The groups have been drawn. The matchups have been set. Now the wait begins for the official start of the League of Legends World Championship. So which teams got the short end of the stick this time around? Which teams are celebrating their group draw? Let’s take a look and find out now.
Groups of Death and the Unlucky LCK
As is seemingly tradition with any World Championships, two groups of death have been created. Group A makes up the first group of death featuring the European champion in G2 Esports, the Korean second seed in Griffin and lastly the North American second seed in Cloud 9. Meanwhile, a second group of death was made in Group C once again as Korean champions SK Telecom T1 will face off against the European second seed Fnatic and Chinese second seed Royal Never Give Up.
All of these four teams went to quarterfinals last year. Three of them went to semifinals.
— Ashley Kang #LCK (@AshleyKang) September 23, 2019
While groups of death are always rough, this year’s groups are even worse for the Korean teams. As the two favorites from the region, both Griffin and SKT will have to face off against two teams that had a lot of success last year. While Korea has always found their way into the quarterfinals (unless they were Samsung/Gen.G) this could be the first year where only one Korean team could make it.
Clear Road Ahead… sort of?
However, on the other side of the group draw, North American champion Team Liquid and Chinese champion FunPlus Phoenix are likely very happy about how their groups ended up.
For FPX on Group B, they’re set to face off against the Taiwanese champions in J Team and the Vietnamese champions in GAM Esports. Meanwhile, TL in Group D is set to face off against the Taiwanese second seed in ahq e-sports Club and the Chinese third seed and defending champion in Invictus Gaming.
While the teams facing off against the Chinese and North American teams on paper should be some easy matchups, FPX and TL need to be careful. Both GAM and IG are capable of pulling off upsets (especially considering how inconsistent IG have been recently). Meanwhile, the true strength of the two Taiwanese teams compared to the rest of the world is mostly unknown due to Flash Wolves and MAD Team representing the region in previous international tournaments this year.
On top of that, both groups need to be worried about DAMWON GAMING, the Korean third seed who was the best in Korea for a good part of the last half of the season. Along with that, another possible threat from the Play-Ins will be European third seed Splyce, a team that has shown that they’re also a legitimate threat for upsets.
Overall, FPX and TL should have a fairly simple road ahead of them, however, first seeds have been surprised by worse.
Fun Tournament Ahead
With all the talk about which team will win it all and which region will have the best showing overall, there hasn’t been enough talk about how entertaining this year’s World’s will be. With teams around the world all improving and looking stronger than ever, the potential for upsets and surprises is high. This includes the wildcard regions, where regions like Turkey and CIS look to finally get a win over a main top region team.
In the end, no matter which team ends up winning it all, one thing is clear. This will likely be the best Worlds to date.
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Featured image courtesy of LoL Esports Flickr.
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