2020 League of Legends World Championship Betting Preview
If the League of Legends World Championship Play-in stage is to go by, we are in for one of the most turbulent and exciting tournaments in a long very long time. While we could say that every year, there are a few factors that will likely contribute to more than a handful of upset wins.
Out of 22 teams that have made it to the group stage, there is at least one team per group that is making their debut at Worlds, which is a rather impactful handicap for the players. As we have seen in the Play-In stage, MAD Lions completely fell apart, which can easily be attributed to their lack of international experience, however, we have seen phenomenal performances from PSG Talon, so perhaps we should take that factor with a grain of salt.
Besides PSG Talon, who locked in the first spot in Group B and earned a direct invite to the main event, the 2020 Worlds field will also welcome Unicorns of Love, Team Liquid and LGD Gaming. Out of the four, it’s Team Liquid who were seeded into the most favorable group (Group A), LGD found themselves in Group C aka. “Group of Life”, whereas PSG Talon and Unicorns of Love got slightly unlucky by getting placed in Group B and D respectively.
Here we will look at the four 2020 LoL Worlds groups and give our thoughts and predictions about how each group will play out. We will continue providing our readers with free daily betting previews throughout the whole tournament, starting with Day 1 predictions.
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2020 World Championship – Main Event Preview – Group A
Billed as the easiest group at Worlds, Group A features G2 Esports, Suning, Team Liquid and Machi Esports. Even though there is some truth in saying this group is not particularly hard in terms of the strength of the teams, that does not mean it will be a straight-forward group with two clear winners.
The esports bookmakers have priced G2 Esports and Suning as by far the strongest teams in Group A, but there are arguments to be made both Liquid and Machi have a chance to make it out alive. That is in most part due to the best-of-one (Bo1) format which is bound to produce a few upset wins, as well as the volatile nature of G2 and Suning. That aside, we can draw a line and separate the top two teams from the two squads which will get eliminated.
Machi Esports are a team many people are excited to see play, because Taiwanese squads have always been a threat at Worlds. That does not mean we are valuing Machi very highly, but the fact that they are billed as the underdogs should benefit them – especially if their opponents underestimate them.
Machi are in lenient terms a worse version of Team Liquid in terms of individual quality, however, the NA representatives are still a huge enigma in our book and not necessarily guaranteed to avoid finishing fourth. The main problem with Liquid we have is the fact that they can look very good, but only when they get ahold of the team composition that suits them, which begs the question of how well can they perform when pushed out of their comfort zone or if Liquid managed to expand their champion pool to be more versatile.
As for the main favorites in G2 Esports and Suning, both teams are very high variance, which could spell out problems. If they manage to stabilize, seeing them finish in the top two is almost a given, but there is a world where either drops the ball, which would open the doors for either Liquid or Machi to lock in a spot in the knockout stage – although we are giving Liquid a much better chance to achieve that feat.
G2 Esports are priced as the main favorites to win Group A which seems fair, but we would not bet on them at offered odds, since they did not perform too well during the season. There is a chance they will improve at Worlds, but picking either G2 Esports or Suning to top their group seems a bit too risky for our liking.
Favorite: G2 Esports
Outsider: Team Liquid
Weakest team: Machi Esports
Prediction: Team Liquid to advance: 4.50 at Bet365
2020 World Championship – Main Event Preview – Group B
As much as we would like to talk about an upset story, Group B is one of those groups which is more or less set in stone. Featuring DAMWON Gaming, JD Gaming, Rogue and PSG Talon, Group B is all but guaranteed to see DWG and JDG advancing since they’re by far the strongest teams not only in their group but are also two of the favorites to go all the way.
For either PSG Talon or Rogue to advance from this group they would have to produce one of the biggest upsets in the history of LoL Worlds which only goes to show how doomed the underdogs are. That does not mean we view either as a bad team, but looking at the opponents they will need to face, it’s nearly impossible seeing them making it out alive.
The race for the top spot, however, will be very tight. JD Gaming and DAMWON Gaming are both exceptional teams that are difficult to set apart especially when we talk about Bo1 format. There is a world either top the group so it’s worth considering backing JD Gaming to win Group B at 2.50.
As for who will finish last, we have to say PSG Talon. Many people tend to overhype the Play-In teams, which is something we can understand, but only because a team dominated in the Play-In stage (against weaker opponents), it does not mean they will see the same level of success on the main stage – and definitely not against the likes of DAMWON, JD Gaming and even Rogue.
Favorite: DAMWON Gaming
Outsider: JD Gaming
Weakest team: PSG Talon
Prediction: JD Gaming to win Group B – 2.50 at Bet365
2020 World Championship – Main Event Preview – Group C
Group C is a group where anything can happen, meaning either of the four teams can either finish on top or in the bottom of the standings. The bookmakers have made it rather clear that Gen.G are the favorites – which is reasonable – but between Fnatic, Team SoloMid and LGD Gaming, there is really not a lot to set them apart since they all have their weaknesses as well as some obvious flaws.
