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Esports: Two-day tournament set to start

The new year of competitive League of Legends action kicks off with a bang thanks to the previously announced League of Legends Season Kickoff tournament.

All nine regional leagues will celebrate the start of 2023 with a two-day tournament, which replaces the League of Legends: All-Star event after eight years.

The nine regions are China, Korea, Europe, North America, Southeast Asia, Vietnam, Brazil, Japan and Latin America. Each region will have the broadcast for a few hours and, once their tournament completes, the next region will take over.

All matches will be in a best-of-three format bar China, which will have best-of-one clashes. We will be focusing on their Wednesday matches, which promise to be a treat. There are four teams with all of the legends represented.

Create Our Legacy will feature TheShy, XLB, Yagao, Jackeylove and Wink, while Remember Our Name has the services of Shanji, Ning, Knight, Lwx and Jinjiao. Time To Show field 369, Leyan, Rookie, Huanfeng and Zhuo, and the final entry, Make It Possible, are represented by Breathe,Tarzan, Harder, Hope and Meiko.

WhatMake It Possible v Remember Our Name, LPL Season Kickoff
WhereShanghai
WhenWednesday 11th January
How to watchTwitch
OddsMake It Possible 4/5, Remember Our Name 10/11

Unsurprisingly, there is nothing to separate the sides as we have absolutely no idea how the teams will coexist. All four teams are made up of players from different rosters, which makes for an interesting puzzle to solve.

Create Our Legacy have a dangerous combination of A-List players, starting with Weibo Gaming toplaner TheShy. Their jungler position is occupied by XLB, who plays for Ninjas In Pyjamas, while Yagao, who won LPL Summer 2022 with JD Gaming, fills in as midlaner.

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JackeyLove, who won the 2018 World Championship with Invictus Gaming, needs little introduction and their roster is completed by Wink, who plays botlane for Invictus Gaming.

Remember Our Name is headlined by Knight, who finished runner-up in LPL Spring and Summer on TOP Esports last year. Shanji is currently toplaner for Oh My God, while Ning, who won LPL Spring 2019 with Invictus Gaming and was placed 3-4th at the 2019 World Championship, returns to the stage for the first time since August 2020.

Lwx, botlaner for FunPlus Phoenix, bolsters the roster alongside Jinjiao, who plays for LGD Gaming in the botlaner too.

It is very difficult to have a strong opinion in an all-star game, as players are unlikely to have played with their co-stars. That being said, the stronger roster on paper is Create Our Legacy, who appear to be the ones to beat.

WhatTime to Show v Create Our Legacy, LPL Season Kickoff
WhereShanghai
WhenWednesday 11th January
How to watchTwitch
OddsTime to Show 10/11, Create Our Legacy 4/5

Once again, there is nothing to split the sides in the market. Both teams are represented by a plethora of elite talent and, although the result is uncertain, we can be sure of an entertaining set of matches.

Time to Show will have JD Gaming’s 369 in the toplane and the 21-year-old will be full of confidence after being placed 3-4th at the 2022 World Championship. Leyan will occupy the jungle, while TOP Esports’ Rookie, who is considered one of the greatest midlaners in the game’s history, will occupy his preferred role.

huanfeng narrowly missed out on the 2020 World Championship with Suning and will occupy the botlane, with Ninja In Pyjamas’ Zhuo completing the roster in the support role.

Make It Possible will have Breathe in the toplane and that spells trouble for his opponents, given his level of performance for RNG in 2022, while LNG’s Tarzan will fill the jungle role.

Harder has the task of matching up to Rookie in the midlane, with Hope bolstering the squad from the botlane. He narrowly missed out on the 2022 World Championship with JD Gaming and the roster is completed by Meiko, who won the 2021 World Championship with EDward Gaming, the team he still plays for.

Once again, it is tough to split the sides given we have no information about preparations for the competition. In terms of roster strength, these teams are evenly matched, but Rookie’s presence on Time to Show gives them the edge.

Meiko will provide a calming presence on Make It Possible and a world champion support could make all the difference. Both sides have merits to their chances, but Rookie should prove too strong for Harder in the midlane and that might blow this game apart.

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