The 3 biggest takeaways from the first day of Worlds 2020 play-in stage

Worlds hasn't disappointed yet.

Photo via Riot Games

It’s only been a day, but League of Legends fans have already experienced a ton of ups and downs at the 2020 World Championship—and we haven’t even gotten to the group stage yet.

From huge upsets to awesome debuts, the first day of the play-in stage didn’t disappoint anyone who decided to tune in. Although it might be early, here are three of the biggest takeaways from the opening day of Worlds.

PSG Talon opens up the tournament with a bang

Not many people expected the PCS’ second seed, PSG Talon, to make much of an impact at Worlds this year—especially after they were forced to field three last-minute substitutions due to visa restrictions. Fans and analysts all expected them to go quietly into the night against LAT’s Rainbow7 and China’s LGD Gaming.

But like a true underdog, PSG’s makeshift roster didn’t back down without a fight. Behind the heroic efforts of jungler Hsiao “Kongyue” Jen-Tso and support Ling “Kaiwing” Kai Wing, they took down R7 with ease. Afterward, they stunned fans and analysts alike by beating LGD in 35 minutes.

For a roster with less than two weeks of playing time together, they looked like the complete opposite. Although some of their macro play was questionable, their teamfights made them look like a lineup that had played with each other all year long. There are only two things that people are wondering now: How long can they keep this up and how will they perform once their main players return?

MAD Lions stumble in their Worlds debut

On the other side of Summoner’s Rift, MAD Lions didn’t have as great of a Worlds debut. Touted as one of the best teams in the play-in stage, MAD Lions managed to get a win against Brazil’s INTZ but didn’t look as dominant as many LEC fans hoped they’d be.

Their worries were realized in the final game of the day against NA’s Team Liquid, where they were outmuscled by Impact’s Mordekaiser and Tactical’s fearless play on Twitch. There’s a sizable experience gap between each team’s players, which might have been a significant factor in MAD’s loss.

There are plenty of chances, however, for Europe’s young guns to prove themselves in the play-in stage. They have games against SuperMassive and Legacy Esports coming up next.

This fiery lineup will need to get the first day jitters out of their system and try to get back into form in time to qualify for the group stage of the tournament.

Tactical and Impact shine on day one for Liquid

Speaking of Liquid, the North American third seed made their region proud by taking down MAD Lions. Their macro wasn’t the greatest, but Impact flexed his muscles and took the game away from Orome and the rest of MAD Lions. His Mordekaiser play decided multiple teamfights and he couldn’t seem to die after solo killing his lane opponent.

Tactical, Liquid’s budding star marksman, also shined in his Worlds debut. He showed no hesitation to take fights on Twitch. He trusted his teammates, kited with ease, and even flashed into two teamfights with the utmost confidence that he could win. He was the 2020 LCS Rookie of the Year for a reason.

This match was even the most-viewed game of the entire day, with a whopping peak viewership of just over 1.1 million people—not including Chinese viewers—according to Esports Charts. This also means that this play-in stage match had a higher peak viewership than the 2020 LEC Summer Split Finals.

Many NA fans are still wary about placing their trust into Liquid, but this is a great start. Up next, they’ll be facing off against the OCE’s Legacy Esports. All eyes will be on this talented squad to see if they can keep the momentum going forward.

The second day of Worlds 2020 kicks off tomorrow, Sept. 26, at 3am CT.