It should come as no surprise that 2020 has been a tough year for premier esports events. We’ve had constant rescheduling and cancelations, the most recent of which is the announcement that CSGO’s November Major in Rio has also been canceled. However, there is some good news on the horizon. The 2020 League of Legends World Championship is just around the corner, and this event could single handedly save the mess that has been 2020 esports events.
The event will be held in Shanghai, China, and will start on September 25 and close on October 31. While the World Championships usually feature 24 teams from professional leagues, this event will only feature 22 teams. Once again, this is due to Covid-19. Due to travel restrictions, two qualifying teams from Vietnam are unable to travel to Shanghai and therefore cannot take part in the event.
Anything Can Happen…
Arguably the most exciting aspect of the World Championships this year is the lack of a mid-season invitational and what this means for the teams that compete. For the first time in the modern LoL competitive scene, we have no idea how these teams will stack up against each other and this can lead to extremely exciting gameplay.
China is now the favorite for this event, overtaking South Korea as the longstanding favorite. This marks a major change for discussions going into the event, but the shakeup doesn’t end here. Within the China region itself, there’s much debate about who the favorites are. In a surprising turn of events for some, Top Esports and JD Gaming are currently performing extremely well and are considered favorites. These newer teams were able to come out ahead of legacy Chinese teams like Invictus Gaming and Royal Club, some of the best Chinese teams out there.
Korean esports team DAMWON Gaming is also a real contender, however with some issues ongoing in the team, many fans are unsure whether they can pull it together before Worlds. It was announced on September 8 in a tweet that DAMWON player Nuguri was feeling short of breath a day after the LCK finals. A medical check-up revealed that he was suffering from a collapsed lung and he immediately went into surgery. According to the tweet, he is now recovering and will fly out to China one week after his teammates. This has led many people to question how much practicing Nuguri will get in before the event kicks off.
In the European region, G2 or Fnatic are looking like the favorites. These teams continually prove they are the best in Europe. For example, of the 16 European Splits that have taken place, G2 or Fnatic have won 15. However, there is some doubt about whether G2 is strong enough on an international level.
North America is looking like the only region that isn’t predicted to win the tournament, but hey, anything can happen. Team SoloMid (TSM) is the favorite for North America, and while they are incredible to watch, they simply don’t stack up against the Chinese, Korean, and European teams in the tournament.