There’s no bigger honor on the competitive League of Legends scene than to play in the World Championship Main Event. It’s where the best teams from all over the globe meet once a year to determine the world champion.
Twenty teams from different regions already have booked their place in this year’s edition that starts on October 3. That leaves four empty spaces and I share my thoughts on the teams most likely to take them in LoL Worlds 2020 Play-Ins preview.
The post features more information about the format of the qualifiers, analysis of the participants, and my predictions for their chances to proceed to the finals.
If you are not interested in the Play-Ins and you were looking for information about the Main Event, I recommend you to check out my LoL Worlds 2020 betting guide. It features plenty of useful tips on the competition.
LoL Worlds Play-Ins Format and Teams
Let’s begin by exploring the format of the LoL World Championship 2020 Play-Ins. The event includes ten teams from various regions that have qualified through their local tournaments. They will be fighting against each other for four places in the Main Event.
Round 1 of the competition will include two groups that consist of five teams each as follows.
Unicorns of Love
The groups will be played under the round-robin system, with each contestant facing the other teams in the same group once, in the best-of-one format. The team with the most wins from each group progresses to the LoL Worlds 2020 Main Event.
The second-placed organizations earn a spot in the qualification matches. The third-placed side in each group faces the fourth-placed team from the other group and the winners also continue to the qualification round.
The teams that finished second face the winners of the eliminations matches in the best-of-five format and the prize is a place in the Main Event.
As you can see, there are two ways to find a place on the big stage, so all teams have a realistic chance to qualify.
Group A Preview
Many believe that Group A of the Play-Ins will be closer and harder to predict because there are two teams that will be confident in their chances to finish first. MAD Lions and Team Liquid are two experienced organizations with plenty of talent on the roster and high ambitions.
The European side hit a slump in the LEC 2020 Summer Playoffs and failed to qualify for the Worlds Main Event 2020 directly which was surprising. The Spanish team has the chance to make up for that mistake and I expect a strong performance right from the start.
Team Liquid will be the main obstacle in Group A and the story of the squad is similar. After finishing first in the LCS Regular Season, Liquid failed to deliver in the Playoffs and will have to go through the Play-Ins as a result, but the team loads of talent and is among the favorites for the top spot.
I wouldn’t completely rule out the other three teams in Group A as well. INTZ beat some strong teams in the CBLOL 2020 Split Playoffs to get here, while Legacy Esports and Papara SuperMassive dominated the Australian and Turkish Leagues, respectively.
They are coming from regions with lower competition, but all players bring their A-game for the LoL World Championship and the matches in the group stage are in the best-of-one format, so everything is possible.
Group B Preview
The other group of the LoL Worlds Play-Ins features a firm favorite and that’s LGD Gaming. The Chinese team is coming from the most competitive region in the world and finishing fourth in the local league is a testimony to the side’s quality.
It must be mentioned that the squad struggled badly in 2019 and the LPL Spring 2020, but improved dramatically for the Summer Edition. If the same trajectory continues, LGD Gaming will be a dangerous opponent not only in the Play-Ins, but also in the Main Event of the 2020 League of Legends Championship.
The other teams in the group are on a relatively similar level. PSG Talon is probably the strongest rival of the Chinese favorite, but Unicorns of Love shouldn’t be underestimated either. They are the most likely candidates for the second and third spot in Group B, based on talent and experience.
Rainbow7 and V3 Esports certainly did well to reach this stage after dominating Latin America and Japan, respectively, but I’m not sure they can perform at such level. The competition in their regions just can’t compare to what the likes LGD Gaming can bring to the table.
LoL World Championship Play-Ins Predictions
LGD Gaming to qualify
MAD Lions to qualify
Team Liquid to qualify
INTZ to qualify
It’s time for my LoL Worlds 2020 Play-Ins predictions and I think that one team will certainly go through to the Main Event and that’s LDG Gaming. The Chinese squad is by far the best in Group B and should be able to claim a top spot and the automatic qualification.
The battle for the first place in the other group should be closer and it’s between Liquid and MAD Lions. And yet, I believe that the Europeans have higher potential and should be able to earn a place in the Main Event.
The North American side will have a strong chance to reach it too through the extra qualifiers. Liquid can beat anyone from the other group, bar LGD Gaming, so that’s the third team I expect to see in the finals.
The fourth spot is wide open, in my opinion, and I honestly believe it could go to any of the other sides. And yet, If I have to pick one, I will probably go with INTZ after the strong performance in the latest CBLOL edition.
I’m sure that some of you might have different predictions for the LoL Worlds 2020 Play-Ins and I would like to learn more about them. Do you expect any surprises or do you agree with me that the teams from the big regions will progress to the Main Event? Let me know in the comments below!
Also, make sure to stay tuned in the next couple of weeks because our team will launch more posts and picks on the League of Legends World Championship 2020.