League of Legends 2020 World Championship – Play-In Betting Preview

League of Legends 2020 World Championship – Play-In Betting Preview

League of Legends 2020 World Championship – Play-In Betting Preview

2020 World Championship – Play-In Preview

The 2020 League of Legends World Championship will mark the 10th edition of the season’s culminating event and the second time in history the tournament will be hosted in China after Beijing in 2017. Billed as one of the biggest esports tournaments of the year, which brings together only the best LoL teams from all corners of the world, LoL World Championship never fails to amaze with incredible success stories, heartbreaks and most importantly exciting brawls on the Summoner’s Rift.

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Last year we came close to seeing Europe hoist the Summoner’s Cup for the first time since the inaugural World Championship in 2011, however, G2 Esports were unsuccessful in their endeavor and humiliated themselves in the grand finals against Chinese representatives FunPlus Phoenix. Interestingly enough, reigning world champions will not be attending the international event, but that is only a tip of the iceberg of surprises that will come with the 10th World Championship.

Not only will FunPlus Phoenix be unable to defend their title, the 2020 LoL World Championship will also not feature the three-time champions T1 (formerly SKT T1), as well as the 2018 world champions Invictus Gaming, who both crashed out of their respective regional finals. On the other end of the spectrum, we will see more than a few new faces at the prestigious tournament, which includes MAD Lions (LEC), Sunning (LPL), Top Esports (LPL), JD Gaming (LPL), FlyQuest (LCS), Legacy Esports (OPL), PSG Talon (PCS), Rainbow7 (LLA) as well as V3 Esports (LJL).

Many LoL esports fans will be disheartened to hear that the 2020 LoL Worlds will not feature any Vietnamese teams, who were unable to secure visas for China due to the travel ban imposed as a response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. This decision has also left quite a significant impact on the format, which has been altered and modified to host 22 instead of 24 teams.

 

Format

Since the number of teams attending the competition decreased, Riot Games decided to make some major changes to both the Play-In stage, while awarding the League of Legends Champions Korea’s (LCK) third seed with a direct bye into the main event.

The Play-In stage has been altered to feature only 10 teams, which got divided into two groups of five based on seeing. There a single round-robin format will be in place, with all group stage fixtures played as best-of-one (Bo1).

Once the play-in stage concludes, the top-seeded teams will receive a direct invite to the main event while the second, third and fourth-placed teams advance into the second (knockout stage) – the last-place team gets eliminated.

In the knockout stage, the third and fourth-seeded teams from each group will play each other for a spot in the final round, where they will face the second seed from the opposing group. All knockout games will be played as Bo5 – including the final qualifying matches.

Upon the conclusion of the Play-In stage, four teams will advance into the main event, where they will be seeded in one of the four groups while complying with the rule which states no two teams from the same region can be in the same group.

The Main Event format will remain mostly unchanged, meaning we will see four groups of four teams where a double round-robin Bo1 format will be in place. The playoffs will see a single-elimination format with all games (including the finals) are played as Bo3.


2020 World Championship – Play-In Preview – Group A

 

INTZ – The Campeonato Brasileiro de League of Legends (CBLOL)

INTZ have earned their right to represent CBLOL at the 2020 LoL World Championship by edging out paiN Gaming in the Split 2 grand finals. Despite their international success, however, INTZ are billed as one of the weakest teams in the tournament – even though the perception of CBLOL differs from person to person.

It’s very difficult to say which region is better than the other but it’s fair to say that the level of play in minor regions (such as CBLOL) compared to the four major regions (LEC, LCS, LPL and LCK) is significantly lower and there are not many teams that can prove us otherwise.

The biggest problem we have with INTZ is their weak bottom lane, which won’t do them any favors in the current meta, especially considering they are seeded in a team that has very strong bottom lane duos. What concerns us even more with INTZ, however, is their playstyle.

While INTZ boast with strong objective control, they seem like they don’t know how to play sidelanes and are very shaky in the mid-late game, which is a huge problem and a reason enough for us to believe INTZ will have a hard time advancing into the next stage of the competition.

