What can we expect from the unusual playoff brackets?

Worlds Playoff Draw Separates LPL, LCK Teams

League of Legends
Riot Games Worlds 2020 Playoff Draw

Things are going to get spicy! Image credit: Riot Games

The 2020 World Championship groups are over and now the top 8 teams are ready to duke it out for the Summoner’s Cup. The draw has given us an interesting playoff bracket, splitting the LPL and LCK teams.

Shortly after the last Groups match ended, two former champions - FPX’ Gao "Tian" Tian-Liang and Invictus Gaming’s Gao "Ning" Zhen-Ning - drew the teams for the Worlds playoffs.

Playoff Draw Table

LCK and LPL teams are all on different sides of the bracket. Image credit: Riot Games

This is a very stacked playoff. All 8 teams showed great games in the groups, yet all also had at least one off game that showed they are not invincible. The luck of the draw resulted in a very interesting playoff bracket, with all 3 Chinese teams drafted in the top, all 3 LCK teams in the bottom and Fnatic and G2 Esports rounding the two sides out. This means there is no chance of an all-China or all-Korea final - the only way we could see two teams from the same region meet in the final if it’s Fnatic and G2 esports. That would be quite the shocker, but who knows?

While I am, hm, not in the running for the Pick’em Grand Prize at the moment, here is what I expect from the quarterfinals:

1.Top Esports vs Fnatic

The LPL champions are decidedly the favorites for this matchup. In most of their games, they looked incredibly dominant and Fnatic will be hard pushed to hold their own. On the other hand, in their one loss - to FlyQuest - they showed that when a team is able to get an early advantage and play clean, they may end up being out of tricks. Two important points that may decide the games are the top and jungle. Can Gabriël "Bwipo" Rau contain the volatile Bai "369" Jia-Hao, who so far has looked like possibly the best top laner in the tournament? Can Oskar "Selfmade" Boderek, who already showed he is a world-class jungler, expose Hung "Karsa" Hao-Hsuan and cripple Top’s synergy? Fnatic can take a game, but I still expect Top Esports to win the series.

2.JD Gaming vs Suning

This was one series LPL fans wanted to see in the summer playoffs, but the two teams ended up not meeting each other until Worlds. JDG looker stronger for most of the year, but Suning seems to have levelled up their game at Worlds, even taking down LEC champions G2 Esports in two out of their three games (and nearly taking the third one as well). Chen "Bin" Ze-Bin has been a (yet another) top lane LPL prodigy and this series may be the one that decides his reputation. JD come in as favorites, but I think Suning might actually take this one.

3.Gen.G vs G2 Esports

This might be the closest series in theory. Gen.G lost only a single game in their groups, but there were several times they looked shaky. G2 has been in the same boat, barely squeaking out a win against Suning before dropping a game to Team Liquid and two others against the LPL team. However, the LEC champions showed they are able to hold up and sometimes reverse a game they have no business winning, as well as monster through a game they do get an early lead in. In terms of personal ability, their players can give the Gen.G squad a run for their money. Color me biased, but I believe G2 will win this. It is certainly not the hardest team they could have drawn.

4. DAMWON Gaming vs DRX

The last series is a repeat of the LCK summer finals. Last time it was a clean sweep for DAMWON. Honestly, I am not sure DRX has enough in the tank to change the result. They had some good games, but I am not sure they showed enough to make them a viable threat to the DAMWON juggernaut. A lot will depend on the DRX jungler, Hong "Pyosik" Chang-hyeon. The rookie player had some great games, but he fell flat on his face a few times. If he steps up on the day, I definitely don’t expect it to go as easily for DAMWON as in their last match. The LCK champions are still the big favorites here, but I do not expect a 3:0 like last time.

The World Championship now makes a small pause until October 15th, when the playoffs will start. Until then, make sure to follow us at earlygame.com!

We leave you with a quick who's who of the recent Worlds champions. Who do you think will join them this year?

Boyan Penev

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