Declan M. August 30, 2020
Top Esports was the first LPL team to qualify for the 2020 World Championships after winning the 2020 LPL Summer Split Playoffs. Professional League of Legends fans know that the LPL is the strongest region in the world today, but they might not be as familiar with Top Esports as they are with the more popular teams such as Invictus Gaming, LGD Gaming, or Funplus Phoenix.
Top Esports has dominated the LPL Summer Split, finishing first in the regular season after losing the spring title to JD Gaming just a few months ago. China is a top-heavy region with many talented teams in the upper half of the table, but Top Esports has shown dominance over most of the league. The squad only lost three series through the entire split. The team has international LPL veterans alike on its roster, with mid laner Zhou “knight” Ding earning the LPL MVP award this split.
Top Esports' roster looks strong in the LPL
Top Esports’ Top Laner is Bai “369” Jia-Ha, a 19-year-old Chinese player that has been with the organization since late 2018. 369 is one of the LPL’s signature top lane carry players. He goes toe-to-toe with some of the best players at his position and more often than not comes out ahead.
The team’s jungler is international veteran and Tawianese national Hung “Karsa” Hao-Hsuan. Karsa is a world-class jungler who has made international appearances with Flash Wolves and fellow LPL side RNG. He is always looking to skirmish and to support his solo lanes. Karsa isn't a farming jungler and is rarely ahead in CS in his games, but he has a 37% first blood participation rate and averages 0.35 kills or assists a minute.
knight is considered one of the best mid laners to have not made an international appearance in League of Legends. The 20-year-old was signed in late 2018 and has proven himself to be one of the best talents in the LPL.
The team’s bottom lane consists of world champion Yu “JackeyLove” Wen-Bo at ADC and Liang “yuyanjia” Jia-Yuan at support. The duo has been solid this split after some shaky performances that prompted Zhang “QiuQiu” Ming to be subbed in for yuyanjia.
How will Top Esports play at the 2020 World Championship
Top Esports plays the typical LPL style and manages the current meta expertly. It drafts champions that can carry in the top lane for 369, playmaking picks such as Trundle and Lee Sin for Karsa, and puts knight on his signature Syndra when possible, though knight can flex to other champions for Top's composition.
The team does not completely abandon the bottom side of the map, but its priorities are mainly on winning skirmishes with Karsa and knight. 369 is sometimes left on an island by himself, but on a carry like Renekton can still carry through his lane.
Top Esports is coming into the 2020 World Championships as a potential favorite, given that it's the top team from the best region. Top did not start Season 10 as Worlds contenders but has forged its strength through two splits of the LPL.