Who look like the best teams in the world?
The Group Stages of the League of Legends World Championship 2020 are well underway as every team has now faced all of its fellow group members once, giving us a reasonable idea of each squad’s strength.
However, anything can happen in Week 2 as the fate of all 16 teams will be decided with half of them soon to be eliminated. Here is the story of Worlds so far.
There were big expectations on North America’s Team Liquid (36.00) after the former LCS champions dominated the Play-Ins. However, the star-studded roster had a disastrous start with losses to China’s Suning Gaming (16.00) and Taiwan’s Machi Esports (40.00).
It was the nature of the losses that had NA fans so nervous as TL practically rolled over and accepted defeat - there was no proactivity or honestly even a sign of life.
Meanwhile, their European rivals G2 Esports (9.40) were fantastic. The LEC champions started their Groups campaign with a crucial win over Suning, who G2 top-laner Martin “Wunder” Hansen believes may actually be China’s strongest team, before managing to handle Machi too.
In both games, support Mihael “Mikyx” Mehle was phenomenal with superb performances on Tahm and Bard. The latter was the best performance from a support at the tournament so far.
However, during the third set of fixtures the outlook of this group changed a bit as TL bounced back with a huge win over G2 which might just keep their Knockouts hopes alive. G2 are known for being inconsistent, especially in best-of-ones, so this result didn’t come as too big a surprise.
G2 still needs to adapt to the meta and have some things to work on but fans shouldn’t be too worried just yet as that defeat was largely down to a level one cheese from TL that set them too far behind. Meanwhile, TL still have a lot to work on, especially their game-plan for when they can’t acquire early leads.
For both, the matches against Suning will be what determines their fate.
The LCK champions look like the squad that can bring the Summoner’s Cup back to Korea after somewhat toying with their extremely competitive group - playing 14 different champions in their opening three games. JD are up there as one of the other favourites to win the tournament but the LPL second seeds were stomped and lost the game with a 15k gold deficit.
Meanwhile, Rogue (40.00) have also shown to be a strong team in their own right - they dominated the PCS’s PSG Talon (40.00) and put up a good against both JDG and DAMWON. However, the latter simply outclassed them in the end.
The experience will certainly aid Rogue in future and the potential is clearly there but the team has a lot to learn in a short space of time if they want to stand a chance of reaching the Quarter-Finals.
As many expected, Group C is extremely open though it has once again been a tough time for NA fans with LCS champions TSM (36.00) failing to register a single win. There really isn’t much to say about the team, they simply haven’t been good enough and need a miraculous recovery to now place in the top two.
Meanwhile, the rest of the teams are all tied with 2-1 records. Fnatic appeared to be on top form with wins over TSM and Gen.G (13.00) but a tricky draft cost them against China’s LGD Gaming (36.00). But for now, Fnatic and Gen.G are still the two favoured to make it out of this group.
And while Fnatic were superb against the Korean third-seeds, we likely haven’t seen the best of Gen.G just yet considering their star player Park "Ruler" Jae-hyuk has been battling a rather nasty ear infection. With his condition now improving, we might see the LCK roster take things up a notch.
Finally in Group D, things are again going as expected as Worlds favourites Top Esports (2.64) are dominating with a flawless 3-0 record so far. TES’s games haven’t been as clean as DAMWON’s victories but realistically that is probably because of the stylistic differences of the two. TES has very strong individuals and that has been proven, they will skill-check their opponents at every given possibility and come out on top more often than not.
As for the rest of the group, the LCK’s DRX (18.00) are far from perfect but for now seem to be much better than the other two in the group in NA’s FlyQuest (40.00) and Russia’s Unicorns of Love (40.00). FlyQuest had a solid start to the game but a poor engage that featured misplays and bad communication from all the players, not just the awful Pantheon engage from Lee "IgNar" Dong-geun, set them too far back and DRX dominated from there.
FlyQuest have gradually improved as the tournament has gone on and you can see there are good signs from the team. But after struggling against wildcards UoL in which top-laner Solo broke the Worlds record for most deaths in a game with nine - this team probably isn’t ready for the next stage.
Midnite Rundown Newsletter
Join the newsletter to receive the latest updates in your inbox.