It is time for the Worlds 2020 play-in stage. We have finally arrived, the highlight of the year. We have been starved for international competition but now are needs will be met. First off is the LoL Worlds 2020 Play-In stage which this year has a new format. The Vietnamese teams are unable to participate in the tournament due to Covid-19, forcing big adjustments for the Play-in. Instead of four groups of three, as per usual, we now have two groups of five. I for one welcome the change since it will provide more match-ups and storylines, as well as the possibility for games with a higher stake already in the group stage.
The winner of each group is awarded a spot right away in the main event group stage. The number three and four seed from each group will play each other, with the winner facing off against the number two seed of the other group in a final match. The winners in these two games also secure a spot in the main stage. The teams placing last in each group are eliminated.
This article will provide some information on the conditions of the teams participating in the LoL Worlds 2020 play-in stage. If you want to bet on the games, go check out our tips for betting on League of Legends.
LoL Worlds 2020 Play-In Stage – Group A
- INTZ – Brazil
- Legacy Esports – Oceania
- MAD Lions – Europe
- SuperMassive Esports – Turkey
- Team Liquid – North America
Group A’s Favourites
Team Liquid – North America
At first glance, I think this group will be divided in three parts. At the top will be Team Liquid and MAD, both vying for first place and a spot in the group stage. As representatives of “the big four” (NA, KR, EU, CN), anything but a spot in the next stage of the tournament is a fiasco. For TL I am not worried. They bring tons of experience to the world stage, unmatched by any team in the play-in stage. Their starting five consists of Impact and CoreJJ (World Champions 2013/2017), Broxah (Worlds finalist 2018) and Jensen (Worlds-semifinalist 2018). This should provide enough to get them through play-ins.
MAD Lions – Europe
Mad Lions on the other hand is a young team, with the youngest ADC in the tournament, Carzzy. Their only worlds experience comes from Humanoid in the mid lane, who played last year. Still, it is a very talented team, which should be able to make it to the group stage without trouble. However, this is Worlds. They are playing in a foreign country, against teams and playstyles they haven’t faced all year. It is not impossible for them to be at the losing end of some upsets.
SuperMassive – Turkey
The third team, which I think will be safely stuck between the top and bottom are SuperMassive from Turkey. Turkey always sends competitive teams, and this edition will not be different. Both Bolulu (mid) and Zeitnot (bot) has been to international competitions before. They also have two Koreans, Snowflower and Kakao, who played in the LCK as recently as last year. It is a team that lacks the quality of the top two of the group but nonetheless will be hard to beat.
Group A’s Underdogs
And now to the bottom. The fight to avoid instant relegation will be between Legacy Esports and INTZ, representing two regions that are on different trajectories. Ever since the famous smacking of EDG by INTZ in 2016, Brazil has been a region with high hopes. However, each year they are farther and farther from actually making in an impact at the worlds stage. For Oceania, the last few years have not ended with better results for the teams. However, they have still looked competitive and able to perform against good teams. Last year, their representative Mammoth actually went 2-0 against Clutch from NA. One of the big performers then were Babip, who is here with his new team this year. I believe that Legacy will outperform INTZ overall, maybe even eclipsing SuperMassive.
LoL Worlds Play-In Group A Result Predictions
In the end, I think the group will finish like this:
- Team Liquid
- Mad Lions
LoL Worlds 2020 Play-In Stage – Group B
- LGD Gaming – China
- PSG Talon – Southeast Asia
- Rainbow7 – Latin America
- Unicorns of Love – Russia
- V3 Esports – Japan
Group B’s Favourites
LGD Gaming – China
The group of highs and lows. Here we have the best team in the play-in stage, LGD. If they don’t go 4-0 in this group, they have underperformed. Finishing the summer split strong, they come to Worlds filled with confidence, led by the most underrated mid at the tournament, Xiye and the old Worlds favourite Peanut. LGD is a team with their sights set far further than just getting to the group stage. And considering their recent form I have no reason to doubt they should go even further.
Unicorns of Love – Russia
Behind LGD it is a bit more unclear. The fight for second will probably be between PSG Talon and UoL. UoL are representing the CIS, a region known for being very competitive at the Worlds stage. In 2016, Albus Nox Luna even manage to get to the quarter-finals, taking a game of the Korean first seed Rox Tigers in the group stage. UoL, with more or less the same roster was at the worlds stage last year. There, they lost the final match 3-2, making them one game away from making the main tournament. This year, with the drop out of the Vietnamese teams, I think they will get their chance to face off with the best teams in the main tournament. They are led by Nomanz in the mid-lane, regarded as one of, if not the best, player in the world outside of “the big four”.
PSG Talon – Southeast Asia
PSG Talon is the other contender for second place. Unfortunately, they have been severely handicapped heading in to the tournament. Due to travel restrictions and stricter VISA rules, three of their players will miss a portion of the play-in stage. Even though they probably still will advance to the play-in knockout stage, the losses will prevent them from threatening UoL for a second.
Group B’s Underdogs
The jump from PSG Talon to the last two teams are huge. Both Rainbow7 and V3 will have a hard time against the top three teams of this group. The game between the both of them will decide who gets the fourth spot. V3 finally ended the long dominance of DFM in Japanese League of Legends, and I think they should have some confidence heading in to the first games. I think this alone will carry them past Rainbow7, in whom I lack confidence.
LoL Worlds Play-In Group B Result Predictions
I think the final group standings will be:
- LGD Gaming
- Unicorns of Love
- PSG Talon
- V3 Esports
This will mean that LGD and TL move directly to the group stage. After the knockout stage, my lol prediction is that they will be joined by UoL and Mad Lions. It is going to be an exciting tournament, and a time of joy much deserved during this horrible year. Hopefully, the Worlds 2020 play-in stage will bring some spicy picks and thrilling upsets. Keep a lookout after the tournament for our preview of the main group stage, where all the best teams enter the tournament.