For the first time since 2019, a different team, not GAM Esports or Saigon Buffalo, will represent Vietnam in a big League of Legends tournament. Today, Team Whales earned a spot in the 2023 League World Championship by defeating Team Secret in the VCS lower bracket final.
Since 2019, only GAM Esports (formerly called Gigabyte Marines) and Saigon Buffalo (formerly known as Phong Vu Buffalo) have gone to international League of Legends tournaments for Vietnam. Over these four seasons, every Mid-Season Invitational and World Championship had at least one of these teams, if not both, from Vietnam.
WELCOME TO #WORLDS2023:
— LoL Esports (@lolesports) September 3, 2023
In 2020 and 2021, Vietnam couldn’t send any teams to international LoL tournaments because of travel problems caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, this year, Team Whales will be the first team, not GAM Esports or Saigon Buffalo, to represent the VCS globally since Lowkey Esports did so in 2019. Team Whales finished second in the VCS Summer Split regular season and was sent to the lower bracket by Team Secret in an earlier playoff match. Today, Team Whales had a tough five-game series but eventually secured Vietnam’s last spot at Worlds 2023.
Don’t worry, GAM Esports will continue their streak and will also attend this year’s World Championship. It’s just that they’ll have a new team, Team Whales, alongside them.
Last year, the VCS champion automatically entered the Worlds group stage, while the runner-up had to go through the play-in stage to earn their spot in the main event. But this season, both GAM Esports and Team Whales will have to compete in the play-in stage if they want to play with the major region teams that have qualified for the event.
The VCS grand finals between Team Whales and GAM will happen on September 9, and the Worlds play-in stage will kick off with the Worlds Qualifying Series on October 9.