Worlds 2020 Group Stage Team Preview: JD Gaming

League of Legends. Photo Courtesy of Riot Games.
League of Legends. Photo Courtesy of Riot Games. /

We look at JD Gaming, their path to Worlds 2020, and how they might fare in the group stage.

One team looking to make noise during the 2020 League of Legends World Championship is JD Gaming. They qualified for Worlds 2020 as the second seed out of the  LPL after losing to Top Esports in the playoff final. This marks JD’s first trip to Worlds ever, so let’s break down how well they will do.

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The Season

JD had an up and down 2019 season. They finished 8th in the Spring Split regular season before climbing to 2nd during the playoffs. Then, the team dropped to 10th in summer forcing them into the LPL regional finals where they finished 3rd.

Though in 2020, JD Gaming have seemingly turned the corner. They won the LPL Scrims League before finishing the regular season 12-4 and in 2nd place. They defeated Top Esports in the Spring Split playoffs to win their first-ever LPL title.

During the Summer Split, they once again finished second with a 13-3 record. The summer playoff final was a rematch of spring, with Top Esports getting the better of JD this time by winning the best of five 3-2.

The 2nd place finish gave JD 90 more championship points to combine with their 60 from the Spring Split. The 150 points were the most in the LPL and earned the second seed spot for the LPL thanks to their consistent strong play. As the second seed out of the LPL, they are automatically seeded into the Worlds 2020 main event.

The Roster

Top Lane – Zhang “Zoom” Xing-Ran

Zoom is one of the players to watch at the 2020 World Championship. Recently, he was rated as the best top laner heading into Worlds by League on Lock.

This comes off the back of a Summer Split where he earned a spot in the second All-Pro LPL team, had two Best of the Rift selections during the season, and a pair of MVP awards during the playoffs.

Zoom had the best KDA among LPL top laners with a 4.31 during the Summer Spilt. He may be new to the Worlds stage, but it will be exciting to see if this strong play transfers over to help JD Gaming do well well during the tournament.

Jungle – Seo “Kanavi” Jin-hyeok

Kanavi is another star on the JD Gaming roster. He was also rated as the top player in his position heading into the 2020 World Championship by League on Lock.

JD’s top laner received a first LPL team All-Pro selection for his performances in the Summer Split and he also was named the LPL’s top player during the month of July.

During the Summer Split, Kanavi averaged 3.44 kills per game and 7.21 assist per game, stats that put him among the best in the LPL.  He was also the regular season MVP during the Spring Split.

With all of his accomplishments during this LPL split, JD Gaming’s top laner will be more than ready to take on the best junglers in the world.

Mid Lane – Zeng “Yagao” Qi

Let’s call Yagao the forgotten member of JD. He was the only member of JD not to be named on an All-Pro team this past spilt.

However, he is by no means a bad player. In fact, he was rated the ninth-best mid laner at the 2020 World Championship by League on Lock. Granted still low for a JD player, but still more than capable of holding his own against the world’s best.

AD Carry – Lee “LokeN” Dong-wook

LokeN was named in the LPL Summer Split’s second All-Pro AD carry and was also named the LPL’s Best of the Rift for July. He had the second-best KDA during the LPL Summer Spilt at 6.3.

Throughout the World Championship, look for him to flex with power picks like Ezreal and Caitlyn, champions which he had a 90 and 100 percent win rates on during the Summer Split regular season.

LokeN was rated as the third-best ADC heading into Worlds 2020 by League on Lock.

Support – Zuo “LvMao” Ming-Hao

LvMao enters the tournament as one of the best supports in the world. He was rated as the fourth-best support player on our Worlds ranking list.

JD’s support player was rewarded for his Summer Split achievements with a place on the first LPL All-Pro team, an improvement on his second All-Pro team honor from the Spring Split. He was also the Spring Split playoffs MVP.

LvMao’s professional League of Legends careers spans back to 2015 but this year he makes his World Championship debut. However, much like most of his JD teammates, he should be able to hold his own during the tournament.

90/50/10 Predictions

90% odds that… JD Gaming advance out of the group stage. JD’s group is set up to see them advance out with little doubt, the only question is will it be in first or second place.

DAMWON Gaming looks to be their main threat in the group stage. They also have Rouge and a play-in qualifier joining them in the group. JD should be more than capable of ending any of these teams’ runs at Worlds.

50% odds that… They face another LPL team in the knockout stage, much like last season’s World champion FunPlus Phoenix who had to knockout LPL rivals Invictus Gaming en route to the final.

The road to a Summoner’s Cup is set to be paved with several LPL teams as they hail the best region in competitive League of Legends right now. Suning and Top Esports should easily emerge from their groups and LGD Gaming should have little trouble qualifying from the play-in stage.

Should every LPL team advance from the group stage, JD Gaming would almost have a 50% chance of meeting a fellow Chinese side in the quarter-finals.

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10% odds that… JD Gaming becomes the 2020 world champion. JD has to be one of the favorites to win it all this year and as DAMWON are in their group, they won’t face them again until later in the knockout stage.

G2 proved to be mortal during the LEC Summer Split, JD have beaten Top Esports in the past, and DRX have relatively limited Worlds experience on their roster. This opens up the opportunity for JD Gaming to qualify through the group stage, walk through the knockout stage, and lift the Summoner’s Cup in Shanghai.