The League of Legends World championship is the biggest esport event of the year, and this year will be no different. The finals take place in the AccorsHotel Arena in Paris, and the world awaits. Until Sunday comes though, we know that the entire League community has no better to do than create questionable memes, roast LS’s predictions, and wait hungrily to see whether predictions will be fulfilled. To fill that void in your time, and your heart, we’ve brought you our top five narratives for Worlds 2019.
Doinb’s International Debut
Kim "Doinb" Tae-sang is the legendary mid-laner for FunPlus Phoenix, the star “Dark Magician”. While people within the Chinese and Asian regions in general have always praised him since his debut into the solo queue ranks of Korea, the international scene has never really been able to see him play.
This year, with the surprise win over RNG in the finals of the LPL, Doinb made his debut anywhere outside of China. Just like TheShy, the legendary top laner from Invictus Gaming, DoinB has never actually played underneath the Korean system outside of solo queue. He’s a truly generational talent with his distinct style of play. The fact that he’s already made it to the World Finals in itself is a dramatic addition to any storyline, let alone having a solid chance to win it too. Incidentally, he’s also one of the only two representatives of Korea left in the tournament - even though he’s never played under the banner!
G2 Esports - Fully European Squad
Although we’ve been harping on about how the gap has been closing ever since Korea fell out in the quarterfinals of Worlds 2018, the gap between the region and all others has always been evident. Despite the fact that Korean teams haven’t been the most impressive as of late, almost every team that has been a contender for the World Finals has always had Korean star players. Last year’s Invictus Gaming had TheShy and Rookie, with even FunPlus Phoenix having Doinb.
G2 is not just the favorite to win the entire tournament, but they’re a heavy favorite at that. If they end up winning the event, then they will be the first team since 2012’s Taipei Assassins to do so without a single Korean player. Every one of their individual players is a wrecking ball mechanically, and truly embody the spirit that “EU Mid” always brought with it. History would absolutely be made, and who knows, maybe this could be the road to exporting Western players?
Worlds Continues to Break Records!
Worlds 2019 has thus far been incredible when it comes to viewership. Records are continually broken, with the peak so far being over four million viewers outside of the Chinese broadcast. In comparison, the viewership peaked somewhere around the two million mark last year in 2018.
League is a game that celebrated its ten year anniversary just a few weeks ago and continues to thrive like no other. The only true comparison would be Counter-Strike, with its 20 year history - and even that has been across multiple versions of the game that continued to give it life. With the continual rise in viewership, Riot has proven that they might not be the best when it comes to tournament formats, but they sure as hell know what keeps the people coming. When developers say that they want their titles to be an esports title for years to come, one can’t help but be skeptical, but this Worlds has really shown us that League should be here to stay for the foreseeable future. Fortnite be damned.
Uma Jan is the Chosen One
Perkz has been a player shrouded in controversy since the beginning of his player, and truly embodied being the villain of EU LCS, and LEC this year. With his naturally cocky attitude, and continual rumors around poaching, he had always been a natural target. Unfortunately for his haters, he always had the skills to pay the bills as the ultimate mid laner that EU had to offer.
This year, we’ve already talked about his role swap to death, so we’re not going to go into the repetition of how incredibly good he is and how it’s a historic decision. If Perkz manages to win this year’s Worlds, there is a legitimate discussion for him being one of the greatest players of all time to play League of Legends. No other Western player should come close to contending for a top five spot, but with a win here, Perkz could legitimately fulfill his goal of being the most influential player ever bar Faker.
Of course, you have to look at what metrics you prioritize, but there is no argument to be made about his influence on the entire scene just on the basis of one role swap - be it metagame shifts, or viewership driving.
If you’ve got any storylines of our own be sure to tweet us! In the meanwhile, you can tune in to the World Finals on the Riot Games official broadcast, at 12PM GMT/1PM CEST/4AM PT.
Photos from: LPL, G2 Esports, Riot Games