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League of Legends

Esports World Cup 2024 League of Legends Preview

Zakaria Almughrabi

League of Legends is the second game to crown a champion at the Esports World Cup 2024. While the tournament features the same eight teams that made the MSI 2024 Playoffs in May (with one exception), there are some larger implications here at EWC.

Gen.G BLG Esports World Cup League of Legends

Image Credit Riot Games | Liu Yi-Cun

Every team placing in the top eight of a title gets points toward their organization’s Club Championship total. The Club with the most CC points that have also won any of the 22 tournaments will take home a bonus of $7,000,000. Since only eight teams are present in the League of Legends bracket, every single match victory will bring in those sweet, sweet CC points.

NA vs. EU on the Grand Stage

Fnatic and Team Liquid are two of the potential frontrunners for the Esports World Cup Club Championship. They already have teams qualified for nine and seven tournaments respectively, the second and fifth most of any clubs in attendance. Sneaking some free points early on would be great for either of them. And wouldn’t you know it, Fnatic and Team Liquid have a round-one matchup.

The two teams met early in the MSI 2024 bracket as well. In Losers’ Round One, Liquid easily dispatched Fnatic 3-1, earning a much-awaited win for NA in the regional rivalry. Fnatic sits at 6-3 in LEC Summer, while Liquid is 3-0 in LCS. The meta is still essentially the same, barring a few interesting new additions (hello, Zyra jungle). This bodes well for Liquid, but you can never be sure on the international stage.

Additionally, G2 Esports and FlyQuest have a round-one matchup. The two teams had completely opposite trajectories at MSI. FlyQuest bombed out in the Play-In Stage against the PCS’s PSG Talon, making them the only team at EWC that didn’t make the Playoffs at MSI. Many argue that PSG Talon should have gotten this opportunity, especially as Talon Esports actually has teams in other games here.

G2, on the other hand, had their best international performance in years. They took T1 to five games in an intense series and swept the LPL’s second-seed Top Esports to make the top four. A top four here at EWC is good for 200 points, which G2 could use, considering they only have four teams qualified so far (though they have more in qualification tournaments coming up).

Can Anyone Stop Gen.G?

The defending MSI 2024 Champions looked unstoppable as they stormed their way to their first international trophy. Now, they’re looking to double up. Gen.G has only gotten stronger back in the LCK. They’re currently 6-0 in matches, 12-0 in games. Any one of their talented players can carry games. Gen.G likely has the best player in the world in multiple roles.

Leading the way for Gen.G is mid-laner Jeong “Chovy” Ji-hoon. His stats are out of this world right now. Number one in CS per minute, number one in damage per minute, number two in KDA (behind his own ADC), we could go on. The meta suits his wide champion pool. Not only can he carry game-nuking opponents on Corki, but he can also pilot control mages like Hwei and Orianna flawlessly. On top of that, his signature Yone can throw chaos into any draft.

Gen.G has a straightforward route to the Grand Finals in front of them. With Top Esports in round one and G2 likely in round two, they would only meet their biggest threat in front of the trophy.

On the opposite side of the bracket, Bilibili Gaming and T1 have a round-one matchup. Considering these are the second and third-place teams from MSI, having this game so early is a bit of a shame. BLG is hungry for revenge, but since the LPL hasn’t started their Summer Season yet, they’re likely a bit cold on stage. T1, on the other hand, has been doing alright in the LCK but doesn’t look like their LCK Spring and MSI form quite yet. It will have to be a ramp-up for either squad if they hope to take home the EWC trophy.

Back to Single Elimination

Did we mention that League of Legends at the Esports World Cup 2024 is back to a single elimination bracket? With how good MSI 2024 was due to the shift to double elimination, it’s curious why organizers returned to the old, inferior format. Time constraint is likely a big reason, though, since every regional league is in the middle of or about to start its Summer Season.

Regardless of the reasons, single elimination means one thing: one mistake can end your whole tournament. With precious EWC Club Championship points and a rare international League of Legends trophy on the line, teams must bring their A-game from minute one. This favors Gen.G heavily, as they haven’t lost a step in the LCK. Liquid has also looked good domestically, though their sample size isn’t the biggest.

This will be a big test for the LPL teams. Frankly, they’re at an inherent disadvantage. They’ve definitely been scrimming, at least, but the international stage is a whole different beast from their team house, especially when it’s an international meta that they need to adapt to.

Though neither BLG nor TES are likely to win the Club Championship due to only sending their League teams, winning EWC LoL would mean a lot for their region. After the disappointment of losing Worlds 2023 4v1 to T1 and losing MSI 2024 so decisively in the Finals to Gen.G, the LPL is eager to get back on top of their LCK rivals.

The Esports World Cup 2024 League of Legends begins on July 4 at 6:00 AM ET / 3:00 AM PT. Grand Finals are on July 7 at 7:00 AM ET / 3:00 AM PT.