Of all five roles in League of Legends, support is often the most difficult to evaluate. The support role's key difference from the other four is the absence of farming, and because of this massive difference in resource priority, carrying from this position can often come down to a single moment or key play that gives a support an opportunity to make a difference. Supports can carry, but that type of performance isn't always made clear by a post-game scoreboard.
Like every position at the 2020 League of Legends World Championship, the talent pool for support is stacked. Let's take a look at the five biggest difference-makers in the support position at Worlds 2020.
5. Norman "Kaiser" Kaiser — MAD Lions
In a region that boasts G2 Esports support Mihael "Mikyx" Mehle and Fnatic support Zdravets "Hylissang" Iliev Galabov, it was a surprise to see Kaiser secure All-Pro honors for the 2020 League of Legends European Championship Summer Split. However, Kaiser's acclaim was well-earned, particularly in his mastery of Wukong when paired with Matyáš "Carzzy" Orság's Senna.
As the LEC's 4th seed at Worlds, MAD Lions will have to play through the play-in to qualify for the main event. MAD's standard approach to competition should be enough to get them through the play-in, but if the team wants to get past the group stage, another stellar support innovation from Kaiser would be the ticket.
4. Jo "CoreJJ" Yong-in — Team Liquid
CoreJJ secured his second Most Valuable Player award in two seasons this summer, and was instrumental in Team Liquid's return to the top of the standings in the 2020 League of Legends Championship Series Summer Split. CoreJJ did an excellent job of integrating Edward "Tactical" Ra into the roster in place of Yiliang "Doublelift" Peng, who joined TSM between splits, and absolutely dwarfed the domestic competition within his role.
Like MAD Lions, Team Liquid has more than enough raw talent to be considered a clear favorite in the Worlds 2020 play-in. However, international competition sports a far higher average skill level, and whether CoreJJ can continue to dominate within his role over stronger competition will be a vital factor in how far TL goes at Worlds.
3. Cho "BeryL" Geon-hee — DAMWON Gaming
Since DAMWON Gaming's promotion to League of Legends Champions Korea, BeryL has split time in the support position with Ryu "Hoit" Ho-seong. However, BeryL has been the starter for the majority of this season, and crucially, throughout DAMWON's rise to the top of South Korea this summer.
BeryL was one of four DAMWON Gaming starters to secure All-Pro honors in the 2020 LCK Summer Split. DAMWON's point of strength is certainly on the top half of the map, but if the team wants to live up to expectations as a Worlds favorite, BeryL will be a crucial factor in stabilizing the bottom half of the map throughout the tournament.
2. Hu "SwordArt" Shuo-Chieh — Suning
As the star support of League Master Series dynasty Flash Wolves, SwordArt qualified for the World Championship four years in a row from 2015-2018. After joining Suning in China at the start of 2019, SwordArt has made his return to the Worlds stage after nearly two full years.
SwordArt is the only member of Suning who has played on the Worlds stage before, and while a team that secured the 3rd seed in the League of Legends Pro League is certainly no slouch, experience can be a huge factor in international competition. SwordArt also has extensive history against G2 Esports, the clear favorite of Group A, so if Suning is to exceed expectations, look for it to start with another world class performance from SwordArt.
1. Zuo "LvMao" Ming-Hao — JD Gaming
One of the most exciting aspects of the 2020 World Championship is the wealth of new faces playing on LoL esports' biggest stage for the first time, and few debuts are more anticipated than that of LvMao. It isn't a question of whether LvMao is an excellent playmaker — he is — it's whether that will translate properly to the international stage.
Fans won't have to wait long to find whether LvMao will live up to the hype. The premier match of the group stage is in Group B between DAMWON Gaming and JD Gaming, and will feature many an interesting lane matchup including LvMao against BeryL. Rogue is most likely doomed to elimination in Group B, but LvMao facing off against Oskar "Vander" Bogdan is another opportunity for top notch support playmaking from both sides of Summmoner's Rift.
Despite losing the 2020 LPL Summer Finals to Top Esports, JD Gaming is still considered a favorite for Worlds and LvMao is a significant reason for that perception. JD Gaming's veteran support has been a member of the roster for over three seasons, and will now finally get his chance to prove himself as the best in the world.
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