The esports event of the Asian Games has recently concluded and fans around the world have received some good news. The tournament favorites in South Korea take home the Gold medal and are declared the Asian Games 2023 winner after beating Chinese Taipei in the finals and defending champions – Team China – in the semifinals. The champions made a dominant run, ending the tournament with 0 losses across all games.
The Asian Games 2023 Winner
South Korea is the Asian Games 2023 winner with the team boasting a superteam of the best players in each role from the LCK. On paper, Team South Korea was the undeniable favorite in the tournament with some of the best players in the world filling each role in the game. It was unsurprising that the team made quick work of the other countries and barely had any trouble against other countries, including Team China, which was considered the 2nd strongest team in the tournament.
The Asian Games League of Legends featured 15 teams from across the continent. Team China, India, Malaysia, and Saudi Arabia skipped the group stage and competed straight to the Knockout Stage and awaited the 4 teams that performed well in the Group Stage. Major League of Legends countries like South Korea, Chinese Taipei, Vietnam, and Macau won their respective groups with relative ease.
Unsurprisingly, Team China, South Korea, Vietnam, and Chinese Taipei – all of whom were big forces in the main League of Legends series – managed to proceed to the quarterfinals. Team China would face off early against South Korea with fans expecting this to be the highlight of the tournament. However, South Korea dominated the defending champions and ended the series 2-0 with the scoreboards not showing hints that the games were even remotely close.
With Team China out of the way, Team South Korea was guaranteed to win the entire tournament and take home the Gold medal for their country. Chinese Taipei featured prominent names such as Karsa, Hanabi, FoFo, Doggo, Swordart, and even their coach Warhors but Team South Korea proved to be too much for them to handle. South Korea swept Chinese Taipei and was declared the Asian Games 2023 winner.
The Hidden Prize of Winning the Gold Medal
Non-South Korean fans might see winning the Gold Medal in itself being a prize that players will cherish since they were able to bring glory to their country. However, there is a hidden prize that comes with winning this Gold Medal for the players involved that international fans might not know. South Korean citizens who win a gold medal in the Asian Games and Olympics are exempted from participating in mandatory military service.
This is a huge deal for esports players because the mandatory military usually takes 2 years to complete for men. Having to take a 2-year break from esports usually spells the end of your professional career because teams aren’t interested in older players who have not actively been training and competing for more than 1 year. Once a South Korean player gets called for military service, they usually have no esports career waiting for them once they finish aside from coach or casting.
Faker Will Never Retire?!
Team South Korea consisted of names such as Zeus, Kanavi, Faker, Chovy, Ruler, and Keria. For the vast majority of League of Legends esports, the fact that Faker won the Gold Medal and is exempted from military service is a headliner that many people around the world are excited about. The main point of excitement comes from the subject of retirement not being on the table anymore now that he’s not forced to break away from the game.
Faker has proven very recently that he is still a dominant force in the esports scene despite how long he’s been competing. Many fans are still excited for him to win his 4th World Championship trophy and even though his prime has long passed, he is still always considered to be one of the top contenders in every tournament that he attends. However, there is only so much time that an esports contender can do to stay relevant in the game.
Faker isn’t the oldest active League of Legends competitor in the world. However, many people believe that he is already at the point in his career that retirement is an option that he should start considering. He has already gone on several hiatus due to having health issues that he needed to resolve and it’s only a matter of time before he is no longer in physical shape to compete against the best players not just internationally but domestically as well.
Esports is a rough industry since competitors don’t have the luxury of being good forever. The players who were declared the Asian Games 2023 winners may have extended their professional careers by a few years, but it is impossible that they’ll break through the age barrier of relevance in esports. By the time these players reach the age of 30, the chances of them being a starter for any competitive team are extremely low.
The Asian Games 2023 Results Coming into Worlds
It is now an undeniable fact that South Korea currently has the best players in the world in most of the roles. However, South Korea being declared the Asian Games 2023 winners has nothing to do with the LCK winning worlds. After all, players like Kanavi and Ruler, who arguably contributed most to the success of team South Korea are currently playing in the LPL. They will both represent JD Gaming, who are currently considered the team that will most likely win the World Championship.
No matter what type of opinion fans have about the import rule, it’s hard to debate that China doesn’t have a chance of taking the World Championship trophy this year. Having some big names like Knight and 369 alongside Rule and Kanavi will prove to be a huge mountain to climb for every other team in the tournament. This is especially true since JD Gaming also won the 2023 Mid-Season Invitationals easily.