JDG win China derby to become League of Legends MSI 2023 champions

Members of Chinese esports club JDG hold up the trophy of League of Legends Mid-Season Invitational, London, England, May 21, 2023. (Photo: Agencies)

Chinese esports club Jingdong Gaming (JDG) are the champions of the League of Legends (LOL) Mid-Season Invitational (MSI) 2023 after beating another Chinese club Bilibili Gaming (BLG) 3:1 at the grand final in London on Sunday.

The two teams each won one game before JDG found their way to victory in the last two games.

BLG overthrew two clubs from South Korea, T1 and Gen.G, in the previous two days, but failed to beat JDG in the last day of the invitational.

The two South Korean teams were widely considered as close rivals to JDG, as the Korean region won the world championship in 2022.

Three-time world champion, T1 mid-laner Lee "Faker" Sang-hyeok and prominent Gen.G mid-laner Jeong "Chovy" Ji-hoon both failed to perform well in the loser's final and semifinal, sending BLG to the grand final.

On the contrary, JDG mid-laner Zhuo "Knight" Ding was the MVP of the grand final with his exceptional play with the champions Jayce. His team fight initiation with Annie also helped JDG throw T1 to the losers' bracket.

"Winning this title is important to me," Knight said in the after-match interview. "I proved that I am a strong player, and I can win."

The event organizers celebrated Knight's 23rd birthday in London timezone.

Knight and his rival mid-laner in BLG, Zeng "Yagao" Qi, were both born in Pingxiang City, east China's Jiangxi Province - which is eight hours ahead of the British capital - and they've been playing with and against each other since childhood.

Team China will face Team South Korea in LOL at Asian Games Hangzhou later this year. Winning the MSI can be seen as a good signal for Team China as the two countries are the favorites for the gold medal, which will be counted in the overall medal tally, unlike four years ago.