After winning the last two League of Legends World Championships, there is no doubt that the LPL is the best region for League of Legends in the world. The game is immensely popular in China, and teams are splurging in order to establish themselves in the most watched Esport in the world. FunPlus Phoenix are the favorites to win the 2020 LPL Spring Split after winning the 2019 World Championship, while traditional powerhouses Royal Never Give Up and Edward Gaming have taken something of a back seat to other upstarts like Top Esports and 2018 World Champions Invictus Gaming.
2020 LPL Spring Split Betting Odds (Courtesy of BetOnline)
FunPlus Phoenix +161
Top Esports +352
Invictus Gaming +400
Royal Never Give Up +704
Edward Gaming +1100
Bilibili Gaming +1106
JD Gaming +1407
LNG Esports +1608
Vici Gaming +3317
Dominus Esports +5025
LGD Gaming +5025
Rogue Warriors +10050
Team World Elite +10050
Victory Five +15075
After being the best team in the LPL throughout 2019, FPX got even better this offseason. They signed former SK Telecom T1 top laner Khan to a deal worth over $2 million a season, and they were able to keep the rest of their team intact. That makes this team even scarier as they have arguably the best top laner and best mid laner in the world.
Doinb’s versatility is unparalleled among mid laners. He has a crazy deep champion pool, and he can win his lane or continually roam to get his other lanes ahead. His read on the game is better than any other player in the world, and if he is in form, it will be hard to beat FPX.
Tian was the MVP of Worlds for continually outmaneuvering western junglers, and his synergy with Doinb is incredible. However, due to the nature of the position junglers rise and fall constantly, so FPX did well to add another promising young player in Mingjing. That could stave off a slide if Tian is not the same player we saw last season.
The X-Factor for FPX is the bottom lane. Lwx and Crisp played better than expected last year, but this is obviously the weak link. If they end up stumbling, it will likely be due to problems in the bottom lane.
Top Esports nearly beat out Invictus Gaming for the final LPL spot at Worlds last year, and they came on strong during the Summer Split. Despite that success, they decided to shake up their roster this offseason though, only retaining top laner 369 and mid laner Knight.
Signing Karsa from RNG was a coup considering how disruptive the jungler can be in the early game. Karsa has been one of the best junglers in the world for a few years, and his consistency at this position runs in contrast to what we usually see from junglers.
As with FPX, the key with Top Esports will be the bottom lane. Top made the decision to say goodbye to its Korean bottom lane of Ben and Loken, replacing the duo with relative unknown Photic and former substitute QiuQiu. They are out to become the first LPL team to win Worlds with a starting lineup whose primary language is Chinese, but there are too many questions at this point for me to bet on this team.
There are questions surrounding Invictus Gaming too, but this is a much better bet at 4-1. Invictus have two superstars in top laner TheShy and mid laner Rookie, and they can win their lanes hard and snowball their team to a victory.
The concerns lie at the other three positions though. Ning had a poor season in the jungle last year, leading to IG going with Leyan at times, but neither player performed well at Worlds. Fate and Southwind were added to challenge Baolan as the team’s primary support, and IG will have a new bottom laner after moving on from JackeyLove. Puff will replace JackeyLove this season, and there’s no telling whether that will be an improvement or not.
If you want to roll the dice with a longshot, look at Suning. SwordArt remains one of the top supports in the world despite a down year in 2019, and they are rumored to be signing JackeyLove in the next few days. They have a very exciting jungler in SofM, and this organization can make some noise.