Top Esports Wins the Inaugural 2020 Mid-Season Cup
If you’re looking for top-tier League of Legends, for the best macro and the most commanding team fighting, look no further than the LPL. That was the case for the last two and a half years, and that’s certainly the case right now. The inaugural 2020 Mid-Season Cup just concluded with LPL’s Top Esports emerging victorious in a thrilling four-game series, an utter shellacking in every sense of the word.
You know you’re in for a treat when the defending World Champions FunPlus Phoenix succumbs to a team that’s seemingly even more aggressive and mechanically gifted. Just writing that last sentence makes one feel strange. How is such a thing even possible? It seems that the LPL just cannot cease producing League of Legends behemoths, all unique and capable in their own right. The best ones, however, the crème de la crème, stand out in no small part because of their unrelenting aggression and mind-blowing willingness to engage and skirmish no matter the odds.
This Mid-Season Cup, an acceptable stand-in for the Mid-Season Invitational, made one thing very clear: China is still at the top of the world of competitive League. They’re No. 1 with everyone else fighting for scraps beneath them. And the gap between China and the rest of the world is so staggeringly vast that it’s not even fun any longer. They’re running circles around their opposition. It seems as though a huge meta shift would have to transpire if they were to be dethroned. If Riot doesn’t push the game towards a more macro-oriented style of play, the LPL is destined to dominate for many more years to come.
Coming for the Top Spot
Top Esports, in particular, made things very clear. They’ve beaten four World Champions en route to lifting the Mid-Season Cup trophy: T1, Gen.G, Invictus Gaming, and FunPlus Phoenix. That’s quite a resume, and they’ve crossed so many names off their list in a matter of days. How serious these giants took the Mid-Season Cup is anyone’s guess at this point. They certainly fought hard, that’s for sure, but with no huge prize on the line, this was effectively a more prestigious Rift Rivals. It’s still a good indication of who’s stronger than whom, but these results shouldn’t be taken as some universal, definitive truth.
A lot can change in a couple of months, as evidenced by the past.
Still, at this point, the LPL reigns supreme. Top Esports, FunPlus Phoenix, and JD Gaming are all separated by the slimmest of margins; three titans of mind-blowing talent and potential. If you thought their unique brand of League would diminish in power over time, you’re wrong — it is as potent as ever. At the time of this writing, Top Esports are at the team to beat. The way they outclassed FunPlus left no room for doubt or discussion; it was an absolute masterclass in every way, shape, and form, with each member carrying his fair share of the weight.
The first game was a blind pick, so there’s very little reason to dissect it in detail. FunPlus then responded in force making us think we’d be in for an even affair. Game three was the moment Top Esports decided to kick things into overdrive — they started playing like they’d forgotten to turn the stove off! 19-5 and 26-9 were the final kill tallies for games three and four, and they tell you all you need to know. It was a commanding performance game after game and it left no one indifferent.
It’s impossible not to wonder how the competitive landscape will look in a couple of months. Will Top be able to maintain such a staggering level of play throughout 2020? Will FunPlus’ Worlds throne be endangered, or will they ascend when it matters the most, much like they did last year? If anything, this year’s Worlds is shaping up to be one of the most stacked and competitive championships in history. China and Europe will both be sending four teams to compensate for the loss of the Mid-Season Invitational — a spectacle worthy of witnessing.
It seems as though the LPL era is bound to continue flourishing. Even if you’re not a fan of witnessing your favorite teams get slaughtered by these oh-so-powerful Chinese behemoths, it’s impossible not to respect their in-game bravado and penchant for skirmishing. As far as dynasties go, the LPL one looks rather unassailable at the time of this writing.