Elk, Bilibili Gaming trample over expectations—and Gen.G—in massive MSI upset

Going from fifth in the regular season to top-three at an international event.

The tournament slogan for the 2023 League of Legends Mid-Season Invitational might be “defy expectations,” but most games have gone just as expected across the event. After a destructive performance against Gen.G today, though, China’s Bilibili Gaming are ready to break the mold as they carve a path as a dark horse contender for the throne.

The LPL’s second seed wiped the London floors with the LCK’s defending champs on May 19, completing a dominant three-game sweep that was punctuated by some of the best teamfighting we’ve seen at the tournament so far. The BLG roster has been known to be deadly in the mid-to-late game, but against one of the world’s best, they managed to reach an even higher level than we’ve seen from them this year.

There were individual star performances that powered BLG’s efforts, from top laner Chen “Bin” Ze-Bin finding perfect angles in game two with Gwen to AD carry Zhao “Elk” Jia-Hao absolutely running over the competition in the third and final game as Jinx

In fact, the 21-year-old marksman was the final boss that Gen.G had to deal with at the end of every game after picking up an outrageous 31 kills, 24 assists, and only four deaths across the series. He also dealt almost 50,000 damage to champions in the final game of the day, which was almost more than Gen.G’s AD carry and mid laner combined.

Related: G2 Esports, Bilibili Gaming treat LoL fans to closest battle between East and West at MSI 2023 so far

Their efforts were supplemented by BLG’s perfect team play as the rest of their teammates helped set them up with Blitzcrank hooks, well-placed Maokai ultimates, and Ahri charms. Their macro play was also on point, using great wave management to pull Gen.G wherever they wanted them to be for objectives and skirmishes.

This loss has brought a shocking end to Gen.G’s tournament hopes, which should light a fire under them heading into the 2023 Summer Split.

As the defending LCK champions, there were a ton of expectations on Gen.G’s shoulders that will now bring plenty of scrutiny to their doorstep as they return home to Korea. European and North American fans were also quick to point out that G2 Esports and Golden Guardians were also able to pick up a win against BLG, much to the chagrin of LCK fans around the world.

Related: MSI 2023: Scores, standings, and results

BLG, on the other hand, will be riding high on the momentum they’ve gathered over these last few weeks. They’ll need as much help as they can get, thoughthey are facing off against Faker, Gumayusi, and the rest of T1’s star-studded roster tomorrow at 6am CT.

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