For everyone out there impatiently waiting for Season 10, suffering from the brutal withdrawals of the long off-season, the Demacia Cup has arrived to tide you over with a flashy display of LPL talent. This rapid-paced pre-season tournament mixes the Tier 1 LPL teams with some of their Tier 2 LDL counterparts to show off new player transfers as well as the big changes from the pre-season.
There is a similar Korean tournament starting in a couple days, called the KeSPA Cup, but for now, the Demacia Cup is underway, completing its first round of games last night. The tournament features four groups of five teams, 20 in total. Each group has a 10 game single round robin Group Stage, then quickly moves into a Knockout Stage between the four groups.
Though the tournament somewhat mirrors the Worlds style of Groups and Knockouts, the tournament is extremely rapid fire - the entire event takes place in just one week. Days one and two complete the entire Groups phase, with Groups A and C simultaneously playing on day one, and Groups B and D on day two.
With the first day already complete, Vici Gaming and Team WE advance out of Group A, each with a 3-1 record, and JD Gaming and RNG advance out of Group C, with a 4-0 and 2-2 record respectively. That means big names like Fun Plus Phoenix, Suning, and LNG are already knocked out. (However, FPX was playing their Academy roster; the World champs haven't been taken down just yet.)
This is a huge win for Vici Gaming, though, who was in last place at the end of the 2019 LPL Summer Split, especially considering the hype around the new Suning lineup. Vici gaming doesn't even have their new head coach Kim "kkOma" Jeong-gyun on stage yet, and they're already storming the scene.
T'was not as good of a day for RNG who technically tied for second with two other teams and only qualified via game time. But they did look considerably better as the event went on, and their new jungler, Li "xiaolongbao" (AKA "XLB") Xiao-Long looked very strong, performing well on four different jungle champs. They're also playing with Lu "Betty" Yu-Hung for the first time since signing him this off-season as well. But they'll need to increase their synergy fast if they want to take the cup.
Day two commences this evening and plays throughout the night. Find an English stream on Twitch here, and the official Chinese stream here. Follow Inven Global here for more check-ups on the Demacia Cup, KeSPA Cup, and other off-season events, and register for our Inven Global Esports Summit here.