The 2020 World Championship main event is just hours away and many fans are asking themselves one very important question: Will the NA teams from the LCS make it out of groups?
It’s not a secret that North America’s international performance has at times left a lot to be desired. With the exception of Cloud9, no other LCS squad has consistently managed to advance beyond the group stage at the World Championship. Every year, it’s a combination of underperformance and a poor understanding of the meta what brings the LCS teams down.
In play-ins, Team Liquid was the best-performing team in its group and secured a direct seed to the main event. Liquid’s performance gave some hope to the North American fans who are betting on FlyQuest and Team SoloMid to make it far in the event.
TSM achieved its goal of making it to the international stage, but qualifying to the event isn’t enough. TSM has one of the biggest fanbases in esports and with great support comes immense pressure. Out of the LCS teams, TSM is expected to make it the furthest in the competition and fans won’t be happy if the team gets knocked down in groups.
There are high expectations for TSM and being realistic, the team might not live up to them. The meta favors carry junglers, and 18-year-old Mingyi “Spica” Lu has proven to be more than competent playing those champions. However, Spica is going against some of the fiercest junglers in the world and will need more than a solid performance to get the team out of groups. If Group C junglers were ranked, Spica would place fourth out of four.
Group C is a good group for TSM, and the North American squad could do some damage, but it will all depend on Spica. If the jungler gets run over by the opponent, there’s little that TSM can do to stabilize the match.
For the first time in the organization’s history, FlyQuest is attending the World Championship. With the exception of top laner Colin “Solo” Earnest, these players are no strangers to the international stages.
FlyQuest was criminally underrated in the LCS and the same seems to be happening at Worlds. Out of the three NA teams from the LCS, FlyQuest has the hardest group with TOP Esports, DRX, and Unicorns of Love. TES is, hands down, the favorite to dominate the group. DRX is a volatile squad that could choke and slip up early. Unicorns of Love is good against minor regions but is yet to prove if it can handle the bigger teams. So there’s a chance for FlyQuest, but some things need to go wrong for the other teams first.
All eyes are on the mid laner-jungle duo, they need to bring their best game and give the performance of their lives to make FlyQuest shine.
Liquid’s performance in play-ins took everyone by surprise. Considered a more reserved and passive team, Liquid prove that patience is key to win in League of Legends. Group A is probably the best group for Liquid as it hopes to advance to the playoffs at the World Championship for the first time ever.
While play-ins showed Liquid’s strongest side, it also exposed its Achilles’ heel. Liquid needs to draft for comfort or else the team looks lost on the map. In the match against the winless V3 Esports, Liquid got too experimental and ruined its chances to finish that stage of tournament undefeated. The lack of flexibility in Liquid’s play might prove a problem, especially taking into consideration the other teams in the group.
G2 Esports loves to play unexpected compositions. Suning likes to go for unorthodox plays as do many teams from the LPL, and Machi Esports might pull out its own tricks. Liquid must be confident enough to counter any crazy strategies other teams might try if it wants a chance to advance.
The 2020 World Championship resumes on October 3.