An overview of what to expect from Group D in the League of Legends World Championships Group Stage.
After an action-packed Play-Ins stage, we’re finally ready to get to the true League of Legends Worlds tournament. The Group Stages feature only the absolute elite of rosters facing off for a chance at eternal glory on the Rift. As with all the groups, Group D features one of the heavy favorites to win the entirety of Worlds. But with that, they are many possible upsets to be had.
Top Esports (TES)
Among the royalty of teams attending this year’s League of Legends Worlds, Top Esports (formerly Topsports Gaming) are, on paper, the heavy favorites to actually win the tournament. If you’re unfamiliar with TES, they’ve finished first in every event they’ve competed in since the Mid Season Cup 2020. This includes their recent victory of the LPL Summer Playoffs in a nail-biting five-game series against JD Gaming.
Top’s roster consists of Bai "369" Jia-Hao in the top lane, Hung "Karsa" Hao-Hsuan in the jungle, Zhuo "knight" Ding in the mid lane, Yu "JackeyLove" Wen-Bo as the ADC and Liang "yuyanjia" Jia-Yuan as the support. Coached by Luo "Crescent" Sheng, TES has been a story of success. With a star-studded roster as stacked as this one, it's no wonder why Top is a clear favorite to take it all.
Previously known as Kingzone DragonX, the South Korean runners up had a rather incredible run through their summer league. Their team built a core identity of calculated poke fights and coordinated brawls around objectives. With these types of plays, they strangle their opposition’s grasp of the map. DRX was a favorite in the LCK, though their chances at Worlds may be overshadowed by DAMWON.
The dragons that make up this powerful roster start with Choi "Doran" Hyeon-joon up top, Hong "Pyosik" Chang-hyeon in the jungle, Jeong "Chovy" Ji-hoon in mid, Kim "Deft" Hyuk-kyu as the ADC and Ryu "Keria" Min-seok to round out the support role. Though having a team of stars, DRX dropped many regular-season matches against considerably weaker teams on paper. They did make a fantastic run through the playoffs though.
Among the many North American teams within the LCS, not many would have guessed how far FlyQuest would go in the league. Relatively small in comparison to the titans’ reputations like Team SoloMid and Cloud9, FQ was written off way too early. They silenced the doubters and gained notoriety after upsetting the top teams.
The team is composed of Colin “Solo” Earnest, Lucas "Santorin" Tao Kilmer Larsen, Tristan "PowerOfEvil" Schrage, Jason “WildTurtle” and Tran Lee "IgNar" Dong-geun in order from top to bottom. A lot of their success comes from solid play up top with Solo playing hyper aggressively, backed by a performing mid/jungle duo. Santorin constantly finds ways to exploit other junglers with strategic pathing,. He almost always finds a way to impact the map in a major way.
Unicorns of Love (UOL)
The Unicorns of Love picked themselves up after being rejected by the LEC franchising in 2019 and found their new home in the CIS region. They acquired 3 former Vega Squadron players and took over the CIS, defeating favorites such as Gambit Esports. Since Spring of last year, the Unicorns have seemed unstoppable. They've continued their success through the Play-Ins stage at Worlds.
Vladislav "BOSS" Fomin, Kirill "AHaHaCiK" Skvortsov, Lev "Nomanz" Yakshin, Ilya "Gadget" Makavchuk and Aleksandr "SaNTaS" Lifashin make up the team that has put the CIS on the radar of many coaches and analysts.
Group D Predictions
- Top Esports
- Unicorns of Love
Top is a clear favorite to take the entirety of Worlds, never mind a simple group stage. They’ve dominated the LPL and match up incredibly well against everyone in their group on paper.
DRX is a safe choice for second. However, they definitely can be upset by the Unicorns of Love if they have an off series against the other teams.
The Unicorns of Love come in as the third-place team in Group D. Although, there is a world where they are able to upset DRX to advance to the playoffs.
It's sad to say for North American fans that FlyQuest doesn’t match up very well against the other teams in their group. Maybe they are able to pull together a miracle run to escape their group, but the odds are severely stacked against them.