review
Worlds 2020 Review

A historic tenth year for the game, Riot Games’ League of Legends has capped off yet another season with the highly coveted World Championship, seeing 22 teams converge to Shanghai for a month-long tournament to crown the planet’s strongest team.

Lee "Couple Sodi Pops" Jones
Freelance Esports Writer
2nd Nov, 2020·☕️ 7 min read
Share

A historic tenth year for the game, Riot Games’ League of Legends has capped off yet another season with the highly coveted World Championship, seeing 22 teams converge to Shanghai for a month-long tournament to crown the planet’s strongest team.

Tournament Winner: DAMWON Gaming

damwon win

Korea’s DAMWON Gaming began life by making a name for themself at the World Championship back in 2018, however they were not competing directly in the tournament. Instead, still in Korea’s second division, they were a side that gained momentum through scrim rumours as they were said to be challenging the top sides at that year’s tournament.

They later qualified for the LCK and finally won the Korean league this Summer, dominating throughout the regular split and smashing DRX 3-0 in the grand final. Winning in such a fashion meant that they were expectedly one of the favourites for the 2020 World Championship, one held in China after back to back LPL winners.

Winning the LCK earned them a place in the group stage, in which they topped Group B with 5 wins and 1 loss against China’s JD Gaming, Southeast Asia’s PSG Talon and Europe’s Rogue.

After the group stage, DAMWON headed into a quarter-final matchup that would set them up with a replay of the LCK final against DRX. Much like their previous meeting, DRX were no match for the LCK winners and DAMWON again swatted them aside with a 3-0 sweep in a series that has been argued as the most one-sided in Worlds knockout history.

The semi-finals put them against Europe’s top dogs G2 Esports, who had beaten DAMWON in the knockouts the year prior with a 3-1 scoreline. Rather poetically, DAMWON went on to defeat G2 by the same 3-1 scoreline, however the 19-minute blitz in game 4 (the fastest ever in Worlds knockouts) was more haiku than ballad.

This put DAMWON through to the grand final, the first Korean side to make it this far since 2017 and a chance to end China’s dominance over the tournament for the last two seasons. Up against them was China’s 3rd seed Suning, a team that had thrived as the underdog on the way to the final by beating G2 in groups and JD Gaming and Top Esports in the knockouts.

worlds stage2

In front of 6,000 Chinese fans at Shanghai’s Pudong Football Stadium, DAMWON headed into the final as favourites on paper despite Suning having the home crowd advantage.

Game 1 was a tentative affair with minor gold leads backwards and forwards. However, Nuguri’s Ornn pick gave DAMWON a late-game edge with free item upgrades, used to full effectiveness by ShowMaker’s 8/1/11, Rabadon’s Deathcrown Orianna.

Suning fought back in game 2 as an Evelynn vs Rengar jungle matchup raised question marks in champion select before Bin’s Fiora stole the show on the Rift. A 10/1/4 KDA and game-ending pentakill put the series back to 1-1, leaving both sides two wins away from the championship.

Game 3 saw the non-meta drafts focused more in the top lane with Bin’s Jax against Nuguri’s Kennen. Nuguri had shown his proficiency on the champion throughout the tournament and the mere threat of his ultimate was often enough to swing the match into DAMWON’s favour. His side were able to close out the game within 36 minutes and put themselves on match point.

Finally, game 4 saw Suning fully succumb to the strength of DAMWON as the Chinese side appeared to run out of steam. Despite valiant efforts through the rest of the series, Suning had little to offer in the way of defence as DAMWON ran them over in 27 minutes. 9 kills for Ghost’s Caitlyn and a perfect 8/0/7 game for Canyon’s Kindred secured the game, series and trophy for DAMWON Gaming, returning the Summoner’s Cup back to Korea and ending China’s reign.

Featured Match: Top Esports 3-2 Fnatic

While great spectacles were had in both Suning and DAMWON’s runs, it was the quarter-final matchup between China’s Top Esports and Europe’s Fnatic that stole the show.

Despite coming into the tournament as the LEC 2nd seed, Fnatic were heavy underdogs against a Top side that had won the LPL in Summer and entered Worlds as one of the tournament favourites.

fnatic

As a result, it came as a huge surprise to see Rekkles’ side take the lead against the Chinese powerhouse, pulling out two dominating wins in the first two games to take the series to match point.

Top, and in particular ADC JackeyLove, turned things on in game 3 and fought to bring the series back to 2-1, before a Nidalee pop-off from Karsa in game 4 levelled the scoreline at 2-2.

jackeylove

Teams that go from a 2-0 lead to a level 2-2 historically do not fare well in final matches, likely attributed to tilt from having lost such a large lead. This was unfortunately the case for Fnatic who went on to lose game 5 and crash out of the tournament in dramatic fashion. In doing so, they became the first side ever to be reverse swept in a World Championship best-of-five series.

Featured Player: Canyon (DAMWON Gaming)

canyon

Awarded the MVP of the grand final, DAMWON Gaming jungler Canyon was instrumental in their championship run, showing his skill on the key meta picks and allowing his superstar solo laners Nuguri and ShowMaker to shine.

“I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.” - Bruce Lee

In his opening 7 games of the tournament Canyon chose only Graves to pilot in the jungle and did so tremendously. As mentioned in our preview for the final, this champion works perfectly to DAMWON’s strengths and it’s no surprise that they’ve taken full advantage of this.

Throughout the tournament, Canyon showed his class on the champion, while also utilizing Kindred as another farm-heavy jungler as well as a game each on Hecarim and Evelynn thrown in the mix too.

The Korean used these four champions to rack up the most average kills (5.12) and highest KDA (7.22) of all junglers while also maintaining the second-highest CS/min (7.14) on his role.

Best Bet

Suning to reach the final

suning fin

While DAMWON were an expected finalist and one of the sides thought to be strongest heading into the World Championship, China’s Suning were hardly thought of with both Top Esports and JD Gaming seen as the strongest hopes for the LPL to retain the title.

They finished only 3rd in the LPL Summer split, crashing out at the hands of Top in a 3-0 semi-final defeat. However, they fought back to beat the LPL winners at the same stage during Worlds, having already upset JD Gaming in the quarter-finals.

Those that had the foresight to back Suning for a deep run have been greatly rewarded, seeing a side with little international experience making a name for themselves on the biggest stage and giving hope that their squad can do great things in the future.

Betslip

  • Single
  • Multi
Your Betslip is emptyGo to Betting