2020 League of Legends Mid-Season Cup: 5 Players to Watch
It has been a month since the League of Legends Pro League (LPL) had its Spring season finals. For League of Legends fans accustomed to a jam-packed calendar, the cancellation of the Mid-Season Invitational (MSI) has left them starving for matches in May.
Fortunately for these fans, the League of Legends Steamathon together with the Mid-Season Cup begins this coming weekend. While not the feast that MSI normally provides, it should still be enough of an event to tide over their hunger until the start of the Summer season.
With four teams each from China’s LPL and South Korea’s League of Legends Champions Korea (LCK), the Mid-Season Cup is reminiscent of the regular Rift Rivals event that saw the Asian regions throw down foremost for their geographic pride. Unlike Rift Rivals, however, the Mid-Season Cup will not have the teams compete as a collective representing their region. Instead, much like in a more traditional tournament, every team is there to win the title for themselves.
With the top four teams from both region’s Spring postseason attending, the Mid-Season Cup should be a fun and competitive showdown. While not anywhere near as prestigious as other historic LoL esports events, it will nevertheless serve as an entertaining substitute.
Here are the five most notable players to watch during the tournament.
The superstar mid-laner for DragonX, Ji-hoon “Chovy” Jeong burst onto the LCK scene with aplomb. Since his arrival in South Korea’s LoL scene in the Summer of 2018, he has never finished outside of the top three in domestic competition. Widely hailed as the best mid laner in South Korea, Chovy has all the makings of an all-time great, except for one issue: he hasn’t won any titles.
After another opportunity at the LCK title slipped through his grasp, Chovy will be hungrier than ever to finally have a gold medal to cap off his many accolades. His Spring loss is doubtless a wound to his pride. A victory here in international competition would prove the most soothing balm.
Top Esports’ (TES) bot laner Wen-Bo “JackeyLove” Yu is on the path to glory. A mechanical master in a region famous for its AD Carries, JackeyLove stands out from his competitors as the first LPL World Champion bot laner, playing for Invictus Gaming (IG) in 2018. That honor is dampened, however, by his subsequent removal from IG after the team’s internal disputes reached a breaking point after their Worlds 2019 semifinals finish.
Since then, JackeyLove has bounced back. Initially teamless at the start of 2020, he joined TES late in the season and proved the addition needed to boost the organization to the next level. JackeyLove stormed his way to the LPL Spring 2020 finals, defeating IG along the way, where JD Gaming put a stop to his vengeful rampage.
Without an LPL title to cap off his comeback story, JackeyLove will have his eyes set on the Midseason Cup. An international victory is generally a higher accomplishment than a domestic one. It would be the perfect finale to his tale of revenge against IG.
— LPL (@lplenglish) April 26, 2020
For many players, a major contract controversy early in their career is an easy way to make it a short one. This has defiantly not been the case for Jin-hyeok “Kanavi” Seo, the jungler for JD Gaming and current LPL champion. Soon after his 2019 debut on Griffin, Kanavi became embroiled in a controversy surrounding the South Korean organization. Despite this, Kanavi emerged from the disputes stronger than ever, and seemingly happier as well.
The LPL is well-known for its love of aggressive fighting at all stages of the game, and Kanavi took to that environment well. His outstanding skill fits well with a team structured to support a carry jungler. Their synergy earned JD Gaming its first domestic title and took Kanavi to an international competition for the first time. It’s still early days for Kanavi, and there is oftentimes concern with younger hotshots when exposed to the pressure of the world stage. If he can prove his mettle here, then don’t expect this to be the last time the name “Kanavi” is on everyone’s lips.
— JD Gaming (@JDGaming) April 22, 2020
An international tournament needs an international champion, and there is no one more suited for that role than Tae-sang “Doinb” Kim. The current defending World Champion, the mid laner of FunPlus Phoenix, is an outlier among outliers. Most mid laners live or die by their mechanical prowess, and the instant their ability to outplay opponents through pure skill falls below a world-class threshold, then their days in the mid lane are numbered.
Doinb has spent much of his career below that threshold, and it hasn’t daunted him in the slightest. He feels no need to force himself into becoming an outstanding assassin or exemplary burst mage. Instead, he knows who he is: a strategic genius who knows how to play around his more skilled but less knowledgeable teammates and can work the map to achieve victory by opting to elevate them instead.
This lack of ego has served Doinb well across his career with multiple high finishes in domestic standings, finally culminating in an LPL title and a World Championship in 2019. While he and his team stumbled in Spring of this year, with FPX finishing third, it is by no means enough to count him out of the running for the Midseason Cup.
The Rumble + Qiyana combo:
— LoL Esports (@lolesports) November 4, 2019
He needs no introduction. Sang-hyeok “Faker” Lee will always be the player to watch no matter what League of Legends competition he is playing in.
Three World Championships. Two Mid-Season Invitational championships. A newly-increased nine LCK championships with T1’s victory in Spring 2020. The greatest of all time.
Faker is the man in the mid lane. Even as other players match or even exceed him in prowess as a laner, his intelligence, skill, decision-making and above all else experience keeps him above the rest. Even his dips in form still see him rank among the best in the world, and at his peak he is unstoppable.
Win or lose, all eyes are on him.
Faker Faker Record Breaker:
— LoL Esports (@lolesports) March 5, 2020
Tune in with the League of Legends Steamathon this weekend to catch all the action around the globe.
Read also: Esports Ranking by Country