UPDATE: This article covers the Crystal Ball Pick’Ems, but Worlds 2021 Group Stage Pick’Ems can be found here.
The 2021 World Championship is looming on the horizon and while we might not have a new Worlds song just yet, it’s time to test your knowledge and compete for the ultimate “I told you so!” in League of Legends esports, The Crystal Ball. If you can predict who’s going to win worlds before the tournament even happens, you’ll get extra points for your Pick ‘Ems, and perhaps just as importantly, bragging rights.
Who has the best chance of winning the ultimate international competition? We’ll do our best to break down the front runners and help you claim The Crystal Ball. At a tournament as stacked at Worlds anything can happen, so predicting the end this early is a matter of picking the best team at a fundamental level.
The two frontrunners to win Worlds from the jump are DAMWON KIA from South Korea’s LCK and EDward Gaming from China’s LPL.
DWG KIA the reigning world champions, returning to defend the title in 2021. DWG’s roster is stacked across the rift with some of the best talents in the world at each position. With the top and jungle duo of Khan and Canyon, DWG looks fully capable of regaining the crown. The team also has a ready list of capable substitutes for any on-the-fly adjustments it might need.
However, Korea’s competition has been more inconsistent this year than in others, and the strength of schedule may be an important differentiating factor.
EDward Gaming is the surprise LPL champion, convincingly defeating Fun Plus Phoenix in the grand finals to secure the region’s top seed at Worlds. FPX is a potent mix of veteran talent and upcoming youngsters. LCK fans will recognize Viper of Griffin fame alongside EDG’s franchise support, Meiko.
Opposing those veterans in his youth, Jiejie only debuted in professional play in 2019 on the EDG Youth Team. EDG’s emergence and dominance took many by surprise, but they proved themselves as worth contenders over the course of LPL Summer Split.
China’s LPL has rapidly become the strongest region in the world, and given the absurd strength of competition this year, EDG’s victory is even more impressive. When comparing China and Korea, China’s cadre of killer talent takes the edge for which region has the toughest competition. This could be a deciding factor at Worlds 2021.
The LPL’s aggressive and bloody play style has always made it hard for enemy teams to keep up, and that looks to be the case this year as well. Judging by the reaction to the group draw, EDG is feeling confident.
With that in mind, our pick for The Crystal Ball, and the winner of Worlds 2021, is the LPL’s EDward Gaming. So lock in your picks and get ready for esports’ premiere event.
Worlds 2021 begin in earnest on October 5.