The League of Legends Worlds 2020 schedule was released this year during the Tencent Global Esports Summit. Riot Games announced the LoL Worlds schedule for the 2020 League of Legends World Championship that was slightly postponed due to the worldwide pause during the Summer Split that also saw the cancellation of the Mid Season Invitational (MSI).
This year’s World Championship will take place September 25 – October 31 in Shanghai, China. The Worlds 2020 Group Draw for all pooled teams will take place on September 15. This year’s chances for China and Europe have improved vastly as both regions take four teams to the tournament this year, instead of the traditional three due to their efforts at the last two World Championships. Because of this, LGD Gaming of China and MAD Lions of Europe will play alongside Team Liquid, Unicorns of Love, and PSG Talon for a chance at two final slots into the Group Stage during Sept. 25 – 30 at the LoL Worlds live play-in.
LoL Worlds 2020 Schedule
LoL Worlds Play-in Stage
Group Stage Round 1
Group Stage Round 2
LoL Worlds Quarterfinals
LoL Worlds Semifinals
LoL Worlds Summoner’s Cup Finals
LoL Worlds Live Streaming
The Worlds Bubble
Earlier this summer ESPN revealed that Riot Games were entertaining a bubble format similar to how the NBA is currently operating its playoff games in a centralized location. Due to these changes, all teams will be flown to a single location where they will be quarantined for weeks prior to the tournament to avoid contracting or spreading any foreign diseases upon traveling to Shanghai. The ESPN report gave little information towards fan involvement for Chinese locals and those mega esports fans possibly looking to travel for the tournament, but given the nature of the pandemic at this time, fan participation seems limited to virtual capacity.
Given that Tencent is a major market proprietor in the Chinese esports space, Riot Games will undoubtedly go above and beyond to deliver a compelling League of Legends Worlds live 2020 broadcast, regardless of circumstances. It is rumoured that a majority of the LEC broadcast will be let go at the end of this season to make way for new talent in the scene as big-time casters start to branch out into other esport opportunities. In the past few years, we’ve seen Deficio of Origen, Jatt of Team Liquid and PapaSmithy of 100 Thieves make the move from caster desk to esports coach, General Manager or CEO, and it seems like similar things will happen for the LEC broadcast once the LoL Worlds live tournament wraps up at the end of October.
After cancelling MSI this year, Riot Games are hellbent on delivering a product worth remembering as they take this year’s World Championship 2020 schedule downsizing as a small bump in the road en route to what they hope will be their biggest event ever next year. Riot Games announced they will return to China in 2021 to deliver a full-fledged tournament for the region that has developed the biggest fanbase and player base for the game since its release. In that same announcement, Riot also announced they would be returning to North America for the 2022 World Championship in order to start getting anticipation for these events early given the vast amount of changes that have occurred since COVID-19 changes were implemented to each region.
EU vs. China
This year’s League of Legends World Championship is an interesting one due to the allotted teams coming from arguably the two best regions in the world. For the first time in Worlds history, a region has the opportunity to have a team representing them in each group after the play-ins if both LGD Gaming and MAD Lions advance. These changes are emblematic of the evolving approach Riot Games is trying to display as they reward regions for achieving highly in international competitions, and now China and Europe have four chances of maintaining that dominance with the teams that have qualified this year.
When it comes to the stock of players that LPL has to offer versus the LEC, the amount of untested raw talent that will be on display from teams like JD Gaming, Suning and Top Esports will undoubtedly be one of the most exciting storylines to watch this tournament. Last year, Top Esports elimination from qualifiers meant that upcoming talent Zhuo “knight” Ding wouldn’t be able to showcase his skills as a rising star within the Chinese scene. But this year’s iteration of Top Esports will take him a lot farther now that he has Karsa and JackeyLove to lighten the load of carrying games against elite competition. There’s no doubt Top Esports will hover at the top of many LoL Worlds power rankings as one of the best League of Legends teams to participate at Worlds 2020.
Further down the line, JD Gaming’s duo of Seo “Kanavi” Jin-hyeok and Zeng “Yagao” Qi are must-watch streaming for fans of high-paced League of Legends. Kanavi’s ability to exert pressure as a jungler in one of the most volatile leagues in the world is a testament to his ability as a rising star. The Griffin understudy has enjoyed a new lease on life within the LPL and his regular season MVP award for Spring won’t go unnoticed as he hopes to recapture a similar form for this World Championship. Yagao’s debut at Worlds is also highly anticipated as he is often considered a friendly rival to the stardom of Top Esports’ knight, as they both hail from the same city and knew each other before turning pro.
Even though Fnatic and G2 Esports are proven commodities on the Worlds stage, a slew of new talent that has never experienced World Championship pressure will be exposed to the elements this year as Fnatic’s Oscar “Selfmade” Boderek makes his debut at the tournament. Rogue’s duo of Kacper “Inspired” Słoma and Emil “Larssen” Larsson are also favored to show out this tournament given the depth of their squad. Due to the pooling system, the third seeds of China and Europe will enjoy beneficial circumstances for their draws and this will provide an added boost for their LoL Worlds odds as their teams prepare for group stage round-robin series against teams all over the globe.
The champion will be crowned
When the dust is settled on October 31, there will be a new team that will add their name to the illustrious streak of League of Legends Worlds Champions that have come before them. Whether it be Top Esports or JD Gaming that will continue carrying the torch of Chinese dominance in League of Legends for a third consecutive year. Or a new contender within the scene as old reliables like G2 Esports, Fnatic, DAMWON Gaming, and Gen. G return to LoL Worlds live competition to rewrite the mistakes of prior years.
Top odds for the 2020 League of Legends World Championship
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