2020 LoL Wildcard regions – Lighting Recap

Wildcard regions have long been stigmatized as not standing a chance compared to teams from majors regions like the LCS, LEC, LPL and LCK. However, given the sharp rise of a few select teams in some wildcard regions like the TCL, OPO and LJL, they may soon stand a decent chance in 2020. While it is still too early to determine their success for the rest of 2020, if these teams continue to develop, we can expect a good show at the 2020 League of Legeneds World championships.

Lighting recap of some 2020 Wildcard regions - LoL

Turkish Championship League

The Turkish Championship League, also referred to as the TCL usually hosts 10 teams. However, this season Galatasaray Esports has been suspended due to failing to meet their member’s payment obligations. Galatasaray Esport’s suspension from the TCL will be reevaluated prior to the start of the upcoming Summer season. This definitely comes as a surprise given Galatasaray would ring a bell in most people’s head, and yes, they are associated with the football club worth hundreds of millions.

In contrast, 1907 Fenerbahce leads the TCL given they have been properly funded by their parent major football club. Fernebache has played strongly and consistently throughout the split. To date, they only dropped matches to Dark Passage (in second place) and Besiktas Esports. It is likely that 2020 is the year of 1907 Fenerbache, as they continue to dominate the Turkish Championship League.

Oceania Pro League

Hosting mostly teams from Australia, the Oceania Pro League, aka the OPL, may soon be on a rise. This is especially due to the newly reformed Legacy Esports. Having faced a difficult 2019, Legacy Esports made some power roster moves, shooting them up from last place in 2019 to all the way to the top in 2020.

While Legagy Esports finished first in the OPL, with a record of 18-3, Chief Esports Club are closely following behind 17-4. These two teams are far ahead of the remaining teams, with Dire Wolves in third only being 12-9.

Legacy Esports continues to improve, and will likely be a major force in the upcoming Split 2, and possibly even the 2020 LoL World Championships. Catch more on the rise of Legacy Esports in our previous article.

League of Legends Japan League

The League of Legends Japan League or LJL is one to pay attention to in 2020. Having received their dedicated server for the Japan region, they have only lacked a dominating team. This may soon turn around, 2020 looking very good for the region through DetonatioN FocusMe. DetonatioN FocusMe had easily swept the other teams in the LJL for first place, finishing 12-2. They are by far the strongest team in the region, with Sengoku Gaming and V3 Esports, their not so close competitors finishing 9-5 and 8-6 respectively.

The Future

Wild card regions are forever marked as underdogs at global competition. This might change this decade as Riot is pouring more support across all developing regions. Just this past weekend, Riot announced LCK Franchising taking place from 2021. They additionally hinted both the Brazilian and Turkish leagues potentially following the franchising system.

This would definitely mean more stability for at least two more regions. If all goes well we can expect a fully franchised League of Legends ecosystem in the following years.

Read next: A deep dive into the 2020 LEC Spring Playoffs