2020 is a year full of potential, and these are the teams that need to capitalize the most
2020 is a year full of potential, and these are the teams that need to capitalize the most
Who’s excited for League of Legends year of 2020? Are you? Do you feel it coming? This is going to be epic! Ok, one by one. First, I just feel it with my guts. If it’s not enough for you, then here’s more. This year in League of Legends we are having the anniversary: the tenth season of the League. How do you like that? Ten fucking years of amazing gaming. And they used to say esports has no future, pff.
But there’s more news: Riot and Riot Forge are to release a bunch of new games for more joy, and this year’s Summoner’s Rift is going to be the biggest ever we have seen. Worlds is coming back to China ‒ the world’s leading esports market. With two previous Worlds champions being from China, no wonder they have chosen this location for the 2020 event.
So, with all that info loaded, you can’t but wait for a mind-blowingly amazing year for the teams.
Esports keeps growing as a legit discipline. It gains more and more recognition, and, you won’t believe it, parents around the world encourage their children to play computer games. LOL 🙂 Professional teams find more opportunities to advertise, get sponsor deals, grow a fanbase, earn more all in all. And while most of them grow and succeed, there are a certain few teams that can really grab their chance and capitalize on it all.
China, the home of two LPL teams who successively dominated Worlds in 2018 and 2019, is to host the tournament again. Although it might seem an advantage, history proves it’s not. It’s been only Season 4 (if we don’t count Season 1) when the hosting region had one the championship. But LPL top teams are not the ones who fuck around: they will definitely work their asses off to break this streak.
2020 appears to be much more important for the Chinese teams than for the rest of the regions. And among all, they have the most opportunity to roll in money by the end of the year, all thanks to the tournament taking place right at their porch. This region’s representatives must be complete morons not to capitalize on all the advertising and branding that accompany events of such scale. And there are a few teams who especially need to do everything they can to reign in on that potential. Specifically, RNG, EDG, and Vici Gaming, with Top Esports close behind. Let’s check one by one what they’ve got coming for them this year.
RNG. These guys are making big steps in their development and putting a stake on attracting a Western audience. Like, we know that China itself is a huge potential fanbase. But RNG doesn’t forget about the rest of the world as well. These guys have already earned multiple titles that brought them recognition in the West. If they make it to this year’s Worlds, that will boost them even more.
On top of that, the home ground will give them more opportunities in terms of brand awareness. With all the staff and tons of facilities within their organization, RNG will be able to host others, invade social media, distribute a shitton of content and just dominate in the media. So, they have all the cards to grow bigger than anyone else this year.
EDG. Well, in previous years they kinds sucked and missed Worlds. We missed them too, but their recent performance in the Demacia Cup gives some hope they will make it to this year’s tournament. In the Cup, they only lost to RNG and landed second in finals. A few more great games and EDG will have enough momentum to break into the Worlds.
If they finally get there, oh, boi. This organization definitely knows its job and you won’t help to see their brand everywhere. EDG will take their chance to turn to greatness and prove their 2019 flop was merely a misfortune and will show their max. If they make their way to Worlds.
Vici Gaming. VC really needs to get their shit together and do something. For a few years their top result was two wins a season. Two! Pathetic. We want them back and we want them to shine! If nothing changes this year, it might as well be the end of their career.
This off-season, though, is a silver lining to a pile of shit. They ignited their fans’ hope and made a pro move having signed a bunch of star power this off-season. One of them, just think of it, is Kim “kkOma” Jeong-gyun. Mhm. The kkOma himself. If somebody can help Vici Gaming is this top-notch, highly professional and probably the most respected coach of all time. So eat, pray, hope to see VC in Worlds this year.
Top Esports. Not the most famous name for the Western audience, but a team worth paying attention to. 2019 was the year when they were right on the edge of being good for all. Top Esports has all the chances to get to the world with the roster they have today. Besides their great Zhuo “knight” Ding, who is the best midlaner in the LPL, they now have Hung “Karsa” Hao-Hsuan signed in. The only thing left is to make this combination work and bam! see you at Worlds.
