If you’ve ever played Garen and screamed “Demacia!” at the screen as your avatar does the same, spinning in a bush, this week’s city-state tournament in Taiwan is for you.
The lore behind League of Legends is quite contrived, but then that’s kind of necessary when you’re making a multiplayer online battle arena—there’s only so much you can do with the setting.
But that hasn’t stopped fans from using it in all sorts of endeavours like fan fiction, cosplay, and now, esports.
This week the City-State tournament will pit teams of Taiwanese professional players together to represent each of the eight city-state regions behind the League of Legends lore.
For example, Sa “GreenTea” Shang-Ching, support player of Taiwanese Riot World Championship representatives AHQ e-Sports Club, will represent the Egyptian-themed city-state Shurima. That means Sa won’t have access to the Thresh and Blitzcrank he used at Worlds, instead limited to a small pool of potential supports like Zyra and Nidalee.
His teammate, Liu “westdoor” Shu-Wei, ended up in the perfect place. As part of Bilgewater, he’ll have access to his world-famous Fizz.
Other participating stars including Taipei Assassins jungler Chen “Winds” Peng-Nien, who must be loving life as a member of the Shadow Isles with powerful jungler Elise, Kha’Zix, and Nocturne as his disposal.
One possible issue with the event is that some regions have a dearth of viable options for specific roles. The Shadow Isles features a single marksman, Kog’Maw. If a team bans out the lovable little monster, what’s left?
Still, every team will be in a sticky situation. All of them have limited options—check out the full list on the tournament’s esportspedia page.
My odds-on favorite has to be Piltover. The steampunk themed city features a plethora of top options for most lanes. Their bottom lane features Caitlyn, Ezreal, Corki, and Tristana, all top marksman picks covering a variety of styles. Supporting them will be Zilean, Lulu, and Blitzcrank, with the first two serving as possible flex picks. In the mid lane, Zilean, Jayce, Orianna, Ziggs, and Ryze gives Piltover one of the deepest lineups of viable competitive picks. Top lane gives way to Ryze and Lulu, with Teemo and Heimerdinger as dark horse possibilities. The only weakness comes in the jungle, but Vi and Zac should give Piltover at least some punch.
So whether you’re a fan of icy Freljord or the martial arts masters of Ionia, whether you stand for Demacian justice or want to rule Noxus and then the world, this week’s tournament in Taiwan will give you a chance at living out those fantasies.
Image via Wikia/LeagueofLegends