The 2020 League of Legends World Championship will begin this Saturday, October 3, with the opening group stage fixtures in Shanghai, China. The season’s culminating event will feature 22 of the best LoL teams from all corners of the world duking it out for the spot in the knockout stage and a shot at lifting the prestigious Summoner’s Cup.
The LoL Worlds will run from this weekend up to Saturday, October 31, when the top two teams will clash in a best-of-five (Bo5) series for the eternal glory and a name in the Hall of Fame. But before we get too ahead of ourselves, the teams still need to fight their way through the group stage, where we will see more than a few exciting fixtures between some of the strongest teams in the scene, as reunions of old rivals.
League of Legends World Championship Group A Preview
Group A will feature the reigning World’s finalists G2 Esports, the up-and-coming Chinese roster Suning, the renowned North American representatives Team Liquid, as well as the silent-but-deadly Taiwanese squad Machi Esports. With these teams, Group A is widely considered the weakest group at Worlds, which is true to some degree, but that does not necessarily mean two teams are guaranteed to advance.
G2 Esports is billed as the main favorites to lock in the first seed, but it’s hard to ignore what Suning brings to the table. As the third seed from League of Legends Pro League (LPL), Suning has proven they are worthy of representing their region; however, they also lack proper international experience, which can easily backfire.
Team Liquid and Machi Esports are two underdogs, but that does not necessarily mean they can’t deliver. Liquid has looked very strong in the Play-In stage, whereas many people sleep on Machi only because they’re hailing from a weaker region. We have to remember that Taiwanese squads have consistently proven their worth at Worlds, and we can be sure their first seed can cause a few upsets and surprise many.
Prediction to Advance from League of Legends World Championship Group A: G2 Esports, Team Liquid
League of Legends World Championship Group B Preview
The best-of-one (Bo1) series often produce upset wins, and while we can be sure there will be plenty of surprising results at 2020 Worlds, we can also say with utmost certainty that Group B is a two-horse race between JD Gaming and DAMWON Gaming.
JD Gaming and DAMWON Gaming are not only by far the strongest teams in Group B, but also two of the main favorites to win the whole thing. JD Gaming is the LPL 2020 Spring champions and LPL Summer finalists. Similarly, DAMWON Gaming completely smashed their opponents in the League of Legends Champions Korea (LCK), which tells a lot about their quality.
That is not to say PSG Talon and Rogue are bad teams, but luck wasn’t on their side this year, since they will both need to pull a rabbit out of their hat here if they want to come even close to securing the second seed. It will be interesting to see how this group plays out, but as it stands now, it seems like PSG Talon and Rogue’s best chance to win a match is in games where they face each other.
Prediction to Advance from League of Legends World Championship Group B: DAMWON Gaming, JD Gaming
League of Legends World Championship Group C Preview
Every tournament has the “Group of Death,” and often has the “Group of Life,” as well. While the former can be debated between Group B and Group D, it’s Group C that is undeniably what many people would like to call the Group of Life at this year’s event.
Featuring Fnatic, Gen.G, LGD Gaming, and Team SoloMid, this group offers each of the four teams a relatively equal chance to come out alive. While many believe the balance of power distributes the team in the order of Gen.G, Fnatic, LGD Gaming, and Team SoloMid, we have to remember all games are played as Bo1, so upsets are definitely on the card.
If we draw a line, Gen.G are rightfully the favorites; however, we have seen before how potent Fnatic can be on the international stage. At the same time, we should not sleep on Team SoloMid, who have looked vastly improved in the latter stages of the League of Legends Championship Series (LCS).
LGD Gaming is considered the black sheep here, mainly due to their poor performances during the play-in stage, where they struggled with consistency. Whether their tendency to drop the ball in Bo1 will translate to the main stage is anyone’s guess, but we can say for sure that LGD has a lot more to prove.
Prediction to Advance from League of Legends World Championship Group C: Fnatic, Gen.G
League of Legends World Championship Group D Preview
If 2020 season performance is something to go by, we can comfortably say Top Esports will lock in the first seed in Group D, leaving DRX, FlyQuest, and Unicorns of Love to fight for the second and final ticket leading to the knockout stage.
Out of those three teams, Korean team DRX is predicted as the heaviest favorites to clinch a second seed, so the safest bet here would be Top Esports and DRX to come out alive. But as we’ve seen before, DRX is a team that can easily fall apart – especially in the Bo1 series.
Unicorns of Love are perhaps the most exciting team to follow in this group, especially after their phenomenal performance in the Play-In stage. They are likely one of the strongest teams the League of Legends Continental League (LCL) has sent to Worlds, and UoL did not hesitate to prove that to everyone.
UoL possesses incredible individual talent, which they showcased throughout the year. While it’s hard to argue UoL players are individually better than DRX, their hyper-aggressive playstyle could easily catch the Koreans off guard.
That leaves us with FlyQuest, who had a phenomenal season and made it to the LCS grand finals in both splits, but they still lack a little something to put them in the conversation of a possible second seed.
Prediction to Advance from League of Legends World Championship Group D: Top Esports, DRX