Top Esport is backed by a pretty large Chinese sports company. So you can imagine the scale on which branding and promotion will unveil once Top Esports land in the Worlds tournament tables. No one, and I mean it, no one will be able to match that scale. Even Liquid, Cloud9, Fnatic, and G2. And that shows a lot.
This year LPL has the task to break the streak of Worlds hosts failing and losing. LCK, on the other hand, has a task to try and break the winning streak of the LPL. See the controversy yet? Anyway, some of them will get what they want. We all keep thinking that the LCK is the best and we all keep wanting to prove that they truly are. But not, they’ve got some work to do before it happens. T1, who we used to know as SKT before rebranding, seems to be the most eager to win and the most promising and capable of growth this year. On the other hand, DAMWON Gaming, GenG, and DragonX show all the signs of the teams to have the strongest and the most successful 2020.
T1 needs to push its brand and make it work. The SKT title stands for South Korea Telecom, which is South Korea’s largest wireless carrier that had the team under its control. In 2019 they decided to join forces with Comcast Spectacor, another big-ass telecom company, to make an impact in the esports industry.
Although it’s always great to have another investor or sponsor, this time it can work against T1. Simply for the fact that fans do not know their new name! It looks like a completely new League of Legends team! They really need to work their asses off and make a stable connection between what they were and what they are. They need people to read “T1” and think of what SKT did. SKT, which is the most successful organization in LoL history. Ever! A flop this year could be devastating. Second only to RNG, Worlds is necessary for T1.
DWG. These guys are not as desperate as T1 on the matter of rebrand, because they are still the same. They decided to keep going with exactly the same team as the previous year. In the industry where players can jump from one team to another few times a year, that’s unusual. But if we take into account an incredible performance we saw from DWG last year, it’s logical.
Obviously, they must have had a chance to make changes, but apparently decided against it. They did what everybody, from fans and industry veterans, was constantly begging them to do: they trusted their players and kept going with the same roster to more victories. Starting off with what we see today, they are going to make the most of their opportunities.
GenG. These guys aren’t in their best shape today, which is proved by a few previous crappy years. In 2017 they became Worlds Champion, continued their glorious way in Spring, taking first place and after that everything went to hell. 2018 Worlds was a disaster and 2019 as a whole was so bad I’d like to forget it. I trusted you, bastards!
I still do, in fact. Trust and hope that 2020 will be a game-changing year and GenG will make their way back to the top. The organization itself is pretty strong across many esports, well-known in the West and has great branding and advertising opportunities. So GenG may take their best players in the roster and bounce back in 2020.
DRX. This season DRX has been demonstrating some crazy potential, even comparing with the LCK, and I can’t wait to see them in action. In the off-season, they signed a few great talents to boost their performance, including Kim “cvMax” Dae-ho and two former Griffin players. Ah, how do you like that? They must believe so much in the guys’ skills that neglected the controversy between them.
And this decision better be worth it and lead to some awesome results. Or at least great. Otherwise, fans won’t forget it, brand reputation will suffer, players will suffer, profit will drop. No one needs that. Besides, if they fuck up with the roster they have (and they have a winning one), no one ever will take even a moment to consider joining them. Unless really big money is involved.
Europe is getting bigger every year. Not like they keep conquering new territories (yet, who knows) but European teams are getting more and more recognition. They made it to the Worlds finals two years in a row. They also lost 0-3 each time, but we’re talking about achievements now. So we expect the LEC to start 2020 the same, but make it to the very end and get their hands on the trophy. While every team in the LEC is worth winning and thriving, it’s FNC and G2 that are most likely to get their buck from this year’s potential profit.
FNC. The kings and rulers of the social media. Among European teams, of course. They proudly manage the biggest social media following with G2 being right behind them. FNC has just had yet another change in their roster and they have also changed their coaching. Seems like they are not ready to settle with less than perfection while getting ready to Worlds. They do crave this victory and you can feel it. Fans can feel it. And FNC needs to make their best to realize it and get some profit from their perfectionism in 2020.
