LoL World Championship Group Stage: October 8 (Worlds)
Christopher Troeh guides you through the League of Legends North American (LCS) & European (LEC) World Championship Group Stages for esports DFS contests!
Group A closes out on Thursday with three games for each of the players. Currently, G2 sits atop the standings at 2-1, with their loss to straggly Team Liquid. Suning also sits 2-1, but their loss is against G2 while they successfully defeated the lower placing teams. Team Liquid and Machi both sit 1-2, with Machi’s victory being over Liquid, and Liquid’s being over G2. Each team will play against each other, so let’s get into it.
SofM has been the most impressive jungler in group A easily: Broxah and Jankos both have had spotty records, but Jankos is the defacto superior player relative to the two, and he has been experiencing a resurgence of form as of recent. Gemini is a weaker player on MCX, who is carried by M1ssion’s ability to soak resources and output maddening damage in the later game. SofM is by far the best jungler, and he should not evade your roster: furthermore, choosing a jungler as captain gives you more money for elsewhere on the day. Anyways, if you’re looking for a different captain, I would highly recommend the ADC of Suning, Huanfeng. He’s an underrated Chinese ADC making his international debut, but his inexperience hasn’t slowed him down in the slightest on the worlds stage.
Alternatives to consider: Huanfeng ($11,400)
G2’s top laner will arrive in our top lane spot. Your realistic options are Wunder, Bin, or going cheap with Impact. With SofM as captain, we don’t need to save money for elsewhere on the roster, so we’re capable of spending big on top lane. Wunder has accrued a 3 KDA over the event with pretty admirable CS differentials match from match (+30 on average). Wunder is statistically the strongest top laner in the group, and he’s worth the money: it helps that his competition is each stylistically weak side, and Wunder thrives against these low resource opponents by virtue of his strong mechanics. For a different pick, I’d recommend Impact and spending big on a different captain: if you’re picking up Bin, you may as well go with Wunder, and Impact isn’t absurdly worse than either Wunder or Bin, just go cheap.
Alternatives to consider: Impact ($5,800)
With SofM as our captain, Jankos is the most sensible option for jungle: the Polish jungler had a spotty transition to the meta in LEC playoffs but looks rejuvenated on the international stage. While G2 dropped a game to TL in the first round robin, it was likely due to their overconfidence from already being the first place team versus the last place team. One only needs to think back to 2019 MSI where the fastest international best-of-three took place between G2 and Team Liquid in the grand finals, where G2 absolutely destroyed Liquid. Jankos has looked solid lately, and I would definitely recommend him and SofM as your junglers on the day.
Alternatives to consider: SofM ($7,400)
Mid lane is a weak point in group A: Jensen has routinely failed internationally, and has been a weak point in rosters on the big stage after his brief run in 2018 to top 4 with Cloud9, much of which was facilitated by Licorice’s great gameplay. Suning’s solo laners have fell by the way side for their strong bottom lane and all-star carry jungler. M1ssion is really good, too though! However, his supporting cast is really weak aside from a decent top laner; at least his jungler lets him take all of his camps for the attempt of a miracle 1v9. Alone stands Caps: the real western threat to eastern hegemony. Caps is a mechanical nightmare, and he’s made champions like Akali and Irelia amongst others look overpowered even when they were objectively mediocre champions. Formerly in his career, Caps was criticized for having games where he fell on his face (Craps, anyone?) but these games have nearly disappeared after his sophomore year, and as he finishes the 4th year of his professional career he is likely the best mid laner Europe has ever produced. He is always a good pick. Otherwise, I would actually recommend M1ssion in the same regard I recommend KaKAO: disproportionate resource players make for great picks, and MCX know that M1ssion is their primary win condition in any game they play.
Alternatives to consider: M1ssion ($6,600)
Huanfeng has been a mainstay of these articles: his low cost combined with his amazing performances has caused him to provide a massive bang-for-buck value. He holds an absurdly high 8.33 KDA across the event, with +43 CS differential between his role. Statistically he’s the strongest ADC in his group (perhaps bested by Perkz if they didn’t have a “fun game” versus Liquid), and his consistency is admirable. He’s an easy pick for the ADC slot and doesn’t rob you of money like a different, Croatian ADC. That being said, I hesitate my hand on Tactical for secondary pick: he looked fantastic on Kalista, but his other group stage performances have been inert (to be fair, he’s playing a very team reliant position). Therefore, the legendary Croatian mid laner turned ADC, Perkz, will be my secondary choice for ADC.