Gen.G are often a team that is overhyped heading into Worlds and they might be again, but we can’t deny that this team is individually very strong. They might not be as strong as the three main favorites in Top Esports, DAMWON Gaming and JD Gaming, but we have to remember Gen.G lost only four games in the summer split, and even those came against DAMWON (1-1), T1 (1-1) and DRX (0-2). Having said that, they forced DRX to five maps in playoffs (2-3), which is nothing to sneeze at.
Looking at Team SoloMid, we are quite excited to see this team in action, namely because they have a high ceiling and very experienced players, which should help them play more relaxed as opposed to fielding rookies. Having said that, TSM have clear weaknesses in the inconsistent performances in the top and bottom lane, which could be a huge problem, particularly in this group.
It’s very difficult to imagine Vincent “Biofrost” Wang and Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng will manage to hold their own against the likes of Gen.G’s Park “Ruler” Jae-hyuk – Kim “Life” Jeong-min duo and even Fnatic’s Martin “Rekkles” Larsson-Zdravets “Hylissang” Iliev Galabov tandem. On a more positive note, TSM boast with strong jungle-mid synergy, which is the main advantage they have over Fnatic and to some degree LGD.
LGD Gaming are the biggest enigma in this group, namely due to their poor showings in the Play-In stage. Even though they have found their rhythm in the Bo3 series and convincingly secured a spot on the main stage, there are still some concerns about how will LGD perform in the Bo1 series against significantly stronger teams to what they have faced last week.
Nevertheless, LGD Gaming have very talented players on their roster, so there is definitely a chance they can perform up to par and contest the top-two seed. Seeing them contest or come even close to contesting the top seed, however, is not something we expect to see, since Gen.G are individually way too strong.
Last but not least, we have Fnatic, who are in our book the second-strongest team in Group B. While Fnatic were heavily criticized for their poor showings this season, we have to note that Fnatic community’s dissatisfaction is far louder than any other team, so things usually look worse than they really are.
Besides their obvious issues, Fnatic are still a very strong team. While it’s true they lacked some cohesion in their journey through the domestic league, Fnatic have very talented individual pieces and players who all have Worlds experience (besides Oskar “Selfmade” Boderek) which is a very important thing to note. If they are at their best, Fnatic could potentially compete for top seed, but as it stands now, this seems a bit too optimistic to call.
Outsider: LGD Gaming
Weakest team: /
Prediction: Fnatic to qualify: 1.72 at Bet365
Prediction: LGD Gaming to qualify – 6.50 at Bet365
2020 World Championship – Main Event Preview – Group D
There is a consensus that Top Esports and DRX are guaranteed to finish above FlyQuest and Unicorns of Love in this group and while we agree with that to some degree, there is a chance this group will play out differently as expected. What we will say next might surprise many and that is exactly what we are going for but – FlyQuest can make it out and finish above DRX!
Objectively, League of Legends Champions Korea (LCK) is stronger than the League of Legends Championship Series (LCS) and if we were to compare each Korean to North American team, the former would come out ahead more times than not. Having said that, DRX are not nearly as strong as they are portrayed to be – or better said they are not nearly as efficient.
Despite their strong showings this split, DRX are a team that has severely underperformed on more than one occasion. The main factor that goes into their iffy showings is that DRX are not playing like a team. Yes, they might have exceptional individual players which can win them the game, but DRX struggle when trying to put those pieces together to form a strong unit. Another thing to note is DRX’s poor drafting, which could easily turn around and bite them even against weaker sides.
Here we are exploring something that might happen if the stars align. On the same note, there is also a world where FlyQuest finish in fourth and Unicorns of Love make it out alive, however, we have to emphasize we are talking about this scenario solely due to DRX’s inconsistencies and the Bo1 format of the group stage.
On the other end, it’s difficult to argue Top Esports are anything less than the main favorites to win the group. They are by far the strongest team hailing from the League of Legends Pro League (LPL) and if the strength of the region is to go by, Top Esports are the most likely team to win the whole thing.
Stats are to be taken with a pinch of salt in international games, since drafts alone can heavily impact the team’s chances of winning, not to mention the LPL’s style of play which often sees level one “flips”.
Nevertheless, Top Esports dominated in the stat department throughout their journey in their domestic league and to avoid making this too long, we urge anyone to watch a short 3-minute video on Travis Gafford’s YouTube channel which sums everything up nicely.
Favorite: Top Esports
Outsider: FlyQuest/Unicorns of Love
Weakest team: /
Prediction: Top Esports to win Group D – 1.25 at Bet365
Prediction: FlyQuest to qualify – 21.00 at Bet365
That concludes our brief overview of the 2020 LoL Worlds groups. As it stands now, we are comfortable with our picks, however, the power rankings are bound to change throughout the tournament, so make sure to follow us for daily betting previews, where we will cover group stage matches and offer free betting picks.
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