The LoL Worlds groups are locked in and ready for the start of the competition on October 2 from Berlin. 24 teams are meeting in Germany to take part in play-ins and the main event. The competition will then travel to Madrid, Spain for the knockout stage. In the end, only two teams are going to Paris for the grand final.
12 teams start in the play-in stage. These are teams from emerging regions plus the third seeds from Europe, Korea, and North America. The teams were divided into four groups of three teams each where the top two advance to the next round.
This round consists of a double round-robin, and all matches are best-of-one. Eight teams advance to the knockout stage where only four will earn a spot at the main event. All matches in the knockout stage are best-of-five.
Clutch Gaming, LCS
Unicorns of Love, LCL
Right off the bat, MAMMOTH comes off as the underdog in Group A with Clutch Gaming as the favorite. Unicorns of Love falls somewhere in the middle, as they still have the potential to upset Clutch Gaming and get out Group A as the number one seed.
Isurus Gaming, LLA
DetonatioN FocusMe, LJL
Group B is the most stacked group in play-ins. These three teams are strong opponents with important legacies behind them.
It’d be easy to pick Splyce as the favorite but this is a team with incredible highs and lows. DetonatioN FocusMe is the type of team that finds its way out of the trickiest situations even if they fall flat on their faces in the ends. As for Isurus Gaming, they’re at their peak as a team, and if they don’t get a positive result the team might need to consider some changes for 2020.
Hong Kong Attitude, LMS
Lowkey Esports, VCS
MEGA has tough competition ahead of it. Lowkey Esports and Hong Kong Attitude come from two regions known for being explosive and fast-paced. Assuming that the teams from the major regions will move up to the main event, the fourth team to qualify should be either Lowkey or Hong Kong Attitude.
DAMWON Gaming, LCK
Royal Youth, TCL
Flamengo eSports, CBLOL
DAMWON Gaming will face its first challenge in play-ins in the form of Royal Youth and Flamengo esports, neither of whom should be underestimated. Out all of the emerging regions, Turkey and Brazil are two of the more explosive and unpredictable.
There’s a chance that DAMWON will complete the play-in stage without dropping a game. However, it’s possible that nerves get the better of them. DAMWON’s strength comes from jungler Kim “Canyon” Geon-bu, a rookie that has been active in the professional stage for little over a year.
Four teams from play-ins will be seeded into the main event. This stage is a double round-robin where all matches are best-of-one. Top two from each group advances to play best-of-five in the knockout stage.
G2 Esports, LEC
Group A is probably the most difficult to read. There are several possible outcomes from this group of teams. Because the group already has a team from three major regions, the fourth member will be a wildcard team, adding to the volatility of the group.
Historically, G2 Esports struggles in the group stage. At the 2019 Mid-Season Invitational, G2 finished the group stage in third place with a middling record after dropping two games against Phong Vũ Buffalo, a wildcard team.
Griffin excels in best-of-one play as proved during Rift Rivals and yet, one can’t completely count on them to succeed. The team has a very up-and-down performance and sometimes commits to composition difficult to execute. Griffin’s crazy ambitions can be their biggest enemy.
Despite domestic struggles, Cloud9 always finds international success. At Worlds in 2018, Cloud9 made it to the semifinals after taking down opponents like Afreeca Freecs, Gen.G, and Team Vitality. They’re not the favorite in Group A, and yet the team has a good fighting chance.
FunPlus Phoenix, LPL
J Team, LMS
GAM Esports, VCS
FunPlus Phoenix should have an easy ride in Group B.
The real battle will be for the second place between GAM Esports, J Team, and the team from play-in. GAM has an edge over J Team, they’re a team that likes to fight and on top of that, they fully mastered the unorthodox composition meta.
GAM were ahead of their time, they were one of the first teams to rotate the players between roles and go for the crazy drafts. Even though the meta is up in the air at the moment, that unpredictable state benefits a team like GAM that thrives in chaos.
SK Telecom T1, LCK
Royal Never Give Up, LPL
Group C is definitely the group of death. So far, the group is stacked with some of the best teams in the tournament. It’s crazy to think that one of these teams will not make it out of the this stage.
SK Telecom T1 recovered after a disappointing MSI and a shaky start to the summer. In the end, SKT rolled the competition in the LCK and took its eighth domestic title. All eyes are on the jungler and mid lane duo of Kim “Clid” Tae-min and Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok, who individually are highly ranked in the tournament.
Fnatic wants to get out of G2’s shadow and make LoL Worlds 2019 all about them. They will not settle for being the second-best team in Europe and this is the opportunity to get to the top. The biggest challenge for Fnatic would be in the bottom lane, where Jian “Uzi” Zi-Hao and Martin “Rekkles” Larsson will meet again.
In the past, Uzi always got the best of Rekkles, so the bottom lane will require extra resources. While SKT plays comfortably through every lane, RNG plays through the bottom lane and Fnatic pays more attention to mid lane.
Fnatic and SKT will kick off the main event on October 12.
Team Liquid, LCS
ahq e-Sports Club, LMS
Invictus Gaming, LPL
Invictus Gaming and Team Liquid have an argument to settle at Worlds. Invictus, just like SKT, are out for revenge after their results at MSI. The current world champion wants to defend their title and not fall in groups as happened to Gen.G in 2018.
Between Team Liquid and Invictus, Liquid is the one in better shape. Invictus’ road to Worlds 2019 was complicated at best, as they made it in the end but their prospects do not look great.
Team Liquid finally looks like a frontrunner in the group stage. If the team fails to make it out of groups again, then their title as North America’s best team will be at risk. This is the best they have ever looked, the ball is in Liquid’s court, and they need to make this opportunity count.
Ahq e-Sports is not an opponent to be underestimated. As the LMS’ first seed, this team has the potential to upset both Team Liquid and Invictus. Ahq e-Sports will play on day one versus Invictus.