The 2020 World Championship Knockout Stage Matchups Are Set
The 2020 World Championship Knockout Stage is right around the corner, so let’s do a somewhat quick breakdown of what we can expect and how we even got to this point in the first place. Before we delve any deeper into the minutiae of it all, let’s go over the four quarter-final matchups.
Who’s Playing Against Who?
We have Top Esports (LPL first seed) versus Fnatic (LEC second seed) and Suning (LPL third seed) versus JD Gaming (LPL second seed) fighting it out in the upper half of the bracket. Below them, we have Gen.G (LCK third seed) versus G2 Esports (LEC first seed) and DAMWON Gaming (LCK first seed) versus DRX (LCK second seed) — two matchups that are arguably less exciting but still pretty darn good.
Because of the way the Knockout Stage draw unfolded, we have three LPL teams on one side, and three LCK teams on the other, with a single LEC challenger thrown in for good measure to spice things up.
This means that we’re not going to see a potential LPL vs. LCK clash before the finals, which is both a good and a bad thing. Still, there’s a reason to get excited if you’re into top-tier League of Legends. All four matchups are packed with narratives and potential. At least three of them should deliver in some way, shape, or form.
The fact that Top Esports dropped a game to FlyQuest at the very tail-end of the Group Stage tells us one important thing: they’re not infallible. Sure, they might be close, but they can bleed. That’s all that matters to Fnatic and their many fans scattered across the globe. Historically speaking, Fnatic always did fairly well against LPL teams if we exclude that horrendous 0-3 shellacking that happened against Invictus Gaming in the 2018 World Championship finals. On the one hand, it’s impossible not to side with Top Esports seeing how they’re one of the biggest favorites to not only reach the finals but even win the whole thing.
Fnatic is no slouch. They’ve shown a commendable amount of synergy and aggression throughout the Group Stage. Oskar “Selfmade” Boderek, in particular, has blown the minds of many with his spectacular Evelynn, Graves, and Hecarim performances and is, without a doubt, Fnatic’s biggest catalyst. That’s kind of what they were trying to accomplish throughout 2020, but things didn’t “click” before Worlds. Fortunately, they’re finally playing as a cohesive five-man unit, and watching them in action is an absolute treat.
JD Gaming vs. Suning is an equally enticing matchup, although for entirely different reasons. JDG is favored, but not by a whole lot. Suning might not have the same amount of hype or momentum, but if Lê “SofM” Quang Duy’s recent level of play is any indication, they’re going to give JD a run for their money. Both LPL giants struggled a bit over the last two weeks but were ultimately able to huddle and capitalize when it mattered most. JD, in particular, made the world take notice by going 1-1 with DAMWON Gaming, which tells us one hugely important thing: they’re well-equipped for the monumental task at hand. While they’re by no means the favorite to ultimately hoist the World Championship trophy, they’re a force to be reckoned with. Their clash with Suning is bound to entertain in all the right ways.
Gen.G vs. G2 Esports is where things get a bit less hype, although it’s still an insanely entertaining matchup. G2 had a lot of luck coming into the Knockout Stage. They underperformed against Suning (twice in a row, to be more exact) and now scheduled to face what can rightfully be deemed the weakest first seed from Groups. Beating Gen.G is not only within the realm of possibility, but it’s somewhat expected from the best and most talented team Europe ever fostered. They’re more creative, flexible, and can match Gen.G lane for lane with equally talented players who’ve been competing at the highest of levels for years. Still, the former World Champions won’t go down without a fight, which means we should be in for an insanely close Best of 5 that could, by all means, go the five-game distance.
Finally, we have DAMWON Gaming vs. DRX. This, in short, is the least exciting matchup out of all four mainly because we know how it’ll end. Heck, you don’t even need to tune in — it’ll be that one-sided and swift. DAMWON already outclassed DRX in the Summer Split finals mere weeks ago, and the fashion in which it all went down tells us that DRX doesn’t stand even the slightest chance of pulling off an upset. They’re a capable bunch, that’s for sure, but they’re outmatched across the board. DAMWON is one of the most dangerous and impressive LCK teams in history (which is saying something), and there’s very little DRX can do to stop them. Regardless, if you’re a fan of DAMWON (and who isn’t?), tuning in should still provide you with ample entertainment.
Overall, the 2020 World Championship Knockout Stage doesn’t have any huge question mark. There’s no uncertainty. Top Esports, JD Gaming, G2, and DAMWON are all favored. There’s an excellent reason why that’s the case. The only team that might implode and fail is G2, but we know they’re a force of nature once Best of 5s come around, so there’s very little reason to doubt their potential triumph.
But even though we might be in for a couple of one-sided shellackings, entertainment will not be absent. Make sure to clear your schedule as you do not want to miss any of the action!