Top 2020 LCS Storylines to Follow for the Season
The upcoming competitive season won’t give us any unexpected narratives as far as the LCS goes. That, however, doesn’t mean it’ll lack in entertainment or spectacle. On the contrary, many 2020 LCS storylines are more than worth your time and undivided attention. In many ways, this is an important year for the LCS.
After a strange but ultimately disappointing 2019, many fans across the globe no longer consider North America as a premier, top-tier region. Their one historic upset at the Mid-Season Invitational aside, the region and its three challengers struggled once they competed against the best teams the world of competitive League had to offer.
2020 should, therefore, be the year of redemption. Coincidentally, that’s what each team listed below is looking for as well. Some performed severely throughout the year. Whereas others look to start 2020 on the right foot and make the world take notice.
Either way, they all have something to fight for, which means they probably won’t pull any punches going forward.
With that out of the way, let’s focus on six fascinating 2020 LCS storylines that you should follow over the coming months!
The Return of 100 Thieves?
100 Thieves’ LCS run so far has been a rollercoaster. From going to Worlds in their very first year in the LCS to a bottom-tier dweller. Both spectacular success and crushing failure all in two years. After their implosion in 2019 (highlighted by egregious calls by the organization), many fans lost faith in the 100 Thieves brand and with good reason.
With Christopher “PapaSmithy” Smith coming in as general manager, it seemed like 100 Thieves turned the ship around repented for mind-boggling decisions and roster moves they made in the past.
In many ways, PapaSmithy’s voice of reason lacked. He’s a man governed by logic and experience, someone who doesn’t act on a whim and laser-focused on the task at hand. He opted to bring back William “Meteos” Hartman along with Cody “Cody Sun” Sun. The two former players got released by the organization despite their fantastic performances.
He also brought over a promising mid laner talent from Oceania (Tommy “ry0ma” Le) and managed to keep Kim “Ssumday” Chan-ho, one of the best top laners in the world and arguably 100 Thieves’ biggest catalyst and win condition. It’s by no means a perfect roster, but you can see that a lot of thought went into assembling it.
In short, 100 Thieves mean business. They want to right many wrongs. They’re making all the correct moves to repent for their former transgressions. They probably won’t leave much of a mark in the grand scheme of things. But, they’ll field a fascinating roster, one that has the right tools to compete for a playoff spot. Finally, their coaching staff has great depth and experience. So, if the stars align, 100 Thieves could certainly surprise a lot of people.
Cloud9, Take Two
If you were an LCS regular back in the day, you wouldn’t recognize Cloud9’s current line-up. For the first time, there’s not a single OG Cloud9 member competing under their banner, and that feels strange. That said, Cloud9 needed to field a completely different roster and find a different identity.
Throughout the last two years, the Cloud9 bunch stayed solid no matter the meta or line-up. Still, they weren’t going to beat Team Liquid and hoist the LCS trophy any time soon. So when their players started leaving for Evil Geniuses, the organization tried to make the best of a fairly tricky situation.
To their credit, they succeeded admirably. We still haven’t seen this Cloud9 line-up in action. But, if things pan out as well as they could, they’re not only a shoo-in for the playoffs but perhaps even a Top 3 challenger. To potentially be that strong after losing three staple players (one of whom recently awarded the MVP of the Split award), is amazing and worthy of the highest praise.
2020 is fascinating for a multitude of different reasons. Seeing a brand-new shade of Cloud9 is one of the most exciting 2020 LCS storylines, especially if you’re a long-time fan. We might not like this line-up as much as the one that came before it. However, it’ll surely bring something unique to the table. We can’t wait to see it in action.
In any case, Cloud9 never disappoints, so we should be in for one heck of a show.
Team SoloMid, A Possible Return to Glory
Two full years have passed since Team SoloMid last dominated. They certainly had a couple of fantastic moments throughout both years, but couldn’t stay consistent to reclaim their long-lost throne.
The fact that they’re no longer champions isn’t the biggest surprise. Them missing out on Worlds twice in a row is arguably the biggest shocker. The boys in black and white are synonymous with success and North America. The fact that they couldn’t attain it over the last two years still feels like a strange, almost surreal.
After all, they’re Team SoloMid.
But times change. They affect not just the region but the many teams within it as well. Team SoloMid certainly didn’t adapt. As a result, they quickly dethroned by someone seemingly more powerful and capable.
