League of Legends worlds roundtable — Awaiting the group stage

League of Legends worlds is right around the corner, and the potential matchups have our staff chomping at the bit. In anticipation of the group stage draws, we’ve got some questions we’d like to see answered as the biggest esports event of the year approaches.

Which four teams would you love to see drawn (within regulations) in the upcoming group stages?

Tyler Erzberger: Give me TSM, DRX, Rogue and LGD Gaming as a group that I’d find extremely tantalizing.

All four teams have excellent mid laners that they know how to play around in late-game team fights, but they’re all flawed squads with a whole lot to prove in Shanghai. Even TSM, the No. 1 seed in this hypothetical group, is more than likely going to be seen as an underdog in this group by a majority of pundits and the fans-at-large. We’d also get to see the culmination of the “Who’s better between TSM and Rogue?” debate that has been thrown for the past two years on social media.

This would be a truly open group where I think all four teams could advance and it’ll depend on how well they prepare once they enter the Shanghai bubble and begin quarantining/practicing.

Emily Rand: Similarly I’m going with TSM as the pool 1-seed since it allows for more interesting teams to be drawn in below. In the group with NA’s first seed, something like TSM, JDG, Gen.G, and Talon could be possible. Depending on who qualifies as South Korea’s third seed matters a bit, but I think the most interesting group in this scenario would have both Gen.G and TSM, then Fnatic and LGD. This would be a weird group of teams for a few reasons.

For starters, Gen.G is already a somewhat specious third seed (if they qualify, and it looks like they will, although feel free to return to this to make fun of me, you’ve earned it) considering that they lost in a unique and unfortunate situation that involved a large pause and playing on two separate patches within the same series. Despite the fact that DRX did beat Gen.G in both of their regular season meetings, there’s a strong case that, had the pause not happened, Gen.G would have made it to the LCK finals and potentially given Damwon Gaming a bit more competition. Few people would believe in TSM getting out of this group but it’s also not like either Fnatic or LGD have been particularly consistent this summer either. This wouldn’t be a group of death but a group of uncertainty, and would heavily revolve around who adapted first or best. Although most teams in this group are known for playing standard (see: “boring” in popular lexicon), there’s a lot of nuance from team to team that would make watching them all try to adapt as the worlds meta evolves interesting

Arda Ocal: We 100% need Rogue and TSM in the same group for the memes. That’s a given.

TSM (1)
Rogue (3)
JD Gaming (2)

And from the play-in, give me a surging team like, say, SuperMassive, and of course I’m not picking them…

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