The League of Legends 2020 World Championship play-in groups have been determined as ten teams have been divided up into two different groups that will participate in round robin sets against each team in their group. The first seed from each group at the end of the round robin sets will automatically advance to the Main Event Worlds 2020 group stages. 2nd through 4th place seeds will compete in a knockout stage where the sets are best of five. The winners of the 3rd and 4th place knockout will face off against the 2nd seed in a final best of five to determine the last four spots in the Worlds 2020 Main Event Group Stage.
Representatives of China, Europe, North America, Southeast Asia and beyond will be competing for the final opportunities at World 2020 stardom. To get there, they will have to run through the gauntlet of the best teams in their respective regions. In this preview we will delve into all the major fixtures happening in this year’s play-in, and which teams are most likely to walk away from their groups unscathed.
Group A – NA vs. EU early
The two major behemoths in Group A are undoubtedly Europe’s MAD Lions and North America’s Team Liquid. Both teams suffered similar fates in the playoffs as they finished the regular season in first place– superior to all teams in a best of one setting, but fell off considerably in the playoffs to more composed competition.
MAD Lions will look to win through mid and jungle and exploit the weaknesses of other teams through their unique combo of Humanoid and Shad0w. MAD Lions’ Shad0w is a unique player, as his Italian-Chinese nationality granted him an opportunity to join a Chinese League of Legends roster back in 2016, but he opted against that due to how hands-on the coaching staff was over the players. Since then, Shad0w has rampaged his way through Europe’s amateur scene and is now the driving force behind Europe having four representatives at Worlds 2020 if all goes according to plan.
At this current moment on GGbet League of Legends betting odds, MAD Lions are favored over Team Liquid in their head-to-head and with good reason. Although the duo of Broxah and Jensen have done well domestically for Team Liquid, Shad0w and Humanoid possess a different level of synergy that most North American teams have yet to master. This will most likely be the difference maker for Europe’s MAD Lions as they look to pounce on inherent player advantages in jungle and bot as a means to propel themselves to victory.
Further down the line, look for Papara SuperMassive and Legacy Esports to possibly take some surprise games off the top two seeds and make a run for themselves in the knockout stages. SuperMassive possesses a slew of veteran LoL talents spearheaded by the long-time Korean jungler KaKAO. Legacy Esports have dominated the OPL region this 2020 season and this new batch of Australian talent getting their first taste of Worlds action will do wonders for their growth as players going forward.
Group B – LGD or bust
Group B’s chances are a lot more lopsided at the top as LGD Gaming should be slated to finish the group stage without losing a single game, if all goes according to plan. LGD Gaming could have easily made our top ten list for LoL Worlds 2020 Power Rankings at the 10th or even 9th slot, but missed out on that opportunity by not taking a single win during their 3rd-4th place match against Suning Gaming. This group stage should go much smoother and give them a much needed boost of confidence as they prepare to get slotted into Group C alongside Fnatic, Team SoloMid and Gen. G.
If any team is capable of taking a win off LGD Gaming and securing a second place seed, its Unicorns of Love. The CIS winners have dominated the region since their return as a roster in 2020, with an impressive 39-2 record over the course of two splits. They are one of the most solidified teams to come from that region since Albus Nox Luna in 2016. Due to their lack of starpower and emphasis on teamwork, UOL are favored slightly higher than teams like PSG Talon and Rainbow7, who will be relying on 1-2 players to do a majority of the heavy lifting.
While Group B is a lot less stacked in terms of talent, this gives an opportunity for other teams to rise up through the knockout rounds with the third and fourth seeds from each group competing against each other to continue in the tournament.
Featured Image Credits: LoL Esports