The groups for the 2020 LoL World Championship have been drawn with the top seeds from the major regions expecting the play-in qualifiers. But even without knowing which teams will come from the play-ins, each Worlds 2020 group already has a trademark storyline to guide to broadcast.
Group A: G2's group of life
The "Group of Life" the one that looks the least competitive across all four teams, and primarily, usually consists of a major region's first seed without opposition of a similar level from the other teams in the group. This year, that group is Group A, and the team at the top is LEC's first seed, G2 Esports.
G2 is joined in Group A by Suning, the #3 seed from China, and Taiwan's #1 seed, Machi Esports. Suning finished top 3 in the 2020 League of Legends Pro League Summer Playoffs, and jungler Lê "SofM" Quang Duy's long-anticipated world championship debut will be an exciting sight after his incredible performance in the 2020 LPL Regional Final.
China has established itself as the strongest competitive region in the world across the past few seasons, and Suning could certainly challenge G2 for 1st place in Group A. Machi Esports, on the other hand, will face an uphill battle against both of those.
Should #3 LCS seed Team Liquid qualify for the Main Stage through the Play-In as expected, it is almost certain that it would be seeded into Group A. TL would have a tough time besting G2 Esports, but stealing a game or two from Suning and assuring dominance against Machi Esports might shake up the group of life that is all but G2's to lose.
Group B: Group of death
Just like the group of life, every Worlds has a "group of death" which is the toughest overall competition on the main stage and this year, that's Group B, featuring two of the best teams in the world: DAMWON Gaming and JD Gaming.
DAMWON Gaming won the 2020 League of Legends Championship Series Korea Summer Playoffs in dominant fashion, and while JD Gaming failed to defend its title from the LPL Spring Playoffs against Top Esports this summer, the razor-thin margin of a 3-2 loss when combined with the closeness of JDG's 3-2 win over TES in the Spring Final puts both Chinese powerhouses at just about the same level.
There is a very real chance that the showdown between DAMWON and JDG in Group B will be the highest level of competition seen in the group stage of Worlds 2020. Unfortunately, this also means that Europe's #3 seed, Rogue, as well as whichever team rounds out Group B from the Play-In, have little to no chance of surviving the group.
Rogue has come leaps and bounds in the past two seasons, and the organization's homegrown core that has been properly cultivated in that time has risen to a true European competitor, but there is very little chance of Rogue escaping Group B. DAMWON Gaming and JD Gaming's group stage matches will be an exciting preview of a potential final at Worlds 2020, but it will render Rogue and whichever team joins Group B from the play-in irrelevant.
Group C: Rekkles vs. Doublelift vs. Ruler (vs. Kramer?)
Group C may not have the clear-cut favorite as Group A's G2 Esports or a premiere matchup on the level of DAMWON Gaming vs. JD Gaming in Group B, but what it does have is a wealth of international experience amongst the rosters of TSM, Fnatic, and Gen.G. Of all fifteen starting players, four are attending for the first time: Gen.G support Kim "Life" Jeong-min, TSM's pair of top laner Sergen "Broken Blade" Çelik and jungler Mingyi "Spica" Lu, and Fnatic's jungler Oskar "Selfmade" Boderek are attending worlds for the first time.
The position to watch in Group C is the AD Carry. TSM's Yiliang "Doublelift" Peng and Fnatic's Martin "Rekkles" Larsson are the two of the most decorated competitors in LoL esports history, and Gen.G's Park "Ruler" Jae-hyuk, a former world champion, enters Worlds 2020 as the best marksman in the competition.
In addition to the storied competitive history of the three sharpshooters, the core identities of the teams in Group C are intertwined with their respective marksmen. Doublelift returned to TSM this summer, and the team wouldn't have made it to worlds without his improvements on weak side. Similarly, Rekkles has been the beating heart for Fnatic for the majority of the organization's existence, and Gen.G's stylistic preference is to rally behind Ruler.
Group C is the only group on the Main Stage without a Chinese team, but with #4 LPL seed LGD looking like the strongest team in the Play-In, it's likely that we see another veteran AD Carry, Ha "Kramer" Jong-hun, round out the group alongside TSM, Fnatic, and Gen.G.
Group D: The best player in the world
Group D does not boast the premiere matchup that Group B does, but what it does contain is the single best player at the 2020 World Championship: Top Esports mid laner Zhuo "knight" Ding.
Although this is his first Worlds appearance, knight has been hailed as the best mid laner in China since 2018. TES was within inches of qualifying for Worlds in both 2018 and 2019 and the third time has been the charm for the team with knight at the helm.
To watch knight play against DAMWON Gaming's Heo "Showmaker" Su would be the dream mid lane matchup, but any chance at the two teams meeting would have to occur in the Knockout Stage. Still, knight will be tested by DRX mid laner Jeong "Chovy" Ji-hoon, who alongside the two aforementioned players make up the three best mid laners in the world.
FlyQuest's mid laner Tristan "PowerOfEvil" Schrage has had a stellar domestic season, and for him to be the third best mid laner in Group D speaks volumes of knight and Chovy's ability. Since Group D is the only group without a European team, MAD Lions is the most likely team to round out the group from the Play-In. Should MAD qualify as expected, Marek "Humanoid" Brázda would be facing an uphill battle in the mid lane regardless of what jersey his opponent was wearing.
Top Esports' match against DRX is the premiere face-off of Group D, and the level of competition between the two teams should be second only to Group B's JD Gaming vs. DAMWON Gaming. Regardless of who TES' opponent is, knight is the best player in the world on what is arguably the best team in the world. Any time knight is on Summoner's Rift is an opportunity to witness the pinnacle of competitive League of Legends on the biggest stage of the season.
Disclaimer: The original version of the article incorrectly listed the Worlds first-timers in Group C. It's been corrected to include Fnatic's Selfmade.
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