G2 Esports collide with these teams at Worlds 2020, so can they win?
© Riot Games
G2 Esports have been drawn into Group A for the 2020 League of Legends World Championship, and have a great chance of progressing. Here’s how their opponents break down.
G2 Esports are once again heading to the League of Legends World Championship. They went all the way to the final last year, but in 2020 they’ll be looking to go one better by winning the whole thing. By qualifying as Europe’s first seed G2 have avoided the top teams from other regions, but of course there is still plenty of danger lying ahead in the group stage. They’ve been drawn into Group A, meaning they’ll be up against Machi Esports and Suning, as well as a qualifying team from the Play-In stage still to be determined.
China versus Europe has been the biggest rivalry in League of Legends on the international stage over the past couple of years, and the next chapter will be written over the next couple of months. Suning are China’s third seed, but G2 know exactly how much damage a Chinese team can do at Worlds. Last year they lost 3-0 in the grand final to FunPlus Phoenix, and so will be on high alert this year in order to get revenge for Europe.
G2 are the highest returning seed from last year’s World Championship, with FPX not qualifying for this year’s tournament, and they look like they’re returning to their best form at the right time. It was an up and down summer season for them, but Rasmus ‘Caps’ Winther has been looking great, and Luka ‘Perkz’ Perkovic definitely improved as the League of Legends European Championship (LEC) playoffs went on.
Suning only managed a fourth place finish in the League of Legends Pro League (LPL) this summer, and were easily knocked out of the playoffs by eventual winners Top Esports. They earned third-place with a 3-0 demolition of LGD Gaming, and then beat them 3-0 again in the Regional Finals to qualify for Worlds.
Suning jungler Lê ‘SofM’ Quang Duy loves playing champions that allow him to go for a tanky build and protect his carries Xiang ‘Angel’ Tao and Tang ‘huanfeng’ Huan-Feng. Even when you’d expect him to be taking on a more damage role with his champion selections, he’ll still be bulking up instead. The jungle battle between SofM and Marcin ‘Jankos’ Jankowski is one of the most interesting matchups across the board thanks to their contrasting styles.
It’s toplaner Chen ‘Bin’ Ze-Bin that picks up the slack when Suning are in need of aggression, so he’ll be hoping the meta still allows for carries to be played in the top lane when Worlds kicks off. He’s been playing a lot of Renekton, Jayce, and Gangplank recently, so G2 toplaner Martin ‘Wunder’ Nordahl Hansen will have to be very wary.
Caps is likely to have the edge over Angel in the mid lane, and will look to cement his place as one of the best solo laners in the world with a dominant performance in this matchup.
Suning’s support is Hu ‘SwordArt’ Shuo-Chieh, who is no doubt one of the most recognisable names on the team. He’s been to the World Championship five times, most recently with Flash Wolves, and is known as one of the most consistent performers in his role over the past seven years. He and huanfeng in the bot lane are likely to provide a formidable threat to Perkz and Mihael ‘Mikyx’ Mehle in the group games.
The other confirmed participant in Group A is Machi Esports, a Taiwanese team from the Pacific Championship Series. Obviously a lot less well-known on the global stage, Machi will have their work cut out in this group. But that doesn’t mean G2 will be able to take them lightly. Teams from outside South Korea, China, North America and Europe have been known to cause an upset or two over the years, and G2 won’t want to become another big scalp.
Still, Machi is the team that every other team was hoping to have in their group, as they should provide the least challenge to the strong teams from other regions, so G2 should be happy with the result of the draw. The PCS teams, while solid, rarely do anything out of the ordinary, so the adaptability of G2 might become too much for them.
There’s also an obvious skill mismatch between the two teams, and G2’s overall macro play should outclass Machi as well. Jankos should have the beating of his opposite number Huang ‘Gemini’ Chu-Xuan, who often takes the safe option compared to the G2 jungler’s aggressive style. That said, all five of Machi’s players have been to Worlds before, so have some experience on the big stage.
If all goes to plan for Team Liquid, the League of Legends Championship Series’ (LCS) participant in the Play-In stage, then they will be joining G2, Suning, and Machi in Group A. Liquid actually topped the standings in the LCS Summer Season with a record of 15-3, but fell off towards the end of the playoffs. Narrow defeats to both FlyQuest and Team SoloMid in round four meant they dropped down to be North America’s third seed. However, all three of the NA teams seem similarly matched in terms of skill, so Liquid will be no pushover for G2 if they make it to the main event.
G2 will be aiming for a first place finish in the group stage in order to avoid some of the better teams in the early rounds of the knockout stage. It’s a very attainable goal, with scary teams such as Damwon Gaming, Top Esports, DRX, and JD Gaming sorted into different groups. A potential match against European rivals Fnatic (or even EU upstarts Rogue) further down the road is entirely possible as well.
With the team already settling into their temporary home in China for the upcoming tournament, G2 are getting ready for the start of the 2020 League of Legends World Championship, which starts on October 3. Will this be their year?