changed and grown, especially in its ability to handle multi-faceted matches that can make or break a team on a big stage like the World Championship.
In the final game of the LPL Summer League in July, Yang felt that the team had the foundation to make it to the World Championship and perform well in the main event. He said that when he heard the word “warder” in the locker room, he was convinced 사설토토 that WBG had become a team that could compete in a multiplayer format and do well.
According to Yang, “warder” is a word that athletes use when they admit their mistakes. “It’s really difficult and important to create an atmosphere of admitting your mistakes in the professional scene,” he told the Kookmin Ilbo just before the start of the Swiss stage of the World Championship, “and when I heard the players use this word for the first time, I felt really good.”