|Game||Invictus Gaming vs JD Gaming|
|Date & Time||Friday May 29, 2020, 7:00 AM (EDT)|
JD Gaming 1.68
The 2020 Mid-Season Cup is finally here! If you’re not acquainted with this brand-new tournament, know that you’re not in the minority. This is the first of its kind, and if things go according to plan, it’ll end up being a one-off occurrence. Riot Games couldn’t organize the much-beloved Mid-Season Invitational this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, so we’re getting something smaller in size but no less important: the Mid-Season Cup between the eight best LCK (Korean) and LPL (Chinese) teams.
In other words — if we exclude Europe from the equation — this is sort of like a World Championship albeit much smaller. In any case, if you’re a fan of top-tier competitive League of Legends, this is about as good as it can get. The LPL has been the undisputed champion for the last two years and its teams have taken that crown from none other than Korea. The best LCK teams fought valiantly, but because of their slow adaptation, they simply couldn’t compete on the LPL’s level. China was much more aggressive and risk-taking, which was a stark contrast to the more controlled, macro-oriented style of play that the LCK is best known for.
Before we go any further, just have in mind that no one has even the faintest idea of what’s going to happen at this tournament. We have some information, of course, but much of it is either relatively outdated or theoretical. The LPL is heavily favored — that’s a fact. Still, seeing how both regions (and their best four teams) will be competing from empty studios in the respective cities (Shanghai and Seoul), they may or may not be at their peak performance-wise.
We’re going to start off with a couple of “safe” bets and then ramp up as the tournament develops. First up, we have JD Gaming versus Invictus Gaming. This is essentially a clash between the LPL champions (who have been staggeringly dominant and clean throughout the first half of 2020), and the fourth best LPL team. Now, don't let the fact that IG ranked fourth fool you: they're incredibly dangerous and have all it takes to compete at the highest of levels. In fact, they had the best regular season record throughout the entire Spring Split, and have only dropped a series to JD Gaming. Still, once the going got rough, Invictus failed to perform and were outclassed by both Top Esports and FunPlus Phoenix (the defending World Champions) in the playoffs.
Because of this, we’re going to side with JD Gaming. They have all the right tools to win the tournament in emphatic fashion and are, in fact, the favorites to do so. Still, they might not be perfect in the Group Stage, so bet with caution.