Gold difference @15 – throughout 2020 season

TOP: +70
JNG: -81
MID: +300
ADC: -379 (-6.3 CSD@15)
SUP: +71

Team stats

FB: 53.3%
FD: 50%
FRH: 56.7%
FT: 60%

 


Legacy Esports – League of Legends Oceanic Pro League (OPL)

Legacy Esports swept the floor with their competitors in their domestic league and won both splits in a very convincing fashion. The Australian side dropped only seven games across both regular splits (18-3, 17-4) and won both playoffs by dropping only four maps out of 16 played.

There is no denying OPL has sent their best team to China, but we have to ask ourselves how much does that mean? With all due respect, OPL is not what you would describe as a strong league and it’s undeniably a few levels below the major four and even some minor regions, which suggests Legacy Esports will struggle to make any serious noise at Worlds.

Having said that, we have to remember how solid MAMMOTH were last year, when they took two games off Unicorns of Love and truly represented their region well. Can Legacy repeat their success is anyone’s guess, but they at least have strengths in all the right places.

Unlike INTZ, Legacy have a very solid bottom lane and exceptional top side. Again, however, we have to take those numbers with a grain of salt since Legacy players looked good in OPL which won’t necessarily translate to the international stage.

Notes:

Jonah “Isles” Rosario is ranked 205 on Chinese Superserver (as of Wednesday, September 23), and is the fourth-highest rated “Western” support player.

Kim “Topoon” Ji-hoon is ranked 299 on Chinese Superserver (as of Wednesday, September 23), and is the third-highest rated “Western” top player.

Gold difference @15 – throughout 2020 season

TOP: +1091 (16.3 CSD@15)
JNG: +304
MID: -91
ADC: +466
SUP: +148 (0.035 dpm)

Team stats

FB: 51.7%
FD: 55.2%
FRH: 62.1%
FT: 62.1%

 


Papara SuperMassive – Turkish Championship League (TCL)

Papara SuperMassive can hardly be regarded as one of the main favorites to come out of the Play-In stage alive, however, comparing them to the likes of INTZ and Legacy, it’s fair to say the Turkish representatives are in a much better position to do so.

The TCL is still a minor region and not comparable to the likes of LEC, LPL and LCK, however, TCL is also an emerging region that fostered more than a few very solid teams that should be feared. What makes SuperMassive an exciting team to follow this World Championship is their incredible resurgence in the second split of the season when they acquired support No “ShowFlower” Hoi-jong and jungler Lee “KaKAO” Byung-kwon.

KaKAO and ShowFlower should well-known names for any long-time LoL fan, since they played for some high-profile teams in their past and both have an abundance of experience playing at the highest level. Out of the two, however, it’s KaKAO will be the man to watch in this team.

What’s more, SuperMassive have a very strong bottom lane synergy between ShowFlower and Berkay “Zeitnot” Aşıkuzun who are very potent in the laning phase and are undeniably the main actors in SuperMassive’s success this split.

With a strong bottom lane and an experienced jungler, SuperMassive are not a team we should write off entirely. There is a world where they can finish above Team Liquid, especially if TL’s inconsistency in the jungle and in the bottom lane persist through the competition.

Gold difference @15 – throughout 2020 season

TOP: -145
JNG: +481
MID: +179
ADC: +867 (14.2 CSD@15)
SUP: +380

Team stats

FB: 53.3%
FD: 76.7%
FRH: 66.7%
FT: 86.7%

 


Team Liquid – League of Legends Championship Series (LCS)

Besides MAD Lions, Team Liquid are one of the main favorites to secure a spot in the main event, which should not come off as a shock to anyone. Even though expectations put on the LCS representatives have not been high for several years now, it’s still fair to say LCS teams have an edge over minor regions and are on a good day capable of going toe-to-toe with their European counterparts.

Having a good day, or a better said a good couple of weeks is exactly what Team Liquid will need to succeed at Worlds, considering Nicolaj “Jensen” Jensen and co. have been far from convincing during the summer split. The biggest concern we have with Liquid is their jungler Mads “Broxah” Brock-Pedersen who had more than a few iffy showings and is not nearly as good as he was in 2018. Nevertheless, he is a very experienced player and a huge asset on the international stage.

