Worlds 2020 Group Stage Team Preview: Machi Esports

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

The PCS winner Machi Esports are set to do battle in the group stage of Worlds 2020.

Our previews for the League of Legends World Championship have covered all the play-in teams, so now it’s time to move on to the teams in the group stage. The only team not from a major region, Machi Esports comes into Worlds 2020 as the top seed from the PCS. So let’s learn a bit more about how they got here and what to expect out of them during Worlds 2020.

The Season

2020 was fairly successful for Machi in the new PCS, after initially failing to get into the new league they were later selected to replace former LMS powerhouse G-Rex. During the Spring Split Machi went 15-3 during the round robin and held the top seed for the playoffs. They won their first best-of-five series before falling in the championship 3-2 to PSG Talon to finish the split in second.

During the Summer Split they went 13-5 during the regular season and again qualified for the playoffs as the fourth seed. They won their first two playoff series before again falling to PSG Talon in the semi-finals, dropping them to the lower bracket.

There, Machi swept J Team in a best of five to get a rematch with PSG Talon in the PCS Finals. The third time was the charm as Machi went on to sweep them as well to earn the top seed for Worlds 2020 out of the PCS.

This top spot earned them an automatic spot in the group stage of Worlds. They were drawn into Group A with the LEC’s champion G2, LPL’s Suning, and a to-be-determined team from the play-ins. This team would likely be Team Liquid or another wildcard region team, so the group draw wasn’t terrible, but cut them no breaks.

The Roster

Top Lane – Hsieh “PK” Yu-Ting

PK might be familiar to some people, as he was a part of the G-rex team that went to the 2018 Worlds but failed to make it out of groups, going 0-6. PK is rated as the 19th best top laner in our Worlds 2020 ranking, which out of 22 isn’t very encouraging.

He was in the upper end of the PCS for stats this past summer, except for his lackluster CS numbers. He ranked last in the PCS in CS and CS per minute, which is alarming if you’re looking to contend at Worlds.

Jungle – Huang “Gemini” Chu-Xuan

Gemini makes his return to the League of Legends World championships for the first time since 2017 when he was a member of Hong Kong Attitude.

Gemini is a rather interesting jungler as far as stats go. During the Summer Split he ranked near the middle of the pack for most categories except for two: kill participation and unique champions played.

He only had a 65.3 % kill participation percentage during the split, which was eight percent lower than the next-worst jungler in the PCS. As far as champion pool, he played only five champions during the course of the split while most PCS junglers played seven or eight different champs. The bright side for Machi fans is that his top two choices Lee Sin and Graves have an 80% or better win rates on during the Summer Split, so maybe having a more focused pool will help him.

Mid Lane – Chen “M1ssion” Hsiao-Hsien

Mission was part of the Hong Kong Attitude that made Worlds last season.  Though he does seem to be an average mid laner statistically, he was one of the top farming mids in the PCS during the summer averaging 8.63 CS/minute. He just seems like a solid, but unspectacular player, which is going to make life hard when matched up against Caps and Angel in your group.

ADC – Chiu “Bruce” Chih-Chun

Bruce has yet to go to Worlds until this year. As far as stats go, he may be one of the better players Machi has.

He ranked in the middle or near the top in pretty much every statistical category during the PCS Summer Split.  The question is how will he match up against Perkz and huanfeng, the top two ADC’s in his group?

Support – Lin “Koala” Chih-Chiang

Koala does have Worlds experience with last year’s J-team. However, that may not help him as he rated at #19 on our support ranking list. That shouldn’t inspire much confidence and I don’t see him as a difference-maker at Worlds.

20 champions that dominate pro play but suck in solo queue. dark. Next

90/50/10 Predictions

90% odds that… This team fails to make it out of groups. Like I said earlier, a group draw with G2 and Suning did this team no favors. Should Team Liquid join up I really don’t see anything but a fourth-place finish in the group for Machi. This team just feels outmatched.

50% odds that… that they go winless in groups.  The LMS didn’t have a good 2019 Worlds as two of their three Worlds representatives failed to win a game in the group stage. With the PCS essentially a light version of the LMS I can see this trend continuing for Machi.

10% odds that… They do pull off an upset. I did say it was unlikely they beat G2 or a Suning, but it isn’t impossible. G2 could resort to the form from earlier in the summer and lose. Suning is good, but as also only the third-best team in the LPL, so they might not be as mincing as say a Top Esports. Also with a best-of-one game format it seems like an upset could easily happen if a team overlooks Machi.