Finally, the much anticipated Worlds 2020 is officially starting today. Actually, it started on September 25th, but everyone knows that the Play-In Stage is just a preliminary stage before the real event. A total of 16 teams are left in the race, out of the initial 22. Ten teams took part in the Play-In rounds and 4 of them survived them. These competitors were Team Liquid, PSG Talon, LGD Gaming, and Unicorns of Love. Along with the other 12 teams that were already qualified for the Group Stage, they will now begin their perilous journey through the mines of Moria, also known as Worlds 2020. Their odds of success are minimal, simply because the other candidates are considerably stronger (at least on paper), but let’s have a look.
Day 1 Matches
Day 1 features a total of 6 matches. These matches involve all of the teams from Group B, Group C, and Group D. Group A will only start tomorrow, which might seem a bit strange until you consider the context in which the action is set to happen. I’m talking of course about the fact that Worlds 2020 is taking place in China and the first day of the tournament is just as important as the last. Subsequently, the best 3 groups have been given priority to play. And by best I mean the most interesting.
In Group B we have the second-best team in China and the best team in South Korea. In Group C we have LGD Gaming, another Chinese team, and two of the most admired non-Chinese teams in the world: Team SoloMid and Fnatic. In Group D we have the strongest team in China, Top Esports, as well as the second-best team in South Korea, DragonX.
The matches for day 1 of Worlds 2020 Group Stage will be the following:
Rogue – PSG Talon
This match should be won by PSG Talon. However, given that it’s a Bo1, there’s a decent chance that we’ll see an upset. I’d put the odds here at 40 – 60.
DAMWON Gaming – JD Gaming
This is the strongest match that we’ll see on the first competitive day. Given its dominance in LCK, I think that DAMWON Gaming will win this match.
Gen.G Esports – LGD Gaming
Gen.G Esports is considerably stronger than LGD Gaming, but the Bo1 format leaves a lot of room for an upset.
Team SoloMid – Fnatic
This is a match between two out-of-shape competitors that have little chance of surviving the Group Stage if they lose this match. Whoever wins this is almost guaranteed to compete in the Playoffs, simply because FlyQuest is a total outsider at this competitive level. The result of this match is very hard to predict. But I do believe that Fnatic is the stronger side.
FlyQuest – Top Esports
Top Esports should have no problems here, unless they choke under pressure. Keep in mind, the tournament is taking place in China and Top Esports is expected to do well on home soil. In fact, they’re expected to play in the Grand Final this year. But we’ll see if they can actually go that far.
Unicorns of Love – DragonX
Unicorns of Love did really well in the Play-In Stage. But DragonX is a formidable opponent. The skill difference is enormous when you also take into account the fact that UoL comes from LCL while DRX comes from LCK. Still, UoL finished the Summer Split with a record of 14 W – 0 L. So it’s not yet clear how strong they are and if they’re capable or not to compete with the world’s best.
Photo credit: Riot Games