On the topic of experience, Liquid field veteran players, namely two former world champions in top laner Jung “Impact” Eon-yeong and Jo “CoreJJ” Yong-in, who are both fairly reliable and one of the main reasons why Liquid should not be underestimated at Worlds. Granted, we still need to see some more from Broxah and a stronger mid-jungle synergy before we can start talking about any huge success for the NA squad.

Gold difference @15 – throughout 2020 season

TOP: -12
JNG: -17
MID: +175 (+4.8 CSD@15)
ADC: +245
SUP: +130

Team stats

FB: 41.9%
FD: 61.3%
FRH: 58.1%
FT: 71%

 


MAD Lions – League of Legends European Championship (LEC)

MAD Lions are hailing from the LEC as the fourth European seed and one of the least-experienced teams in the tournament. Even though MAD are comprised of four rookies and Marek “Humanoid” Brázda, it would be hard to say their lack of experience makes MAD Lions a weak team.

On the contrary, MAD Lions dominated (arguably) the second-strongest LoL league in the world for the most part of the summer split, but somewhat blundered in the latter stages and with that missed out on securing a direct bye into the main event.

Nevertheless, MAD Lions are a very adaptable team, have an extremely strong synergy and are on a good day capable of taking down even some of the best teams in the world. The problem is, however, is their volatility and high variance, so even though MAD have a high ceiling, they’re not consistently playing at their peak.

One thing to note from their subpar performances in the LEC playoffs was the shaky performance from jungler Zhiqiang “Shad0w” Zhao who is a very mechanically gifted player, but his pathing is still a bit off. On a more positive note, MAD have an extremely strong bottom lane, and arguably one of the best support players in the tournament Norman “Kaiser” Kaiser.

Notes:

MAD Lions’ bottom lane tandem in Kaiser and Matyáš “Carzzy” Orság are ranked 348th and 349th on Chinese Superserver (as of Wednesday, September 23), and are the seventh-highest rated “Western” players in their respective roles.

Gold difference @15 – throughout 2020 season

TOP: -79
JNG: -214
MID: +42
ADC: -72
SUP: +150

Team stats

FB: 51.7%
FD: 41.4%
FRH: 55.2%
FT: 55.2%

 


Group A Betting Prediction

Out of the five teams in Group A, it’s MAD Lions who are priced as the main favorites to lock in the first seed and secure a spot in the main event. Even though we believe MAD Lions are rightfully portrayed as the strongest team – namely because they’re hailing from LEC – we also have some concerns about how well are this rookie squad prepared to perform on the international stage.

Lack of international experience is an element often overlooked, but it’s not something to just brush off. Even though the 10th edition of LoL Worlds will not be played in front of a cheering crowd, the pressure to perform as the whole world is watching is still very high, which begs the question of how the youngsters are prepared mentally.

What’s more, MAD Lions are one of the most volatile teams out of all representatives from major regions, meaning they can either defeat anyone or lose to anyone. Nevertheless, they’re individually and as a team still stronger than Team Liquid, even though the latter are head and shoulders above all other teams in terms of international experience.

Papara SuperMassive are priced as the third favorite to win the group, which is fair. We still believe securing the top spot is out of their reach, but we can be sure the Turkish representatives can steal a game or two against the two favorites – especially in a Bo1.

On the other end of the spectrum, we have Legacy Esports and INTZ as the two teams who we are giving little to no chance of making it out of the group. They had solid seasons in their respective leagues, but that does not necessarily mean they can measure up to LEC, LCS and even TCL.

Favorite: MAD Lions
Outsider: Papara SuperMassive
Weakest team: Legacy Esports

Prediction: MAD Lions to win Group A – 1.57 Bet365

 


2020 World Championship – Play-In Preview – Group B

 

LGD Gaming – League of Legends Pro League (LPL)

As the Chinese’s fourth seed, LGD Gaming are billed as the undisputed strongest team in the Play-In stage and to be fair, there is not a lot to be said against that. Not only are they hailing from the strongest League of Legends league in the world, LGD Gaming have proven their worth this season with more than a few incredible performances – namely their 3-0 sweep of Invictus Gaming in both LPL 2020 Summer playoffs and Regional Finals.

