The 2020 League of Legends World Championship is just a couple of days away. With the excitement of seeing the best teams on the planet in a skirmish, we take an unconventional look at some of the peripheral stories around Worlds 2020, including the tribulations of journeying to Shanghai and the life in the bubble.
Worlds 2020 will take place in Shanghai, China. All matches up to and including the semifinals will be played in the Shanghai Media Tech Studio. For the grand finals, however, Riot Games have gone for nothing short of grandiouse: the Pudong Football Stadium.
With a capacity for over 33,000 attendees — and plenty of room — Riot Games has mentioned in a press conference that they are not yet sure of how attendance will be, but limited seating is a possibility. Some lucky fans might get the chance to see the finals after all!
The regions and teams
This year, the LEC and the LPL have received one additional slot due to their high performance in the previous years. From three teams to four, Europe is sending Rogue, G2 Esports, Fnatic, and MAD Lions, while the Chinese teams are JD Gaming, Top Esports, Suning, and LGD Gaming.
North America and Korea are the second regions to send the most teams, totaling three. Representing North America we have FlyQuest, Team Liquid, and TSM, and on behalf of Korea, DAMWON Gaming will be competing alongside DRX and Gen.G.
The minor regions will (mostly) start their journey in the play in stage. A full overview of the teams there, and our predictions as to who will make it out, is available here.
The journey to China
Traveling to China during a global pandemic is definitely not an effortless feat. Teams have reported difficulties with bureaucracy and visa issues, which has caused delays on the itinerary of certain teams.
DAMWON Gaming had a rather unusual case. With all players making it to China at the designated time, one was unable to board a plane. Jang “Nuguri” Ha-gwon had to receive an emergency pneumothorax surgery after suffering from chest pain and shortness of breath. Due to the lung resection, he was unable to board a plane until September 18, almost ten days after some teams had set sail.
The Unicorns of Love also found themselves in a tricky situation. Due to visa issues, the team almost didn't make it to Worlds. Gambit Esports, who placed second in the Summer Season of the LCL, had traveled to Shanghai with the possibility of representing Russia in the championship, substituting UOL. Luckily, at the last minute, the Unicorns were able to board a plane and join Group B on the play-in stage.
PSG Talon had its starting line-up changed last minute, due to travel restrictions and visa requirements to enter China. Players Park "Tank" Dan-won and Kim "River" Dong-woo were unable to secure the necessary paperwork to get to Shanghai in time for the Play-In Stage. Kongyue and Uniboy will be the substitutes for the team, and shall they make their way to the Group Stage, the original roster would be reunited.
But of course, the biggest damage the COVID-19 pandemic and its corresponding visa issues caused was the grounding of both Vietnamese VCS teams, Team Flash and GAM Esports, who couldn't fly out to Shanghai and will be missing all of Worlds 2020.
Worlds 2020 is starting out with two bangers: The Baddest, by the famous K-Pop group K/DA, and Take Over, the official championship song featuring artists Jeremy McKinnon, from A Day To Remember, MAX, and Henry.
On top of the two tracks, Riot Games has announced during the Worlds 2020 press conference that K/DA will be releasing yet another track during the event, featuring the mysterious artist Seraphine.
Living in a bubble
Players and team staff have just finished their last days of quarantine in Shanghai, China. Before boarding a plane to Asia, there was an intense screening for COVID-19, with tests issued before departure and a mandatory quarantine upon arrival.
Players have been tweeting their experiences about quarantine in separate rooms before they were able to join the rest of their teams for some much needed social interaction. Rogue’s support player, Oskar "Vander" Bogdan, has shared that “being in one room for two weeks gets to you”. We are sure it does…
Fnatic’s videographer, Pete Nguyen, has shared his life in quarantine wearing nothing but bathing robes:
On Instagram Stories, G2 Esports’ jungler Marcin "Jankos" Jankowski shared what it’s been like to leave quarantine and finally be able to enjoy a proper meal. Avoiding sugary foods and exercising during his quarantine time, he shared that at the breakfast buffet, he ate a lot of food, including several pastries. From what we have seen, the hotel that players will get to call “home” for the upcoming weeks seems to have excellent food.
When can we watch Worlds 2020?
Well, worry not. Worlds 2020 begins this Thursday, Sept. 25, with the play-in stage, kicking off with MAD Lions versus INTZ at 1 a.m. PT. You can watch it on watch.lolesports.com !
Looking for more Worlds 2020 content? Check out our official LoL page!
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