As we continue our march towards the 2021 League of Legends World Championship, the LPL has proven to be one of the toughest regions to survive in, even for a top-tier organization. Every team that represented China at last year’s World Championship has failed to qualify for the event this year.
This means TOP Esports, JD Gaming, LGD Gaming, and Worlds finalist Suning Gaming have all been eliminated, with four new representatives heading to the tournament in 2021. Instead, FunPlus Phoenix and EDward Gaming have claimed two spots, while the other two remaining spots will be taken up by either Royal Never Give Up, Rare Atom, LNG Esports, or Team WE.
TOP Esports has been one of the strongest teams in China ever since last year, boasting multiple recognizable superstars like Karsa, Knight, and Jackeylove. The explosive roster was feared at last year’s Worlds but failed to get past Suning Gaming in the second round of the knockout stage. It was an unexpected upset that stunned the competitive League community, but many people expected them to come into 2021 with vengeance on their minds.
Unfortunately for fans, the team struggled to find success like in 2020. They stumbled in both postseasons, and in the most recent playoffs, they suffered an early exit to LNG Esports. JD Gaming and LGD Gaming both fell at an even faster rate than TES, with the two squads failing to even make the playoffs this split.
Suning, on the other hand, might have shown their Worlds run to the finals could’ve been a one-and-done, after barely squeaking into the playoffs in ninth place this summer. The roster did lose their main shotcaller and veteran leader SwordArt to free agency, which could explain their sudden drop-off in play. Similarly to TES, they were dispatched by LNG Esports in the first round in a disappointing five-game defeat.
The wheel keeps turning in the LPL, and if teams aren’t able to keep up, they’ll ultimately be left behind by the rest of the teams that haven’t broken their stride in their quest for greatness.
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