Missing League of Legends news in the offseason? Us too, that’s why we’ve compiled this list of LOL teams to watch in the major leagues.
League of Legends: Teams to Watch in 2020
It might currently be the offseason for competitive League of Legends but there hasn’t been any shortage of LOL news or drama, thanks to the insanity that is the free-agency period. Fans all around the globe have been shocked by some of the roster moves this year and now the excitement builds with around a month before we get to see these new-look teams in action.
With everyone speculating on which squads are going to have a strong 2020, GGRecon has decided to join in on the fun by looking at the teams to watch next season - picking one each from the LEC, LCS LPL, and LCK.
LEC - Origen
Starting off in Europe, G2 Esports and Fnatic seem like the clear front-runners for the LEC crown. However, there could be a third horse in the race, as Origen has gone back to the drawing board and put together a very impressive roster; at least on paper. Change was inevitable, as the ambitious organisation crumbled in the Summer Split despite finishing as runners-up in Spring.
Two members of last season’s line-up have remained, however, with solo-laners Barney “Alphari” Morris and Erlend “Nukeduck” Holm staying. The latter is one of the most experienced players in the league and is fabled for his “champion ocean” having shown phenomenal adaptability by playing 24 different champions in 2019 alone. As Worlds showed, that’s an incredibly useful trait to have.
But what’s really exciting about Origen in 2020 is its marquee signings, Andrei “Xerxe” Dragomir and Elias “Upset” Lipp. Last season was the best of jungler Xerxe’s career as he established himself as one of Europe’s best in the role and played a major part in taking Splyce to Worlds and then the quarter-finals thereafter.
Upset on the other hand, is still waiting for his first Worlds appearance, despite two European playoff finals during his time at Schalke. The German had more kills (104) than any other player in the LEC during the Summer Split regular season. Upset had multiple teams around him but this is perhaps the strongest roster he’s been part of yet. With a chip on his shoulder of still waiting for his first Worlds appearance, Upset will be a force to be reckoned with in 2020.
And by his side in the bot-lane will be the most fascinating part of this roster, Mitchell “Destiny” Shaw who has moved from the OCE to become the first-ever Australian player in Europe. Most European fans won’t know much about him and it’s really difficult to know just how well he will cope with the large step-up in level yet. The organisation claim he fits exactly what they want in support, a vocal player who excels at engaging.
LPL - FunPlus Phoenix
Next up, is FunPlus Phoenix, which might come as an obvious choice considering the team are the reigning world champions. However, FPX made a huge signing for next season which could, somehow, make them an even more fearsome team.
Top-lane was seen as one of the weaker sides of FPX and the organisation has decided to strengthen the position with the astonishing signing of Kim "Khan" Dong-ha from SK Telecom T1. The Korean is an extremely aggressive player who has been inconsistent at times, but he was outstanding during Worlds.
Despite not playing in the final, Khan had the most kills (60) and highest average experience difference, at 10 minutes, of all top-laners at the tournament. He is a major kill-threat and will be quite the change of pace for the team.
It’s always difficult to figure out how a new player will fit in, but with one of the world’s best junglers Gao “Tian” Tian-Liang and the extremely talented Kim “Doinb” Tae-sang who loves to play tanks and roam, Khan should be just fine. It’s worth noting he hasn’t officially signed but, after showing up at the FPX house on Doinb’s stream, it’s looking likely.
LCS - Evil Geniuses
Moving onto a brand new team, Evil Geniuses has returned to LoL with an LCS roster that could contend with the best in North America.The early signing of LCS Summer Split MVP Dennis “Svenskeren” Johnsen was a clear sign of intent, this is a team that wants to compete for the title. Joining him from his old team Cloud9 is young top-laner Colin “Kumo” Zhao and resident support Tristan “Zeyzal” Stidam to create a solid core.
And then there are the two imports. Svenskeren now has residency, and will make or break this team. In the mid-lane you have former Team Vitality star Daniele “Jiizuke” di Mauro and in ADC EG has signed two-time world champion Bae "Bang" Jun-sik. Neither had particularly good seasons, but you could argue that both players’ teams also underperformed. Still, Jiizuke did have some standout moments in the Summer, despite health issues, and could prove to be a fantastic signing as he is undoubtedly talented.
This is a roster with a sky-high ceiling, but a lot of uncertainties. One thing you can be sure of is that following this squad will be entertaining.
LCK - DragonX
Finally, we have the LCK and DragonX has put together a very exciting team in theory. In one of the biggest signings of the year, DragonX managed to secure the services of one of the best mid-laners in the world Jeong "Chovy" Ji-hoon from Griffin as well as his coach from last season Kim "cvMax" Dae-ho.
Chovy is still just 18-years-old, yet was one of the most impressive players in Korea, so much so that the aforementioned EG reportedly offered him a multi-million dollar deal, but the mid-laner turned it down to stay with his coach. He has also been reunited with top-laner Choi "Doran" Hyeon-joon who is highly-rated but didn’t get much game time at Griffin.
It could be a fantastic move, as they will play alongside Kim "Deft" Hyuk-kyu, who has proven to be a world-class ADC over his tenured career. Chovy and Deft alone will make this roster competitive, but a lot will come down to the two rookies who complete the line-up - Hong "Pyosik" Chang-hyeon and Ryu "Keria" Min-seok. As shown by Griffin and DAMWON Gaming, Korea is full of young talent and the blend of this roster is very exciting - especially now that a few of the big teams in the LCK including SKT appear to have weakened.
Image via Riot Games | Flickr