This year's League of Legends Pro League Spring is in full swing, with only a handful of teams yet to play their openers in the event in China.
The LPL Spring Split 2023 began on Saturday and will run through to Sunday 26th March, with 17 teams competing in a single round-robin format and the top ten set to progress to the playoffs.
The remaining ten sides will then compete in two phases of knockouts to be crowned the best team in China for the Spring, with the teams finishing in the top two positions in the playoffs also securing qualifying berths for the Mid-Season Invitational.
As mentioned, only a few teams are yet to get there LPL Spring 2023 campaigns started as of Tuesday and one of the teams playing their first match on Wednesday is Weibo Gaming, who are up against a strong Top Esports outfit.
In the other LPL Spring 2023 encounter on Wednesday, Bilibili Gaming lock horns with FunPlus Phoenix.
|What||Bilibili Gaming v FunPlus Phoenix|
|When||04.00 ET, Wednesday January 18th|
|How to watch||Twitch|
|Odds||Bilibili Gaming -350, FunPlus Phoenix +250|
Bilibili Gaming could hardly have asked for a tougher opening to this year's LPL Spring, having faced LPL Summer 2022 champions JD Gaming on Saturday.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, they lost the contest but they more than held their own, having won the second map of the encounter, and they are worth keeping an eye on in the first split of the year.
Bilibili Gaming finished eighth and tenth in the LPL Spring and the LPL Summer last year, winning and losing the same number of matches (16) across the two splits combined.
And they came into the LPL Spring 2023 in good spirits after decent performances in their pre-season events - the Weibo Cup and the Demacia Cup.
In the Weibo Cup Bilibili Gaming reached the final, falling at the final hurdle against Weibo Gaming,while in the Demacia Cup they went all the way, defeating ThunderTalk Gaming in the final.
Preparations have gone well, they looked good last time out and in week two they should justify favouritism against a FunPlus Phoenix outfit who lost to Team WE 2-1 in their opener.
|What||Weibo Gaming v Top Esports|
|When||06.00 ET, Wednesday January 18th|
|How to watch||Twitch|
|Odds||Weibo Gaming +125, Top Esports -175|
Weibo Gaming are yet to feature at this year's LPL Spring and the odds suggest they will make a stuttering start to the event, with Top Esports awaiting them in their opener.
After making the final of the playoffs in last season's LPL Spring, losing out 3-2 to Royal Never Give Up in the end, Top Esports then managed to finish top of the LPL Summer standings last year with a 14-2 win-loss record.
They were one of the finest outfits on the LPL circuit last year, racking up a game differential of 29-9 in the LPL Summer - the most recent major regional event.
And even though last year's League of Legends World Championship was dominated by sides from South Korea's LCK and Top Esports failed to get out of their section in the group stage, they nonetheless won as many games as they lost.
Indeed, they are one of the big hitters in the LPL and they are expected to win their next game of the LPL Spring against Weibo Gaming.
Weibo Gaming, however, should also not be written off, having finished sixth in both of the splits last season, having progressed as far as round three in the LPL Spring playoffs.
They warmed up for this year's League of Legends Pro League by winning their namesake pre-season event - the Weibo Cup - having defeated a strong Bilibili Gaming side in the final.
Top Esports could well have the added quality to get over the line and win this one, but look a little short, so the better bet is over 2.5 maps at -110.