Teams to Watch at League of Legends Worlds 2020
The 2020 League of Legends World Championship, aka Worlds, is stacked with excellent teams and mind-blowing challengers, so let’s go over the ones you should focus on the most. Now, first of all, this isn’t necessarily going to be a list of favorites. Instead, we’ll focus on a healthy mix of proven veterans who stand a chance of ultimately hoisting the Worlds trophy, and underdogs who are more than worthy of your undivided attention.
To further elaborate: G2 Esports, for example, is the best and most successful team Europe ever fostered. Putting them on this list, therefore, would be redundant — you already know they’re worth keeping an eye on. MAD Lions, on the other hand, might have flown under your radar if you didn’t follow the LEC all that much.
You get the jist.
So with that preliminary explanation out of the way, let’s focus on five 2020 League of Legends Worlds teams you need to keep tabs on over the coming weeks!
First of all, one thing needs to be made clear: MAD Lions aren’t favored to accomplish much. That’s a fact. With LPL sending four incredibly talented teams, it’s fair to say that no one other than G2 and DAMWON stand a chance of trading blows. This is a premature prediction, but it’s entirely based on historical performance and the amount of success each major region found over the years. Still, MAD Lions is among the craziest and most confident teams you’ll find — even to a fault.
They’re far from perfect (as evidenced by their recent playoffs run), but they fight and play with such bravado that it’s impossible not to be blown away. In that regard, they’re like a top-tier LPL team, minus the pristine positioning and immaculate execution. They’re also insanely talented and are playing their hearts out regardless of whom they’re up against. With champion oceans and more than enough mechanical talent, they’ll gladly go toe-to-toe with the best teams in the world. This young line-up is accompanied with an equally talented coaching staff; MAD Lions always had a fantastic read on the meta long before teams like G2 and Fnatic realized what worked and what didn’t.
They still have lots to prove, but if there’s one team from a major League of Legends region that stands a chance of causing an upset at Worlds 2020, it has to be the MAD Lions. They’re the players everyone thinks of when we talk about the next breed of LEC talent, and they’re more than worthy of the hype.
They’re up against INTZ in the Play-In stage opener, and you do not want to miss it!
Unicorns of Love
How could you not keep an eye on a team with such a peculiar name? If you’re relatively new to competitive League, then the Unicorns probably don’t ring a bell. If, on the other hand, you’re a veteran spectator who’s been around for a while, then seeing this family-run organization compete at Worlds will be a pleasure unlike any other.
Unicorns of Love — led by none other than Fabian “Sheepy” Mallant — are a wildcard titan. We mustn’t forget how much success Sheepy found with off-the-wall drafts and seemingly underpowered rosters back when he was coaching in the LEC. After failing to become a permanent partner, Sheepy took all of his knowledge and experience to the LCL and the rest, as they say, is history.
Sheepy is an alchemist through and through and is more than worthy of being considered as one of LEC’s premier coaches, despite being somewhat forgotten. He’s led this line-up to multiple LCL championships in a row and has lost just a single game in the 2020 LCL Summer Split. This is a team stacked with creative, explosive, and highly aggressive players — a perfect mix for the current meta. They even have a seventeen-minute win from a couple of months back. They’re truly the best LCL champion we’ve seen in years, perhaps only rivaled by the legendary Albus Nox Luna from 2016.
Now, granted, the LCL isn’t stacked with the best and most capable teams around, but it stands to reason that this line-up could do a lot of damage in the LEC as well. They’re insanely confident and have what it takes to reach the Group Stage and round out the Top 16 teams at Worlds.
Korea didn’t have this hyped of a challenger in years. DAMWON Gaming, in short, demolished everyone throughout the 2020 LCK Summer Split. In fact, it wasn’t even remotely close. They always found a way to win, and they often did it in mind-blowing fashion. The reason why everyone’s so high on DAMWON isn’t because they’re the LCK champions — that title doesn’t have as much weight as it did in the past.
Instead, it’s precisely because they don’t look like an LCK champion.
Top-tier Korean teams are slow to execute, they’re patient and careful almost to a fault. They’ll play as slowly as humanly possible and wait for the perfect time to strike. When you pair that with some of the brightest minds the world of competitive League has to offer and more than just a few mechanical deities, you naturally get a region that’s staggeringly capable.
But despite their talent and experience, they haven’t been able to leave a mark in years because they’ve refused to adapt to the meta. Or, perhaps, they’re simply incapable of adapting, seeing how they’ve been honing their macro-oriented style of play for so many years.
DAMWON is the first top-tier LCK team that doesn’t look the part. Instead, if you removed their name tags you’d think they were from the LPL; in 2020 that’s about as big of a compliment as possible. In other words, they’re incredibly dangerous and are rightfully considered as a shoo-in for the finals at WOrlds.
They’re slotted in Group B alongside former LPL champions JD Gaming — another staggeringly powerful titan of competitive League. Watching them fight against each other will be an absolute must.
Everyone from LPL
Naturally, a list of 2020 League of Legends Worlds teams to watch cannot be complete without a mention of the LPL. The fact that we won’t be seeing Invictus Gaming (2018 champions) or FunPlus Phoenix (2019 champions) tells you all you need to know when it comes to understanding the LPL and its depth. FPX is still stacked with talent and yet they couldn’t even crack Top 4.
Let that one sink in.
The jury’s still out on LGD and Suning; Top Esports and JD Gaming, on the other hand, are universally deemed as potential champions. In fact, they might even meet in the finals should they perform up to expectations. They’re so incredibly good at the game, it doesn’t even make sense. They’ve met in both LPL finals this year and are currently tied with five wins apiece. JD Gaming emerged victorious in Spring, with Top getting revenge in Summer. In other words, they’re equal in terms of strength and potential, with Top Esports having slightly more momentum given their recent triumph.
The LPL isn’t as popular in the West as the LCK was, but not following Chinese teams over the coming weeks would be a dire mistake. If you’re after the best and cleanest League of Legends — and arguably most entertaining — the LPL is the way to go. In fact, they might be the only viable option!
We all know that G2 Esports will do well, so mentioning them in this listicle feels quite unnecessary. How well, however, still remains to be seen, but there’s reason for optimism. Fnatic, on the other hand, is always a mystery coming into Worlds which, depending on your allegiance, is either a good or a bad thing.
They’re impossible to read, despite how well they perform coming into the tournament. If recent years (and splits) are any indication, they’ll start slow and lose nearly every game they can. Then, in a twist that almost seems pre-fabricated, they’ll go on a mind-blowing winstreak and advance into the quarterfinals before succumbing to an LPL/LCK team that’s far superior — both individually as well as a five-man unit.
That’s their M.O. and it still hasn’t gotten stale, despite it being on repeat each and every year. It’s a rollercoaster of emotions and if you’re a Fnatic fan, you’re probably squinting throughout its entirety. Because of this, you absolutely need to keep track of what they do and how well they perform. They’re never boring as they rarely play “by the book,” which is one of the many reasons why they’re still universally beloved and respected.
This time around, they’ll have to face North America’s Team SoloMid and Gen.G, the second-best team from Korea. This, frankly speaking, is quite an “easy” group for the boys in black and orange, given that they perform up to expectations. They’re more versatile than TSM, and they’re no strangers to upsetting Asian teams many deem superior. Still, given their inherent volatility and knack for dropping games out of the blue, predicting their success (or lack thereof) is nigh impossible.
Still, they’re more than worthy of your undivided attention.
The 2020 League of Legends World Championship is about to begin, and you’d be wise to mark your calendars!