Across the globe all the League of Legends spring regional events have been reaching their conclusion recently and on Saturday it is the turn of China to crown their winners.
Juggernauts JD Gaming will take on underdogs Bilibili Gaming in the final of the LPL Spring 2023 following a jam-packed regular season and a busy couple of weeks of playoff action.
The event began in January with 17 teams competing in a round-robin format and the top 10 in the standings then moved on to the playoffs, which started at the end of March.
The playoffs began in a single-elimination bracket before moving on to a double-elimination bracket as the bigger sides joined the fray.
And after JD Gaming swept aside Edward Gaming 3-0 and Bilibili Gaming defeated the same opponents 3-2 in the tournament's semi-finals, we now know which two sides will be competing for glory in the LPL Spring.
Whatever happens in Saturday's match, though, both sides have secured spots at the prestigious Mid-Season Invitational 2023, which features the best League of Legends teams from around the world and begins next month.
|What||JD Gaming v Bilibili Gaming|
|When||Saturday April 15th 2023|
|How to watch||LPL Twitch channel|
|Odds||JD Gaming -250, Bilibili Gaming +175|
Coming into the LPL Spring 2023, JD Gaming were always expected to be in the mix for the title.
They reigned supreme at the most recent LPL regional event - the LPL Summer 2022 - last year, having taken down Top Esports in the final.
But they were not done there and JD Gaming ensured a strong finish to the season when they competed at the League of Legends World Championship.
They topped their group at the event before easing their way past Rogue 3-0 in the knockouts and they became the only side not from South Korea's LCK to make the semi-finals of last year's Worlds.
That was a statement in itself and JD Gaming have proven already in 2023 that last season was the start of something promising as they topped the LPL Spring regular-season standings with a 13-3 record, finishing above Edward Gaming and LNG Esports on game differential.
Due to their finishing position in the regular season, JD Gaming began the playoffs in round four and quickly showed their class, beating final opponents Bilibili Gaming 3-2 in their first knockout clash before beating Edward Gaming without dropping a map last time out.
While JD Gaming would have been the first team most would have guessed would make the final of the LPL Spring this season, the same cannot be said for Bilibili Gaming.
Although Bilbili Gaming warmed up for the new LPL season by claiming the offseason Demacia Cup, few would have envisaged that they would be in contention for more silverware at the LPL Spring.
It has not been the smoothest of rides for Bilibili Gaming, who had to settle for fifth spot in the regular season, having lost six games.
That meant they joined the LPL Spring Playoffs in the second round and they were made to work for their place in the final, initially taking down two big teams in Royal Never Give Up and Weibo Gaming in their first two matches.
JD Gaming are unlikely to have things all their own way in the Grand Final
After those two aforementioned wins for Bilibili Gaming, they faced big guns JD Gaming in the fourth round of the playoffs.
It was going to be a real test of the team's psychological strength and it looked at one stage as though they may pass the examination, having established a 2-1 lead in the contest.
They eventually succumbed to a 3-2 defeat but they arguably tested JD Gaming more than any other side in the split, thanks largely to their efficient draft compositions which were focused on bringing the best out of their individual players more than anything else.
JD Gaming proceeded to wipe the floor with Edward Gaming in the next round, making Bilibili Gaming's performance all the more impressive, and they can take at least a map off their opponents again in the final.
A bet on over 4.5 maps certainly makes appeal at +175 in this Grand Final but the best bet could instead be a win for JD Gaming, who know how to prevail in these kinds of games, by a 3-1 scoreline, which is priced at -250.
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