Before the main stage starts, we will provide you with a “Road to Worlds 2020” article series, containing predictions and expectations. We start off the with Worlds 2020 Group A. After a closely fought and exciting play-in stage, the best one in a long time according to me, we have now arrived to the main event. This is where the best teams enter the tournament, where the most dominant players start to show off their skills and where the storylines for the rest of the tournament will be created. In a series of articles, we will provide you with an overview of the different teams along with predictions of their performance as a group. You can find the schedule here. If you want to bet on the game, check out our eminent League Of Legends betting guide .
First out we have Worlds 2020 group A, consisting of G2 Esports from Europe, Machi Esports from South East Asia, Suning from China and Team Liquid from North America. This is, on paper one of the weaker groups, but should still contain some spicy match-ups, both between teams as well as individual players. Let’s get into the breakdown of the different squads.
Starting roster (expected)
- Top – Wunder
- Jungle – Jankos
- Mid – Caps
- Bot – Perkz
- Support – Mikyx
The first seed from EU has to be the favourites in this group, as well as one of the favourites for the whole tournament. They have retained the same roster that during the last two years, won 4 LEC Championships and 1 MSI title. Other than that, they went to finals at last year’s Worlds, losing against FPX. They are widely regarded as the best western team ever in League of Legends. Their strength comes from their combination of amazing mechanical skills, as well as creative and smart macro play. There is not a single game where this team can be counted out.
G2’s Knight (/ninja) In Shining Armor, And Possible Weak Links.
Caps is probably the best non-Asian player in the world, and he is accompanied by players that can carry from every lane. If I need to point out flaws, however, it has to be Jankos and Perkz. Jankos is a dominant jungler in Europe, but has shown flaws when playing against better junglers from outer Europe. In last year’s edition of Worlds, both Tarzan and Tian ran circles around him. Perkz, who is an amazing player in every way, still isn’t as good in bot lane as he was in the mid lane. Against better bot lanes he can be exploited, especially if he doesn’t get favourable match-ups
G2 went through a bit of slump during the regular season of summer split. However, that was blown away by the time of the playoffs, where they once again were unstoppable. This group will probably be a race for first between them and Suning. This will be an exciting match-up since the strength of the two teams come in different areas. The other teams in the group should be disposed of by G2, but this team has the tendency to be at the receiving end of upsets. If they stay focused, however, they should win this group.
Starting roster (expected)
- Top – PK
- Jungle – Gemini
- Mid – Mission
- Bot – Bruce
- Support – Koala
I have to admit that I don’t know as much about the first seed from the PCS, Machi Esports, as I do about the teams from the four major regions. However, after seeing the performance versus PSG Talon in the play-ins, I can safely assume that they are a very good team. Unfortunately, though, they have fallen into a very tough group, with the (according to me) best European and the best North American team. Adding a Chinese team on top of that, I suspect that it will be no easy task for Machi to advance.
All In Botlane’s Hands
If they want to have a chance to advance, their most important players will be their bot lane and mid. Having a strong bot side suits the meta perfectly, because of the importance of dragons. Following the trend that PSG set, this PCS team also has a playmaking support in Koala, who is essential to create leads for the team. Unfortunately, though, they are up against some of the best bot lanes of the tournament.
Machi ended the regular season at fourth place and actually lost a series during the playoffs. However, in the end, they managed to 3-0 PSG in the finals and grab a spot at Worlds 2020, thus making their way to Group A. It is that level of play that they need to show during worlds. Because a team that 3-0 PSG shouldn’t be taken lightly. It is a team who can make something happen at Worlds, and maybe even advance to the knockout stage.
TL will be their first sacrifice if they want to advance. To beat them would give them an opportunity to challenge for the first two spots. And since it is BO1, anything can happen. Unfortunately for Machi though, I think they will have a tough time, and will struggle to get wins on the board.
Starting roster (expected)
- Top – Bin
- Jungle – SofM
- Mid – Angel
- Bot – Huanfeng
- Support – Swordart
The third seed from China will be the number one contender to G2 for first place in the group. At least if we expect Suning to show the same form as they did at the end of the split. After a few splits as a middle of the pack team in the LPL, they really came into their own in summer. This was probably due to the team starting to mesh, lead by their new acquisitions for the year, SofM and Huanfeng.
New Blood Brought New Grit
SofM has been one of the most exciting and hyped junglers of the LPL in recent years. However, since he has not attended Worlds before, he is kind of unknown for a lot of viewers. This will be his coming-out party as one of the most explosive and aggressive junglers in the world. With a lot of carry junglers in the meta, he will be put in spots to dominate, which he will probably do. Sunings biggest strength, however, is their bot lane. Huanfeng is extremely talented and continues the Chinese tradition of producing the best bot laners in the world. Joining him there’s Swordart, an experienced support who’ve been to worlds numerous times, excelling in initiating and with roaming supports.
Suning finished third in the LPL Summer playoffs, and then went on to 3-0 LGD in the regional finals to grab their spot at Worlds. After a slow start to the split, they ramped up and were easily the best team in the league in the end, except TOP and JDG. In a league like the LPL that is no small feat. The main event of this group will be the game between Suning and G2. It will be interesting to see if Angel can keep up with Caps, if Jankos can contain SofM and most of all if Perkz and Mikyx can put down Huanfeng and Swordart. In this matchup, I think the bot lane will be essential to who comes out on top.
Starting roster (expected)
- Top – Impact
- Jungle – Broxah
- Mid – Jensen
- Bot – Tactical
- Support – CoreJJ
TL was one of the more impressive teams of the play-in stage, finishing first in their group after a few really clean games. The only exception being their loss to INTZ. As I stated in the preview, this is a team of immense experience. That was proven in the play-ins, where they kept a high level of play, showing that the stakes didn’t affect their performance.
TL is a team which rely on their team play. With that said, they still have some players who provide an extra level of play. These are, according to me, CoreJJ and Impact. Impact, a former world champion, always seem to get a worlds buff. During the regular season, he didn’t really stand out. He did just what was needed of him. However, when Worlds came around,0 he showed his true power, more often than not outperforming world-class top laners. CoreJJ is TL’s most important player though. Also a former world champion, he is a master of strategy and macro play. More often than not, he manages to affect the map in more than one place at a time. His brain is what provides TL with moments to capitalize, where they can take leads and snowball the game.
TL played extremely well during the regular season, but couldn’t really live up to their own standard in the playoffs. After falling both to TSM and FlyQuest, they had to fight through the play-ins to reach this stage of the tournament. To me, they are the strongest North American squad, and the only one that could actually make a splash during this worlds tournament.
Punching Above Their Weight
During the group stage, they first need to focus on beating Machi. As the other (presumably) weaker team, Machi needs to be beaten for them to have a shot at playoffs. Other than that it is all about taking games from the top two, which will be no easy task. However, it is not impossible for a team of TL’s standard. I believe that if they can find good drafts and good game plans, that they can punish bot Suning and G2. Unfortunately, that is easier said than done.
Worlds 2020 Group A – Predictions
With the addition of TL into this group, this has become much tougher to predict. TL is a personal favourite of mine, but I still predict that they will miss the playoffs. Suning comes from a strong finish in the best league in the world, and G2 are among the favourites to win the whole tournament. My predictions for the final standings are:
- Team Liquid
- Machi Esports