After dethroning the Korean kings at Worlds 2018, many believe that it was time to usher in a new era ruled by the Chinese region of LPL. However, after unfortunate results at both MSI and Rift Rivals, that era may be short-lived. Despite recent results, the LPL should still be the favorites to defend the throne at Worlds once again. With some of the most talented players at their disposal, which teams are in a good spot to represent the LPL at Worlds 2019?
Top: Kang “TheShy” Seung-lok and Lee “Duke” Ho-seong
Jungle: Gao “Ning” Zhen-Ning
Mid: Song “Rookie” Eui-jin
ADC: Yu “JackeyLove” Wen-Bo
Support: Wang “Baolan” Liu-Yi
The defending champions of the LPL and World currently sit in the best position to qualify for Worlds. In general, the team struggled at the start of the Summer Split due to various issues such as missing mid laner Rookie for an extended period of time as he went back to Korea due to family issues. While they finally have their full roster once again, the struggles have mostly continued after 2-1 wins against bottom-tier teams in Oh My God and Vici Gaming. With that being said, a recent win against the previously undefeated FunPlus Phoenix could be a sign that the team has begun turning things around.
Despite their struggles, IG should still find themselves in the finals at the end of the split with all the talent available on their team. With amazing solo laners in TheShy and Rookie, and one of the best bot lanes in the world in JackeyLove and Baolan, the team isn’t short on carries. If the team continues to struggle into the playoffs, their chances at Worlds could go down, but for now, it’s hard to bet against the defending champions.
Top: Kim “GimGoon” Han-saem
Jungle: Gao “Tian” Tian-Liang
Mid: Kim “Doinb” Tae-sang
ADC: Lin “Lwx” Wei-Xiang
Support: Liu “Crisp” Qing-Song
Despite their unfortunate results from the Spring Split, many consider FunPlus Phoenix to be the best team at the moment. Led by the best player that hasn’t won anything yet in Doinb, the team looks to beat their demons and finally win an LPL title on their way to Worlds. Considering the team currently sits in 1st place with a solid 8-1 record they should have an easy road to the finals.
Overall the team shouldn’t be too worried against most teams in the league as their major loss in the playoffs previously came at the hands of JD Gaming who were on a massive hot streak. As long as players like Doinb and Tian continue to play at their current level, it’s hard to imagine FunPlus Phoenix outside the finals once again.
Top: Bai “369” Jia-Hao and Xiong “Moyu” Hui-Dong
Jungle: Xiong “Xx” Yu-Long and Mao “AKi” An
Mid: Zhuo “Knight9” Ding
ADC: Lee “LokeN” Dong-wook
Support: Nam “Ben” Dong-hyun and Zhang “QiuQiu” Ming
After a great showing during the Spring Split, Top Esports has maintained their great level of play in the Summer Split. Despite losing yet again to IG, Top Esports have still looked mostly dominant otherwise. While their results against other top teams like IG makes it hard to consider them a favorite to win the title, they should still have a fairly good chance at Worlds.
Leading the way as always is mid laner Knight9, a player that most consider to be one of, if not the best mid laner in the world at the moment. While he has yet to have a chance to truly prove it, leading the team to qualify for Worlds would be a good start to showing it. However, with the first and second seed just out of grasp, it’ll likely be a run through the gauntlet for them.
Royal Never Give Up
Top: Xie “Langx” Zhen-Ying
Jungle: Hung “Karsa” Hao-Hsuan
Mid: Li “Xiaohu” Yuan-Hao
ADC: Jian “Uzi” Zi-Hao
Support: Shi “Ming” Sen-Ming
Despite a rough showing during the Spring Split, RNG has begun looking like the RNG of old as they dominate the LPL. While the recent retirement of jungler Liu “Mlxg” Shi-Yu is a huge hit to the team and their flexibility, Karsa is still a world-class jungler that can dominate every game. Leading the team as always is legendary ADC Uzi who continues to be one of the best ADCs in the world. With Uzi leading the team, RNG has continued to look solid as they sit at 3rd in the standings.
However going forward, the team will need to play some amazing League of Legends if they want to make it to Worlds. With some tough matches remaining such as IG and Top Esports, RNG will need to pick up all the wins they can to maintain their spot near the top. No matter what, as a result of their rough finish in the Spring Split, RNG will likely be looking at a run through the gauntlet for their trip to Worlds. Will they be able to run the gauntlet and come out victorious? Only time will tell.
Despite all the talented teams in the LPL, only three teams can make it to Worlds. For the LPL, the three teams that will represent China will likely be Invictus Gaming as the first seed, FunPlus Phoenix as the second seed and lastly Top Esports as the third and final seed.
While FunPlus Phoenix has been mostly dominating the LPL so far, their recent loss to IG shows that IG is likely still the favorites despite early struggles in the split. Meanwhile, while Royal Never Give Up has looked better and better, Top Esports is simply too talented of a roster to bet against and has looked better overall. While things could change once the two teams meet in the gauntlet or playoffs, the edge goes to Top Esports for now.
To watch League of Legends tournaments, visit watch.na.lolesports.com. For more information on the Split, teams, standings and players, visit www.lolesports.com. Recaps of former weeks and other LoL content can be found at https://thegamehaus.com/league-of-legends/.
Featured image courtesy of LoL Esports Flickr
Follow Rui on Twitter @ruixu38
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