The favorites for the 2020 World Championship have already been agreed upon by both experts and fans. But which teams could end up surprising everyone with a deep run at the tournament?
22 teams will fight for glory and the Summoner’s Cup at Worlds in Shanghai, and some teams are bigger favorites than others. The LPL is considered the strongest regional league, represented by favorites such as Top Esports and JD Gaming. Both teams have been performing at a high level all year. LCK’s DAMWON Gaming is also considered a contender for the title, while G2 Esports from Europe can’t be underestimated either.
As we see every year, some teams will underperform and others will surprise. For this year, there are two teams that might have the ability to make a deep run in the tournament despite not being considered a favorite.
Gen.G is the first team to look at for a surprise performance at Worlds. Everyone knows that Gen.G is a good team, but as the third seed from the LCK, they are not considered favorites to win the tournament.
Gen.G was millimeters from reaching the 2020 LCK Summer Split final, but ended up losing the fifth and final game to DragonX in the semifinals. Several fans and experts thought that Gen.G was the best-performing team in that series, but they didn’t manage to close it out.
In the Regional Finals, Gen.G redeemed themselves by beating T1 convincingly 3-0 to secure themselves the last LCK spot at Worlds. Because of recent format changes, Gen.G will be automatically qualified for the main event due to the absence of the VCS teams. This gives Gen.G a small advantage, but they still have the chance to end up in a difficult group.
Gen.G has a scary roster. They have shown in the LCK that their controlled playstyle can work, but also be abused by dominant early-game teams.
Mid laner Gwak “Bdd” Bo-seong and bot laner Park “Ruler” Jae-hyuk will be the key players for the team, while Kim “Clid” Tae-min will try to enable them from the jungle. If they manage to play their best game, it will be hard for even the top teams to keep up.
Gen.G has been consistently good domestically throughout the whole year but has needed the last push to go all the way. The World Championship is their chance to put in that last bit of effort.
Fnatic has an impressive resume when it comes to international tournaments. They often perform better than expected and there is reason to think that this could also be the case this year.
Last year, Fnatic surprised many by making it out of the group stage. They were later knocked out by FunPlus Phoenix in the quarterfinals, who went on to win the tournament.
Fnatic has only made one roster swap since last year’s Worlds. Oskar “Selfmade” Boderek has replaced Mads “Broxah” Brock-Pedersen in the jungle, but he has not looked like a downgrade for Fnatic. The Polish jungler has been crushing it on carry champions such as Evelynn and Hecarim, and might be one of Fnatic’s greatest assets on the international stage.
This year, Fnatic reached both LEC finals only to be stopped by G2 in both of them. Fnatic has shown that they can play some good League of Legends, but their struggles against G2 has prevented them from proving themselves completely.
At Worlds, Fnatic will have the chance to prove themselves against other top teams from around the world and some might fit better into their playstyle than G2. Fnatic likes to be an underdog and knows how to perform under pressure. The bot lane combination of Martin “Rekkles” Larsson and Zdravets “Hylissang” Galabov will be key players to keep the team at a consistent level, while the solo lanes occupied by Gabriël “Bwipo” Rau and Tim “Nemesis” Lipovšek will have to step up as we saw from them last year.
Fnatic might also be able to pull out some innovative compositions as we saw last year, where they surprised the whole scene with Veigar in the mid lane.