LGD are, however, by no means a perfect team. They can be compared to Team SoloMid in a way that LGD play around and often rely too much on their mid laner. LGD also seem to be fairly inconsistent and even though they emerged as the fourth-strongest LPL team, we have to remember LGD ended the summer split with a 10-6 record and 22-18 game differential.

Granted, they’re still arguably one of the top-10 teams heading to Worlds and undeniably the strongest team in their Play-In group. That is not to say LGD can’t slip up and lose a game, but from the looks of it, they have better individual players and are on top of that playing on their home soil.

Gold difference @15 – throughout 2020 season

TOP: -79
JNG: -214
MID: +42
ADC: -72
SUP: +150

Team stats

FB: 46.4%
FD: 46.4%
FRH: 39.3%
FT: 48.2%

 


PSG Talon – Pacific Championship Series (PCS)

PSG Talon are a team we had high hopes for heading to Worlds, but we are now far less convinced about their chances to cause any major upsets in the Play-In stage. As revealed earlier this month, PSG Talon won’t be able to count on their mid laner Park “Tank” Dan-won and jungler Kim “River” Dong-woo, who will not be able to help their team in the Play-In stage due to travel visa issues

What’s more, PSG Talon’s ADC Wong “Unified” Chun Kit won’t be able to play for his team for the opening rounds of the Play-In stage, which is another huge blow for the Hong Kongese squad. On a more positive note, PSG Talon acquired replacements in two ahq eSports Club players Chen “Uniboy” Chang-Chu, Hsiao “Kongyue” Jen-Tso who will take over the mid and jungle role respectively, while Machi Esports’ coach Chen “Dee” Chun-Dee is said to replace Unified as PSG Talon’s ADC until Unified returns to the team.

Those changes don’t necessarily make PSG Talon a weak team, but we have serious concerns about how the roster swaps will impact the synergy. We can’t know for sure how well will Talon perform on stage and while they have the individual quality to put up strong results, we will have to wait and see how well does the new-look team gel together and most importantly can Dee carry his own weight as Talon’s new ADC.

Gold difference @15 – throughout 2020 season

TOP: +277 (+9.4 CSD@15)
JNG: +84
MID: +305
ADC: +423
SUP: +103

Team stats

FB: 34.4%
FD: 50.0%
FRH: 56.3%
FT: 46.9%

 


V3 Esports – League of Legends Japan League (LJL)

V3 are a surprise appearance at the Worlds stage, but it’s hard to say they did not deserve the privilege to represent Japan in China. For two consecutive years, Japan has sent DetonatioN FM to represent their region on the international stage and while DetonatioN has never seen any major success besides their 17th-20th place finish in 2018, the Japanese squads can be quite potent if given a chance – especially in a Bo1 game.

Last year DetonatioN took down Splyce in the play-in stage which was one of the biggest upset wins of the tournament – besides J Team’s win over FunPlus Phoenix in the group stage – and while we can expect to see a few more upset wins this time out, expecting V3 to make a deep run is a bit too optimistic.

Like it’s the case with most minor regions, they can hardly compare to the elite teams and while there are exceptions, V3 is not one of them. We would even go so far to say that V3 look like the weakest or at least the second weakest team in the field right besides Legacy Esports in most part due to the low quality of play seen in their regional competition.

Still, we have to note Lee “Bugi” Seong-yeop (formerly of Flash Wolves) is possibly one of the most active junglers in the league, boasting with 83.2% KP, granted we have to take their numbers with a grain of salt as they are taken from their performances in LJL.

Gold difference @15 – throughout 2020 season

TOP: +76 (-6.2 CSD@15)
JNG: +446 (83.2 KP%)
MID: -128
ADC: +532 (+11.3 CSD@15)
SUP: +231

Team stats

FB: 82.6%
FD: 56.5%
FRH: 60.9%
FT: 60.9%

 


Unicorns of Love – League of Legends Continental League (LCL)

Unicorns of Love are in our book the most exciting team heading into the Play-In stage and not necessarily because they’re bound to succeed, but because of their unmatched aggression and the fact that they lost only three games in 2020. With such a record, there is no denying CIS has sent their best team to the Worlds stage, where UoL will not do their best to make their region proud and showcase just how fearless they can be.

