Last year’s League of Legends Video Game World Championship final made history as a record-breaking 205 million people tuned in to watch the action unfold. It cemented LoL’s status as the world’s most popular esport and pointed towards a glorious future for the competitive gaming sector. Excitement is extremely high once more among the game’s passionate community, as the League of Legends 2019, World Championship runs from October 2 to November 10 in Berlin, Madrid, and Paris.
These are the top five League of Legends World Championship teams vying for glory:
1. SK Telecom T1
SK Telecom T1 is the most successful team in the history of the LoL World Championship, having lifted the trophy in 2013, 2015 and 2016. They reached the final in 2017 and they were the favorites to make it three titles in a row, but they narrowly lost out to Samsung Galaxy.
It all went wrong for SK Telecom T1 as they did not even qualify for last year’s Worlds, and a five-year spell of Korean dominance finally came to an end when all of the country’s teams crashed out before the semi-final stage.
They responded by overhauling their roster and building a new super team around star player Faker. In came Khan, Crazy, Clid, Haru, and Teddy, along with superb support in the form of Mata, plus coaches Fly and Zefa.
The results have been emphatic. SKT roared back to form in 2019, winning the LCK Spring Playoffs and LCK Summer Playoffs to regain their status as the dominant team in Korea.
They were semi-finalists at the Mid-Season Invitational and they have continued on an upward curve since then. Faker has the quality to win any match with a moment of brilliance, while Teddy is a great player and Clid is having a sensational year. SKT are now the favorites in the esports odds to win a fourth world title in nine years, and they have a great chance of pulling it off.
2. FunPlus Phoenix
The League of Legends team added jungler Tian and veteran mid-laner Doinb to their roster at the start of 2019 and that has sparked a huge improvement in their performances. They have gone on to establish themselves as the dominant force in China, as the new boys have slotted in nicely alongside Gimgoon, Lwx, and Crisp.
FunPlus Phoenix finished top of the league table in LPL Spring’s regular season, with a 13-2 record. They suffered a surprise semi-final defeat to JD Gaming in the playoffs, but they FPX did beat Topsports Gaming in the third-place playoff match.
There were to be no such slip-ups at LPL Summer. FPX finished top of the standings once more and swept aside Bilibili Gaming to surge into the grand final. That pitted them against three-time champions Royal Never Give Up, and they picked up a 3-1 win to clinch their first-ever title. They will be a force to be reckoned with at the LOL World Championship.
3. G2 Esports
G2 Esports surprised many fans by going all the way to the semi-finals at last year’s Worlds. They ultimately succumbed to eventual champions Invictus Gaming, but that superb run filled them with confidence and they have continued to improve ever since.
They finished top of the LEC Spring table and cruised into a Grand Final showdown with Origen, who they beat 3-0. Next came one of their greatest ever triumphs, as G2 surged to victory in the Mid-Season Invitational in Ho Chi Minh City in May.
They scraped out of the group stage and found themselves in a semi-final meeting with SKT. It turned into a sensational contest, which G2 won 3-2. That set up a final against Team Liquid, marking the first time since 2011 that an international final did not feature a South Korean or Chinese team.
Anyone expecting a closely contested final was sorely disappointed, as G2 blew TL away and secured the trophy with a 3-0 triumph. They have continued that strong form, as they topped the LEC Summer standings and then beat Fnatic 3-2 in the final to win another trophy. They will be full of confidence ahead of the Worlds.
4. Royal Never Give Up
RNG was the dominant force in China throughout 2017, but their form tailed off last year. Their 3-2 defeat to G2 at the Worlds ranks as one of the biggest upsets in LoL history, and they have set about regrouping in 2019.
They struggled at LPL Spring and then secured the runner-up spot at LPL Summer after losing 3-1 to FPX in the grand final. Their last tournament win was LPL Summer 2018.
However, they now have star player Uzi back from injury, and if his arms do not become too sore at the Worlds then RNG has a great chance of success. Xiaohu and Ming have also been excellent this year, so RNG could return to form at precisely the right time to conquer the world.
5. Invictus Gaming
IG dazzled at last year’s Worlds and Chinese fans were in a celebratory mood after they vanquished Fnatic to seize glory in the grand final. Most of the 205 million viewers were based in China, so organizers will hope to see this team go deep into the tournament once again.
They managed to keep their entire roster together in 2019, and IG maintained their amazing form. They finished top of the LPL Spring standings and destroyed Topsports Gaming in the semis. They faced JD Gaming in the big final and won 3-0 in just 82 minutes, making it the quickest victory in LPL Final history.
They were positively spellbinding at the MSI and topped the group stage with a 9-1 record. However, they suffered a surprise defeat to Team Liquid in the semi-finals, and that plunged them into a downward spiral.
Their showing at LPL Summer was dreadful by their own high standards, and they need to generate a massive improvement if they are to successfully defend their title. They have dropped down to fifth in the Unikrn odds on the LOL World Championship winner, but if they hit their stride they could be unstoppable once again.