With the 2020 League of Legends World Championship (Worlds) Main Event a few days away, the groups have been finalized. As it does each year, the Main Event will begin with 4 groups of 4 teams. Each team will play best-of-one’s in a double round-robin format. After this, the top two teams in each group advance to the knockout stage, and the bottom two teams are eliminated. Here, we take a closer look at Group B. Catch all the action at the official LoL Esports Broadcast.
Rogue enters Worlds 2020 Group Stage as Europe’s 3rd seed. The best regular-season team, Rogue disappointed fans by losing to powerhouses G2 Esports and Fnatic. With a topside of rookies, inexperience showed in Best of 5 series. Yet, Rogue’s high-level team-fighting and mostly clean macro game can net them upsets against favorites JD Gaming and Damwon Gaming.
Rogue’s star is undeniably ADC Steven “Hans sama” Liv. A veteran ADC with Worlds Knock-Out Stage experience, Hans sama was one of the best ADCs in Europe. In the regular season, Hans Sama sported a 28.2% Damage Share with just 24.5% Gold Share. This is a gold efficient ADC who is a master of positioning in team-fights. Another upside to Hans sama is his champion pool. He plays the standard utility Ashe and Jhin very well, shows great carry potential on Aphelios, Kalista, and Ezreal, and has the unique pocket pick of Draven.
Mid Laner Emil “Larssen” Larsson is Hans sama’s partner in crime. Touting a 31.3% Damage Share with just 25.3% Gold Share, Larssen is the backbone of Rogue’s team-fighting. Larssen loves his Control Mages Azir, Corki, and Orianna, but that is not to say he lacks flexibility in his champion pool. In the playoffs, Larssen debuted the meta favored Lucian Mid Lane to great effect against Mad Lions. On the Chinese Super Server, Larssen has been spamming marksmen like Lucian, assassins like Akali, and bruisers like Jayce and Irelia.
The worry for Rogue may be their Top Side. As the team’s weak side Top Laner, Finn “Finn” Wiestål showed cracks under the pressure of Europe’s best Top Laners. Within this group, he has to contend with JD Gaming’s Zhang “Zoom” Xing-Ran and Damwon Gaming’s Jang “Nuguri” Ha-gwon. Both players are recognized by many analysts as top 5 Top Laners in the tournament. If Rogue can weather the storm in the early game and topside, their team-fighting can upset top teams.
JD Gaming (JDG) is the close 2nd best team in the LPL behind Top Esports. This is a team that plays through good rotations, vision play, and macro decision making. With rock-solid carries in three lanes, JDG likes to play a controlled, scaling, reactionary game. A noteworthy trait for JDG is their focus on their win conditions. The team is very clear on which champion is the primary carries and plays well around said carries. Since all three lanes (and jungler) can carry, JDG is a notoriously hard team to shut down. JDG are clear favorites to get top 2 in Worlds 2020 Group B.
Top Laner Zhang “Zoom” Xing-Ran is JDG’s guardian angel. Perhaps the best Tank Top Laner in the world, Zoom’s Ornn is known as the best in the world with 8 games won in 9 games played. Other well-known champions are Volibear and Gangplank. Zoom is a famously difficult player to kill in lane. Though this may be caused by his tanky champion pool, Jungler Seo “Kanavi” Jin-hyeok unique pathing and vision control act as a second layer of defense.
If Zoom is JDG’s immovable object, then Kanavi is JDG’s unstoppable force. The Spring Split MVP, Kanavi is jungler playing off of jungle tempo gaps. His pathing is unpredictable in the early levels, making his ganks hard to avoid. An XP lead and lane priority off of both successful/unsuccessful ganks translates into scuttle crab control and an early back. With faster item timings, Kanavi is then able to snowball within the jungle with faster clear, and pathing. Kanavi is a lover of champions that can dash across walls. His unique understanding of enemy vision, combined with his use of terrain-crossing champions is another reason for his unpredictable ganks. His most played champions, Graves, Nidalee, and Kindred, are all meta Junglers that can scale to be massive Damage Share contributors.
Damwon Gaming is not only a favorite to win Group B, but a favorite to win the entire Worlds 2020 tournament. The whispers of unbeatable scrim teams at World 2018 are referring to the monster that is Damwon. Hailing as Korea’s 1st seed, Damwon is a team built from incredible talent and impeccable mechanics.
Top Laner Jang “Nuguri” Ha-gwon enters the tournament as the best Top Laner in the world. A mechanical god that plays for lane dominance, Nuguri exerts suffocating pressure on his lane opponent through heavy trading, lane manipulation and solo kills. Nuguri is a carry player and favors Bruisers and a split push style of gameplay. Although the play-ins meta favors utility tanks in the top lane, Nuguri’s play in Group B may single-handedly shift that narrative. Expect picks like Jayce, Renekton, and Camille.
At Nuguri’s side is Mid Laner Heo “ShowMaker” Su. ShowMaker is known for his champion ocean, as he famously owns a challenger account playing every single champion mid. Although he is also a lane dominant player, Showmaker is more flexible than his top laner, and can adjust his play style to widen the gap between him and his opponent. As Nuguri is the split-push expert, Showmaker is Damwon’s heaviest contributor in team fights with his world-class mechanics.
Considered one of the top 2 teams from the Worlds 2020 Play-Ins stage, PSG Talon’s form is much harder to judge due to issues outside of the game. With their starters still in quarantine, PSG Talon had to use substitutes in the mid, jungle, and ADC positions. AHQ loanee Mid Laner Chen “Uniboy” Chang-Chu and Jungler Hsiao “Kongyue” Jen-Tso were arguably the best players for PSG during the Play-Ins. Their proactive play and Mid-Jungle synergy brought a faster pace to the team. In groups, however, the original Mid Laner Park “Tank” Dan-won and Jungler Kim “River” Dong-woo will return, alongside a more controlled and methodical style of play.
It is hard to predict Talon’s performance because the team played around the borrowed Mid/Jungle duo so well. In the PCS, Talon more often played around their star-studded Bottom Lane of ADC Wong “Unified” Chun Kit and Support Ling “Kaiwing” Kai Wing. Tank’s Twisted Fate is his most banned champion precisely due to the pressure he creates for his side lanes, especially the Bottom Lane. But other than that, Tank likes to pick scaling picks such as Syndra, Azir, and Corki and plays for a lane. This is a massive difference from Uniboy’s early game proactiveness, and we will see how the team adapts at the start of Group Stage Play.