East vs. West gap worsens at MSI 2023 despite C9’s hyper-aggressive early game vs. Bilibili Gaming

Gigabin strikes again.

After another quick day in London, the proverbial gap between Eastern and Western teams at the 2023 Mid-Season Invitational has widened even further after Cloud9’s relatively lopsided series against China’s Bilibili Gaming today.

The LPL fans in attendance at the Copper Box Arena in London had plenty to cheer for as their second-seed representatives flexed their muscles against the top seed from North America by sweeping them in three games on May 11. During this League of Legends series, however, C9 had brief flashes of greatness, especially during the early stages of each match where they stayed surprisingly hyperactive against a team from the most aggressive region in the world.

In the bottom lane, for example, C9’s superstar AD carry Kim “Berserker” Min-cheol was one of the only lifelines on the team as he stood tall against BLG’s Zhao “Elk” Jia-Hao from the laning phase to the later teamfights. His confidence and individual mechanical skills kept his team afloat, along with some well-timed ganks from Robert “Blaber” Huang.

Related: T1 open up MSI 2023 run with second-fastest international game in LoL esports history

Across all three games, the LCS champions managed to pull momentum in their favor during the early game by catching their opponents off guard with good roams and dives. Unfortunately for them, as the mid-to-late game rolled through, BLG’s superior teamfighting and macro decision-making was far too overwhelming.

Known by his opponents and fans alike as Gigabin, BLG’s Chen “Bin” Ze-Bin is considered by many to be the best top laner at MSI, and he stomped the competition today on a trio of champions like Gnar, Kennen, and Gwen. With 12 kills, 17 assists, and a destructive performance in game one to set the tone for the day, the 20-year-old phenom earned himself Player of the Series honors as the team’s go-to answer, whether they needed a reliable frontline, a dangerous hypercarry, or a frightening engage tool.

Related: MSI 2023: Scores, standings, and results

As C9 head down to the lower bracket at MSI 2023, this loss marks the third Western team to lose to an Eastern representative. Only Golden Guardians remain in the winners bracket from the LCS, but they have a huge task ahead when they face off against the LPL’s monstrous first seed, JD Gaming. You can catch all the action when those two squads collide tomorrow at 7am CT.

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