Jatt: “Worlds 2019 is no longer about who is the best region—it’s about who is the best team”

This is what peak League of Legends should look like.

Photo via Riot Games

North American League of Legends caster and analyst Joshua “Jatt” Leesman has given his thoughts on how the World Championship has shifted from being about which region is the best in the world, to which team is the best.

For many years, competitive League was dominated by South Korea. The region was always ahead of the curve, and as a result, their representatives had a stronghold at every international tournament. And since Korea was always a meta trailblazer, other regions decided to copy their playstyles to try to find similar success—but the LCK was always one step ahead.

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Worlds 2019 is no longer about who is the best region — it’s about who is the best team. I say this only a day removed from watching my precious LCK hype train derail. I had foretold the re-emergence of the LCK as a dominant region. I thought there was a decent chance of it happening. Korea has always been the best in esports — last year was a misstep I said, the young talent was heading to Worlds and was poised to take the World by storm. In group stage, they did. LCK won all 3 groups they were a part of. In the Quarter-finals though, we saw how incomplete the young LCK teams actually were. Griffin had poor drafts and failed to execute clutch situations against the more experienced World Champions in iG. Damwon, while competitive, were ultimately no match for G2’s MSI championship experience and teamplay. I realized while searching for a Teamfight Breakdown fight to cover — that G2 didn’t have a single ‘teamfight’ that broke a game open. They won that entire series through smart laning, map pressure, and picks. (I settled on doing a Teamfight Breakdown from iG vs. GRF, stay tuned) And now, even though 3 LCK, 3 LEC, and 2 LPL teams qualified for Quarterfinals, 1 LCK, 1 LEC, and 2 LPL remain. While we could continue this game of trying to forecast the best region — I think the results so far actually show that it’s more about the best TEAMS. We actually have the BEST TEAMS from the LCK, LEC, and LPL still in the tournament. The only ‘out of place’ team in Semi-finals just happens to be the DEFENDING WORLD CHAMPIONS, iG. It’s perfect. This is the league of legends ecosystem that we’ve all always hoped for. Exceptional teams from multiple regions can compete and be the best. We have that this year; and Semi-Finals are going to be incredible. #Worlds #Leagueoflegends #lolesports

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In 2018, however, the LCK lost its place atop the League world after many of the other regions realized that they wouldn’t be able to defeat Korea by following in their footsteps. By creating their own path and playstyle, regions like Europe and China began to flourish. And for the first time since season one, Korea failed to reach the Worlds finals.

This year, Worlds has been extremely close. One region is no longer dominating over the rest because the major regions’ top teams are all good enough to win it all. Most of the top-tier organizations have looked great throughout the tournament and there isn’t a surefire winner like previous years.

“This is the League of Legends ecosystem that we’ve all always hoped for,” Jatt said. “Exceptional teams from multiple regions can compete and be the best. We have that this year—and semifinals are going to be incredible.”

Jatt also pointed out that the top representatives from Korea, China, and Europe have all made it to the semifinals, with the only “odd man out” being the defending world champions, Invictus Gaming. This is what competitive esports should look like compared to one region stomping the rest.

Buckle up, League fans. These upcoming Worlds semifinal matches might be the best ones yet. Worlds resumes on Saturday, Nov. 2 with Invictus vs. FunPlus Phoenix at 6am CT.