To put it into a perspective just how aggressive this team is, UoL have 2.1 average assist/kill per minute and boast with 2303 DPM. Despite their aggression, however, UoL still managed a 3.3 KDA throughout the whole season which can mean one of the two things – either LCL was very weak this year or UoL are simply that good.

We won’t know for sure how much of UoL’s dominance in TCL will translate to the international stage before the Play-In stage begins and we see them in action, however, Unicorns of Love are definitely a team that is bound to be involved in more than one upset win.

The biggest issue we have with UoL is their poor vision control, which is far below the average out of all teams attending Worlds. While that could harm them, their playstyle is not focused so much about having control over the map with vision but rather forcing their opponents in constant skirmishes.

Gold difference @15 – throughout 2020 season

TOP: +658
JNG: +199 (+3.6 KA@15)
MID: +794 (+10.6 CSD@15)
ADC: +361
SUP: +314

Team stats

FB: 68.4%
FD: 57.9%
FRH: 73.7%
FT: 89.5%

 


Rainbow7 – Liga Latinoamérica (LLA)

Like V3 Esports, we are giving Rainbow7 little to no chance of making a deep run at Worlds for the same reasons – LLA is not a strong league and we don’t expect any team from there to make any serious noise. Would R7 dominated their league like Unicorns of Love did, we would perhaps give them the benefit of the doubt, but since R7 barely won their domestic competition, we have to stick with our guts and say R7 and V3 are the main candidates to finish in the bottom two.

Additionally, this year will mark the first time Rainbow7 will attend the World Championship which also holds true for all of their players. Having a rookie squad on the international stage could potentially benefit them since they don’t know what they are going against and have on top of that nothing to lose. At the same time, R7 simply don’t have the individual quality to step up to the plate and compete with the best LoL teams in the world.

Before we see them play, it’s hard to say how well R7 are prepared for the challenges that await them in the coming weeks, but as it stands now, R7 are the weakest in their Play-In group since we consider V3 Esports to be a better team.

Gold difference @15 – throughout 2020 season

TOP: +10
JNG: +314
MID: +263
ADC: +128
SUP: +233

Team stats

FB: 50.0%
FD: 43.8%
FRH: 46.9%
FT: 50.0%

 


Group B Betting Prediction

It may seem obvious, but we have LGD Gaming as the favorites to win their group since they are head and shoulders above all other squads in Group B. There is definitely a chance LGD could drop a game, but there is no universe they will finish below the likes of UoL, PSG Talon and especially not below R7 and V3.

When it comes to which team will finish second, we are left with only PSG Talon and Unicorns of Love. Out of the two, it’s UoL who look like a more potent squad namely because PSG Talon are a huge enigma heading to worlds with their roster changes. Our ranking of PSG Talon could change after the first round of play but if we had to call it out now, we rank UoL higher.

R7 and V3 are all but guaranteed to finish in the bottom two, and while we have some hope for V3 to step up and prove Japanese teams are still capable of competing with the best, we can’t say the same for R7. We are ready to be proven wrong and see R7 win a game or two – which is entirely likely in a Bo1 format – but anything above the fourth-place finish seems highly unlikely for the LLA representatives.

Favorite: LGD Gaming
Outsider: Unicorns of Love
Weakest team: Rainbow 7
Prediction: LGD Gaming to lose a map – 2.10 at Bet365

 


With that, we conclude our short preview of the 2020 League of Legends Play-In stage. Our team rankings are subject to change, considering we don’t have a proper insight into how the squads will perform against opponents from other regions. Still, there are some clear differences between the top and the bottom teams, so we don’t expect any surprises when it comes to seeding for the knockout stages.

Our team will continue to follow the 2020 LoL Worlds action as it unfolds and will provide further updates on the teams and daily betting previews for Play-In matches. We have already covered the opening matches and will continue to send daily betting previews throughout the Play-in stage and into the main event.

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