Worlds is right around the corner and everyone is getting hyped up after the groups had been decided on Sept. 15th. While most people are going to put their attention on the stronger teams and the best players, there are some “hidden gems” that might surprise us. Definitely keep an eye on those as they might become the key for shockers and upsets.
Our list starts off with Legacy Esports’ top laner. This is going to be the team’s first Worlds’ appearance & performing well would gather a lot of attention for the minor region. And Topoon will be the key to success. While most teams like playing around bot lane due to the importance of drake control, LGC usually plays around their top laner. Paired with Leo “Babip” Romer, they make a strong duo, forcing dives and making sure Topoon gets ahead. I’m very excited to see him play against teams like TL or MAD and maybe… the Chinese or Korean teams in the group stage.
The second player on the list is also going to be a Korean player. This time, however, is a jungler. KaKAO is considered one of the veterans, with more than 7 years of professional experience. With such a loaded background, his value is certainly high for a team like SuperMassive. He can play almost everything: his champion pool is never going to be an issue. High tempo junglers are dominating the meta and he already has shown that he can easily adapt and play champs like Nidalee, Graves & Hecarim. Carry junglers will be crucial in this year’s Worlds so beware of him as he can take SUP to the Group Stage.
FlyQuest has been the main surprise from the LCS. Despite being the 2nd seed, they were probably the most consistent team in NA. This is also thanks to their midlaner POE. Joining FLY after two years of mediocre performances, he’s finally found his groove. The meta also favors him with many strong mages present. It will be interesting to see whether he and the team will still hover over Azir, who’s being hit in the 10.19 patch. Nevertheless, he will still be at the center of FLY’s strategies, focusing on dealing as much damage as possible in teamfights while also playing around his jungler Lucas “Santorin” Tao Kilmer Larsen, who’s also really on form.
Being in the group with DRX and the favorite TES, POE will lane against Zhuo “knight” Ding & Jeong “Chovy” Ji-hoon. It’s going to be exciting to see how he fares against two of the best midlaners in the world.
RGE Inspired & FNC Selfmade
LEC’s junglers have really stepped up in the last year. The top 4 teams have really talented players but my attention goes to Inspired & Selfmade. These two have the highest carry potential & their team allows them to do so consistently. Selfmade has always been the carry-type jungler who wants to snowball & takeover the game. On the other hand, Inspired has shown during Playoffs that he can play different styles equally well. This gives RGE a good advantage during draft phase. With such a hard group, RGE will have to find any small window edge in order to increase their chance of winning.
Fans have huge expectations from LEC teams so both Inspired & Selfmade will face immense pressure. Hoping that they don’t dissapoint…
Last on my list is going to be JDG’s midlaner. While he’s obviously not being overlooked, jungler Seo “Kanavi” Jin-hyeok takes most of the attention. Yagao, in order to make the teamwork, had to make a lot of sacrifices & changes in order to accommodate the strong top-jungle duo. The stats are also clear: during the Summer Split, Yagao played 13 different champions and his execution was on point on almost all of them.
The main issue falls when he faces the stronger midlaners: he might have a really hard time which in turn might also penalize Kanavi, especially during the early-mid game. Stepping up individually during the tournament might be what JDG needs in order to get that World Championship…