G2 are playing big. And they have a bunch of strong competitors, besides FNC. Their ambitions go beyond the League and they keep aiming towards multiple esports titles. G2 are not that well-known and do not have THE legacy, but they have been doing great. And, let’s take a moment to remember, they have brought us the amazing Worlds story that cast a shade even on one from FNC. Oh, oh, and also they won MSI and brought the first-ever big international title to Europe. Not bad, huh?
G2, just like DWG, decided to stick to what they have. And not because it’s all they have, but because their current roster performs fucking awesome. They are keeping all five of the players, but have decided to make some changes within the team. It seems they are to swap Rasmus “Caps” Borregaard Winther and Luka “Perkz” Perković around mid and bot. G2 had the great year of 2019 and they need to make it happen again to strengthen their position in the League and build a brand and a name people will follow and remember.
The LCS need, desperately need to succeed this year. It seems like it keeps drowning deeper and deeper in shit every year. Like yeah, they have something happening, for example, Liquid took out the current World Champions, iGm, at MSI. But does it matter if no one from the region did nothing at Worlds? Does it matter if they all collectively sucked? But whine no more! 2020 is coming and 2020 may be the year when it all changes. So all the hopes on Liquid, TSM, Cloud9, and Evil Geniuses showing their best this season.
Liquid is a fighter, that’s for sure. They fight as one and they put their hearts in their performance. But it’s not enough. Besides their passionate game, they don’t really have anything to brag about. Like yes, they had that MSI final, but what about all the rest, what about the Worlds? They have an incredible program throughout esports as a whole, but why to stop?
Liquid has definitely got everything they could in North America being of the top teams in League of Legends, and Worlds is a great opportunity to go further and gain a new audience. The bigger the audience, the more money. It’s not rocket science. So they do need to show their best at this year’s Worlds to have people outside NA pay attention to them. They need to get bigger, and the only way to do that is to make it to the Knockout Stage next Fall.
TMS. I’m waiting for their comeback as for nobody else’s. They have to do it. For the League! For North America! For all the fans! Rare team has the same level of support from fans as TMS. Not even Fnatic, mind you. Were they at the last four international competitions? No, they weren’t. Were their fans chanting to support them even when they didn’t participate? Yes, they were. Now name me another team with the same fanbase.
TMS did a few risk moves shifting and changing their roster, but it seems they are all good. They’ve got enough domestic firepower to burn it all. However, if they fail again in reaching back top three at least, they’ve got to do something within the whole organization. Change the coach maybe, change the strategy, change something and show us all the potential they have. Liquid could do with another top-tier competitor to knock them down.
Cloud9. What a miracle of a team! What an endless source of thrill and excitement! Every fucking year they lose their players, and every fucking year people expect them to miserably fail. Nope, nope. Cloud9 keeps delivering great performance.
However, this year might break the tradition. Сloud9 lost Zachary “Sneaky” Scuderi and that can have an impact. Sneaky was the longest-tenured player for the team and is one of the most well-loved players globally. Cloud9 really has to make it up for his absence and prove it is worth it. Otherwise, you can imagine how disappointed fans will be. Utterly, completely disappointed, that will definitely influence the organization’s overall growth and perception.
EG. They are coming back! Being absent for a while, they are making their return this year. They’re coming prepared: this year they are ready to present a strong roster, great coaching staff, and desire to make their way to the top. So all the conditions they need to boost their brand and capitalize on this year’s opportunities are reachable. And they’ve already made a few steps towards it. They took the old Echo Fox spot after a whole slew of problems plagued the organization, but now they need to do what Echo Fox never could. EG is rolling in money in every other esports, so if they do the same in the League, boi oh boi. They’ll become the force that can wipe off all the old guards and take the place of the next fan-favorite team.
Worlds is coming not so soon. But there is so much exciting stuff prior to it: games, bootcamps, and scrims. Pre-game is as important as the game to show off teams potential, earn the love of the audience and get money bags ready to be filled to the top. But who will get the majority of bags is the question worth waiting for the answer.