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PandaScore: 2023 League of Legends World Championship preview

By - 2 October 2023

Clay Bartolo, Trading Operations Leader at PandaScore, reflects on 2022’s League of Legends World Championship and sets out his expectations for this year’s event.

The 2022 League of Legends World Championship broke records and provided plenty of drama. Worlds 2022 viewership rose by 28 per cent over the previous year, reaching a peak viewership of over 5.1 million people – setting a new record for LoL tournaments. The viewership numbers matched the ambition of the whole event, with large-scale events across multiple venues in North America.

The final was straight out of a storybook, with Korean side DRX slogging their way through the Play-In tournament just to make it to the main event, playing a tiebreaker to top their group and playing nine out of 10 possible games to reach the final.

They met bonafide League royalty – Faker – and a T1 squad that rarely set a foot wrong to the final. Longtime rivals Faker and Deft squared off in a five-game barn burner, with DRX taking home to the trophy to scenes of jubilation and tears.

Last year’s tournament was high on drama, storylines and action, and at PandaScore, it translated into one of the biggest LoL tournaments for betting to date.

Good growth in turnover

The success of the tournament resulted in a major bump in overall betting turnover, generating 31 per cent more in bet volume compared to the 2021 World Championship. It comes as no surprise that with so much on the line, the final between T1 and DRX stood head and shoulders above the rest in terms of total turnover generated. The final itself yielded 41 per cent more in turnover compared to T1 vs. JD Gaming, the second most popular matchup of the tournament.

By the numbers: Worlds 2022

Turnover split saw prematch account for 47.94 per cent of bets whilst 52.06 per cent was live. Among PandaScore’s customer base, prematch markets for League of Legends are still very popular, bucking the general 60-40 split in favour of live betting that you see across many other game titles.
Top 10 most popular markets.


  1. Match: Winner 2-way
  2. Game: Kill handicap
  3. Match: Map handicap
  4. Game: First kill
  5. Game: Winner 2-way
  6. Game: Kill participant total
  7. Game: Player kills over/under
  8. Game: Total kills
  9. Match: Most Nashors 3-way
  10. Game: Kill participant over/under


  1. Match: Winner 2-way
  2. Game: Winner 2-way
  3. Game: Kills handicap
  4. Game: Kill participant over/under
  5. Game: Tower participant over/under
  6. Match: Match: Maps handicap
  7. Game: Drakes handicap
  8. Game: Kills over/under
  9. Game: Player kills over/under
  10. Match: Maps over/under

Trading Worlds 2023

This year’s edition of the competition heads to Seoul and Busan, bringing a few changes to the early stages of the tournament. The play-in stage – where minor regions compete for the last few spots in the main event – has changed from a two-group round-robin format to a two-group double-elimination bracket. While it means less total matches, teams will be playing in best-of-three series rather than one-off games. Each team will play five matches, but being best-of-three means there could be the same number of games, and with higher stakes.

On the trading front, the move away from one-and-done matches to series means that at this stage there’s likely to be less volatility as better teams generally have an edge over multiple games.
The main group stage, however, could have more volatility. For the first time in pro-LoL the group stage will run on a Swiss format rather than a four-group round-robin. Expect to see plenty of competitive matchups considering the group stage will have 16 teams competing over five rounds.

Esports traders will have to adjust, including from a logistical perspective. Previously if there were five days of group-stage competition you’d open the full offer for day one, as well as match winner and main markets for day two well in advance to capture early interest from bettors. But given the Swiss format, the next round of matchups will unfold day by day. There will be less time for bettors to place their wagers as the matches will be open for less than 24 hours.

Less time for the markets to be up could dampen overall volume, but the format change makes it more exciting for bettors. The best teams will face their equals more and the slumping teams will duke it out for the last remaining spots. There should be closer matches overall which indicates a bit more volatility, but will also generate more hype and activity around these matches. There are going to be upsets along the way and it’ll make for juicier odds.

The format changes for one of the biggest tournaments on the esports calendar will be an interesting test run. With less time for bettors to bet but more hype, excitement and drama in the group stages, it will be interesting to see if the competition’s early stages take a greater share of overall turnover, and ultimately help grow the esports betting pie too.

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