This year's League of Legends World Championship knockout stage is up and running and the first quarter-final between JD Gaming and Rogue was a seriously one-sided affair.
As expected, LPL giants JD Gaming turned on the style to win the knockout encounter 3-0 to book their spot in the last four and there are now no teams outside of Asia left in the competition.
On Friday, attention turns to the second quarter-final of the tournament and it is a highly anticipated affair between two juggernauts of the Esports.
LCK big guns T1 and China's Royal Never Give Up locked horns in the Mid-Season Invitational earlier this year with the latter coming out on top and they are set to battle it out for the right to face JD Gaming in the semi-finals.
In the tournament's group stage, T1 came through the alleged 'group of death' with flying colours, winning five of their six matches, whereas Royal Never Give Up had to settle for second spot in Group D despite having the same record, having lost their tiebreaker with Gen.G Esports.
This year's Worlds are gathering pace and we are edging closer to discovering who will be crowned global champions and scoop the main share of the $2,225,000 prize pool.
|What:||T1 vs Royal Never Give Up, LOL World Champs|
|When:||17:00, Friday, October 21st, 2022|
|How to watch:||Riot Games Twitch channel / League of Legends Youtube channel|
|Odds:||T1 -250, Royal Never Give Up +175|
T1 were one of five teams to finish the Worlds group stage with a 5-1 win-loss record but their feat was made all the more impressive by the fact they were in this year's group of death along with Edward Gaming, Fnatic and Cloud9.
They were also the only group winners to not require a tiebreaker and their qualification for the tournament's knockout phase never really looked in doubt.
Their LCK Summer campaign was far from ideal - they were pipped to top spot in the regular season by Gen.G Esports, who thrashed them 3-0 in the final of the playoffs - but they have recently looked more like the team they were earlier in the year.
Support player Ryu "Keria" Min-seok and bot laner Lee "Gumayusi" Min-hyeong have both upped their game and T1 now look like the side who bossed the LCK Spring with 18 wins from 18 matches and consequently qualified for the Mid-Season Invitational.
It was a shock when they lost to Royal Never Give Up in that final but it was a close contest, finishing 3-2, and there are reasons to oppose T1's opponents this time around.
Royal Never Give Up are an experienced international outfit who are at this stage of Worlds on merit but it has been a long road for the LPL outfit, who had to battle through the play-in phase to reach the group stage.
They then made a red-hot start in Group D but illness in the camp scuppered their chances as they lost to Gen.G in their final group match and then in the tiebreaker.
It remains to be seen how the illness and absences will impact their roster going into this game but one thing is for sure - any team playing T1 at anything less than 100 per-cent is going to run into problems.
With that in mind, T1 look about right at -250 to win this contest.
But the history and quality between these two sides suggests it will not be a complete rollover and punters should look to split stakes between a 3-1 win for T1 at +250 and a 3-2 win for T1 at +350.
T1 finished the group stage of this year's Worlds in style, racking up 24 kills in their defeat of Edward Gaming one week ago and Lee "Faker" Sang-hyeok shone in that contest with six kills to his name.
"Faker" is a global superstar in the world of League of Legends and managed to record 20 kills throughout the Worlds group stage.
Chasing his fourth Worlds title, he will be seriously determined to carry this team into the semi-finals and punters should expect him to make a fast start.
A bet on "Faker" to record over 2.5 kills on map one against Royal Never Give Up at -187 could be a smart way to play it as well.Safer Gambling Week (17-23 October) – Let’s talk about safer gambling. Click here for more information on independent resources. Gamble Responsibly.