Alternatives to consider: Perkz ($7,800)
SwordArt and Huanfeng have been the strongest bottom lane in group A, much to the surprise of those who haven’t been paying attention to LPL. I’d go as far as to say that they’re also the most “complete” bottom lane from LPL at worlds, as TES’s support has been one of the weaker points on the roster. JDG have a potent support in LvMao, but Loken is a pretty hot and cold player. Meanwhile, both players on Suning have been incredible: SwordArt holds a 7.33 KDA: and impressive feat on two support champions. He’s a great laner, but still stands as only the second best support in his group: there’s no denying it, Mikyx has singlehandedly advanced the play of G2, and while I don’t think he’s necessarily worth his steeper price tag, he is likely the better pick relative to SwordArt. If you have the money, feel free to splurge, but SwordArt has proven his worth internationally.
Alternatives to consider: Mikyx ($5,800)
The L G2 took against TL has left me with two conclusions: we either live in a simulation, or competitive League of Legends is no less scripted than WWE. In any case, Suning is a more consistent team in my mind, they’ve only fell to G2 in a close and competitive game. Meanwhile, G2 lost to a very poor looking Team Liquid from a region that’s been routinely criticized for a pattern of awful performances internationally. Suning is simply the safer choice, G2 appear to be a team that’s disproportionately impacted by emotions, whereas Suning is a well-oiled machine that functions consistently.
Alternatives to consider: G2 Esports ($5,400)
Huanfeng & SwordArt
As stated before, Suning’s bottom lane is a complete package: neither Huanfeng nor SwordArt look to be a liability. Truthfully, this bottom lane could likely win worlds if they were granted the solo laners on TES (nothing against Jackeylove, of course). However, they are more than sufficient for group A. Bottom lane is the strongest point in the group (aside from MCX) and they have shown that they are the best of the best.
Caps & Jankos
G2’s 2v2 is back. Caps has impressed each game he’s played, and while Jensen’s Orianna was irritating to play against, he was by no means the inferior player in G2’s match against Liquid. He’s likely the strongest mechanical player in group A alongside SofM and he’s playing a position where mechanics are more impactful. Jankos’s Nidalee has shown promise, and despite some spotty performances at the end of G2’s championship run in Europe, he looks revitalized now that he’s off of picks like Sett. These two can run the show against teams like Liquid and MCX, and have the option to play through mid lane unlike Suning.
M1ssion & PK
Truthfully if I could, I could just make this section “m1ssion” but I think PK is the most respectable teammate he has. MCX look really bad, but their mid laner has posted positive CS differentials in each game, and while that is because he is given the majority of resources from his team. Therefore, it should stand that picking M1ssion somewhere in your roster will give you massive points if MCX are ever capable of picking up a game. High risk, high reward. PK hasn’t been impressive, but he’s a solid top laner that prioritizes split pushing, a volatile playstyle. You either win the split, or you don’t, and if PK wins the split, it’s hard for the enemy team to deal with.
Top Picks: Huanfeng, SofM, Caps
Huanfeng and SofM are simply the best in their role in the group. Perkz is a great ADC, but he’s incapable of reaching the highs Huanfeng has shown so far, and Mikyx’s great performances have shown that he may be the weaker part in the lane. Suning is a very “bottom forward” team, so it’s not unlikely that Perkz’s weakness may just be confounding with the fact that Suning is willing to funnel resources into their ADC, whereas G2 is a more “wide” team, which leads us conveniently to Caps. Caps is the strongest mid laner in the group, and it’s braindead to not play around this advantage. Each of these guys are fantastic, and they’re worth a look.
Top Value: M1ssion, Impact, SwordArt
Not going to lie, M1ssion is really solid. He has an absurdly high resource share and he generally is capable of holding his own against his premier competition. Impact is similar, but he has a really low resource share and is generally more valuable for saving bucks. Top lane isn’t really stacked in group A aside from Wunder, but even Wunder isn’t a highly resource intensive top laner. SwordArt is cheap relative to Mikyx, and supports are close in cost. SwordArt strikes a happy medium between cost and quality, each of these guys are definitely worth a look.