GGRecon Predicts: Who Will Win LoL Worlds 2020?
Here at GGRecon, League of Legends' Worlds has been a contentious issue. With conflicting opinions flying around, and seemingly non-stop action from start to finish, the biggest event in every LoL fans' calendar has certainly lived up to its expectations - and made us all fall out in the process. As the final looms in the distance, one question we have to ask ourselves is - who's going to win?
Groups was a blur. Adrenalin-fuelled, sleep-deprived masses all around the world kept up with the matches in Shanghai, and as things have settled in terms of amount of matches, the ante has most certainly been upped.
Here the opinions of three of our esports journalists: Andre, Declan, and Tom.
In my eyes, there are two teams who could be the eventual winners of Worlds — Top Esports and Damwon Gaming. I also think they’ll end up meeting each other in the finals, but for that, we first have to go through the bracket. In possibly one of the most balanced brackets, there has been — at least certainly interesting — in the history of Worlds, the fact that there is one LPL sided and one LCK sided with each side having one LEC team, it tells you everything about how exciting this is gonna be.
On the LPL sided bracket I have Top Esports easily taking down Fnatic as Top Esports were just too dominant in their group play — aside from that loss to FlyQuest. They have so much swagger, raw power and aggressiveness that can be tough to match. But, a team that could possibly match all of that is JD Gaming. I have JD Gaming taking a victory over Suning in what will probably be one of the closest matchups in all Quarterfinals, it could honestly go either way. This sets up the eventual Semifinals of Top Esports versus JD Gaming, where I see Top Esports taking a 3-1 victory. Although JD Gaming is a strong team, I think Top Esports is stronger. Both of their solo laners in Bai “369” Jia-Hao and Zhuo “knight” Ding seem like they are a step above the rest of the competition — besides their colleagues over at Damwon Gaming.
While on the LCK sided bracket, I have the European powerhouse of G2 Esports taking a close series against Gen.G. Although G2 don’t seem like they are as strong as what they showcased in all of 2019, it feels like G2 tend to show up when it counts. When it’s crunch time, when it’s for all the marbles, G2 get a power-up… until they reach the finals where in the last two years both European teams got swept. Moving over to Damwon Gaming versus DRX, I see Damwon Gaming handily taking the series over DRX. We already saw how this played out last time, although I do give DRX some credit and believe they’ll get at least one win, compared to their LCK Finals meet up of zero.
That sets up the finals of Top Esports versus Damwon Gaming. To be honest, I truly believe this is gonna be an amazing series — I doubt it’ll be a stomp. Ultimately, I have Damwon Gaming taking this series as they are the team that can make the swagger of Top Esports, they can match it and beat it with their own macro. It’s gonna be fun.
The bracket placement is what really decides the World Championships and the route for the eventual winners. With an LCK and LPL side to the bracket, plus G2 and Fnatic thrown in there, the path to the Grand Finals is pretty clear for the three favourites.
The LPL side of the bracket should be another bloodbath with Top Esports and JGD Gaming meeting in the semifinals. Both have had their time at the top of the LPL and should be able to get past their quarter-final opponents. JDG Gaming had no problem with Sunning in the regular season, so I see no reason they should now. Top has looked exploitable on the World's stage, but the jungle and mid lane duo for Fnatic should not be able to compete with Zhuo "knight" Ding and Hung "Karsa" Hao-Hsuan. As long as Top retains its identity, and not put knight on something like Galio, the squad should make it out unscathed. As for which team will make it to the finals, I have to give the edge to JDG because of the team’s confidence and results against tougher competition in Group B.
The LCK side of the bracket, featuring G2, is also pretty set in stone in my mind. Damwon Gaming ran through the LCK this split and showed a lot of versatility in the group stage. DRX does have the best-of-five head to head this year, but a 3-0 sweep in the Summer Playoffs has stamped Damwon as a tier above DRX in my mind. Gen.G versus G2 looks exciting and could lead to a very exciting series, but whoever moves on will have a fully powered up Damwon waiting in the ring.
As for which team will walk away with the Summoner’s Cup, Damwon look to be the eventual winners to me. The team’s solo laners, Jang "Nuguri" Ha-gwon and Heo "ShowMaker" Su, are both so versatile in their roles game to game, dominating on aggressive picks or creating leads for their teammates on supportive picks. This team can also match any early aggression that JDG might throw its way, and has shown the macro chops to best anyone in the late game. To me, it's not about if Damwon wins, it's about how many games the team drops before it takes the trophy.
The dominance of JD Gaming, Top Esports and DAMWON Gaming is undeniable and two of those three should make the final no matter the flavour of the cheese from G2 Esports.
Since DAMWON is on their own on the bottom half of the bracket they are my first pick for finalist, but I need to weigh up my options on the other side. JD Gaming heads into the playoffs as the second seed, following losses to DAMWON and PSG Talon, but went 1-1 in both of those head-to-heads. Top Esports on the other hand beat their closest group rival DRX twice but choked their second game against FlyQuest to finish top of their group at 5-1, making it evident that TES are the stronger side if they reach that semifinal.
One of the factors that may affect this matchup is an Umbral Glaive bug discovered on Sunday night. To summarise the issue - if you attack a plant (Blast Cone, Honeyfruit etc) with Umbral Glaive it does not respawn. Graves, the favourite champion for the Top Esports jungler Karsa, takes Umbral Glaive as a fourth or fifth item. If this bug cannot be hotfixed before the quarterfinals, it is possible that it will be disabled, which has massive ramifications for the late game meta.
Picking between DAMWON Gaming and Top Esports in the final is harder than choosing my favourite parent. After a lot of back and forth I decided on Top Esports for my Pick’Em and I’m going to stick to my guns here. The Mid-Season Cup demonstrated clearly that the LPL had a significant advantage over the LCK back in May and I cannot believe that the gap has been closed completely in the 5 months since then despite DAMWON’s success.