2020, however, seems like the year in which they’re bound to return to their former glory and become one of the top 2020 LCS storylines. They made three changes to their roster. All three could be the deciding factor in their inevitable clash against Team Liquid further down the road.
In short, they have more firepower. Some might argue they have too much of it. Team SoloMid can play (and win) through any lane. If they synergize in the right way, this could be the best and most aggressive incarnation of the roster in history. That’s what fans wanted for years — to see a more confident, proactive TSM.
With three new mechanically gifted veterans by their side (one of whom already played for Team SoloMid), they’re bound to challenge the Liquid dynasty. To make matters even more interesting, the notion of them beating the reigning, defending champions is entirely plausible. With four consecutive titles behind their belts, Liquid might become a bit complacent. If that happens, Team SoloMid will strike and capitalize.
After all, what’s left for them to compete for? They’ve already proven their worth. On the other hand, Team SoloMid want to redeem themselves for their recent failures and taking a Team Liquid down would be a resounding statement.
They’re a fascinating challenger and watching them grow and compete will be an absolute pleasure.
FlyQuest, A Dark Horse Lurking in the Shadows
No one’s talking about FlyQuest. They’re not exactly entering 2020 heralded as a titan of competitive League. After a spectacular start to the 2019 season, FlyQuest dropped off hard. That’s an understatement. They went from a Top 6 playoff team with a unique identity and playstyle to one of the worst teams in the region performance-wise.
It was a strange development, as well. Nothing changed, at least nothing observed by the naked eye. The meta did shift ever so slightly. FlyQuest lost a bit of their edge and no longer effective, neither individually nor as a five-man unit. One of their biggest strengths in Spring was their willingness to fight without reserve come mid and late game, but seeing how that became the norm, FlyQuest’s most impressive virtue effectively neutralized.
But we’ve seen their immense talent and potential. They only had to improve in minor ways during the off-season to once again reach the playoffs. Fortunately, the organization made the right moves by signing Tristan “PowerOfEvil” Schrage and Lee “IgNar” Dong-geun, two aggressive, mechanically gifted playmakers. They’re the perfect fit for FlyQuest because they want to play the game in a somewhat similar manner.
Stylistically speaking, a match made in heaven.
Now, they are by no means a shoo-in for the playoffs, but they’re a solid, heavily underestimated challenger. If they adapt to the meta fast enough and play to their strengths, don’t be surprised if FlyQuest starts taking down the who’s who of the LCS.
Whether they’ll succeed in maintaining such a stellar level of play is another matter entirely, but they have a puncher’s chance.
Evil Geniuses — Will they Thrive?
The return of Evil Geniuses is a reason for celebration. They’re a legendary organization, but they’re not going to rest on their laurels or stacked (esports) pedigree. Instead, they’re entering the LCS with their eyes set on the throne. The North American region is in dire need of new challengers.
Evil Geniuses also seem to have a unique approach. They’ve signed a fascinating mix of players for the job. They’re all insanely talented, but whether that’ll be enough to leave a mark remains to be seen.
Will they thrive and reach the top of the region like many predict? Or will they hover in the middle of the standings and eventually just become a capable mid-tier contender? We simply cannot know now. But, it’s an insanely intriguing question. At best, they’ll challenge the status quo. At worst, they’ll entertain us by trying their hardest.
Counter Logic Gaming — Will the Faithful Be Rewarded?
The former LCS champions certainly had a rough couple of years, but things have finally shifted for the better. The Counter Logic Gaming we saw last year slightly differs when compared to their peers. They had an identity to call their own.
The important thing about CLG is that they’re making proactive moves to improve. That’s commendable, especially after multiple years of absolute mediocrity. The fact that they secured a Top 3 finish in the regular portion of the 2019 Summer Split is reason enough to give them our full benefit of the doubt.
They’re by no means perfect, but with Lee “Crown” Min-ho and Andy “Smoothie” Ta by their side, it’s fair to say that they’re well-equipped for any kind of challenge. They didn’t have such a solid line-up since the days when they dominated in the LCS.
What’s important is that they’ve improved throughout the off-season. They didn’t change in any monumental way. That’s good because they didn’t need to. Instead of making sweeping changes, they just had to adjust in small, nuanced ways, and they succeeded admirably.
You can expect Counter Logic Gaming to enter the season swinging. They already have a solid amount of synergy, so they’re bound to capitalize, at least early on.
That’s it for our list of six 2020 LCS storylines you should follow over the coming months! These fascinating narratives will entertain us from the moment these teams step foot on stage.