In just one week, the 2020 League of Legends World Championships will get underway. This is unquestionably the biggest event in Esports this year, as Dota 2 won’t be hosting The International, and teams from all over the world will be participating. Vietnam won’t be represented unfortunately due to visa restrictions, but the other heavy hitters will be in action.
League of Legends 2020 World Championship Play-In Group A Odds
MAD Lions -175
Team Liquid +140
Papara SuperMassive +1400
Legacy eSports +3300
The favorites to win Group A of the Play-In Stage are MAD Lions and Team Liquid. Since the World Championships added the Play-In Stage in 2017, teams from Europe and North America have always made it out of this stage and into the main event. However, last year was close, as Splyce needed five games to get past Unicorns of Love, and Clutch Gaming looked shaky as well.
MAD Lions are making their first appearance in international competition. This team was only created at the tail end of last year as the LEC moved to a franchising model, and they quickly proved their worth with an 11-7 mark in the Spring Split and a 12-6 record in the Summer Split. They pulled off a huge upset in the Spring Split Playoffs with their win over G2 Esports, but they lost the return match and were swept by Rogue in the postseason.
It was a tough end to the season for MAD Lions. They went 3-4 during the final three weeks of the regular season, and they went 4-7 in the playoffs due to the double elimination structure. MAD Lions have talent, but a lot of what they want to do rests on Humanoid outplaying his mid lane opponent on an assassin champion and Shadow getting a lead in the early game.
That’s why my pick to win this group is Team Liquid. While North America was certainly a worse region than Europe this year, Liquid is incredibly seasoned and there wasn’t much separating the top three teams in the LCS. Liquid was the No. 3 seed after losing five-games series with FlyQuest and Team SoloMid, and they were favored per the League of Legends betting odds in both of those series.
Top laner Impact and support CoreJJ are both former World Champions, while mid laner Jensen and jungler Broxah have tons of international experience too. Liquid came on strong in the Summer Split, and they finished the regular season as the best team in the LCS. The only question mark is new bottom laner Tactical, but he didn’t let the moment get to him in the playoffs, dealing 29.7 percent of his team’s damage per Games of Legends.
It’s going to be tough for the other three teams to win this group. If there is a huge upset though, Papara SuperMassive is likely to pull it off. This will be their first international tournament since 2018 Worlds, but they have a very experienced bottom lane in Zeitnot and SnowFlower, and Kakao has played in four different regions during his time as a jungler.
This will be the first Worlds appearance for INTZ since 2016, but this squad did not look good at the 2019 Mid-Season Invitational. They were the worst team of the Play-In Stage with a 1-5 record, and four out of the five players from that squad are still starting.
As for Legacy, Oceania are perennially one of the weakest regions in the sport, and the region is even weaker after their most talented players were raided by bigger regions at the end of last year. All five players are virtual unknowns, so even a couple wins would be cause for celebration.
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