In today’s esports betting preview, we will turn our attention to the League of Legends World Championship quarterfinal bout between the tournament favorites Top Esports and the 2011 world champions Fnatic. The fixture will be played at the Shanghai Media Tech Studio in Shanghai, China, on Saturday.
Top Esports vs Fnatic – League of Legends World Championship 2020
The Top Esports versus Fnatic fixture is viewed as the most one-sided bouts of the LoL Worlds quarterfinals, and on paper, it’s exactly that. Top Esports have entered the season’s culminating event as the main favorites to go the distance. So far, they have yet to show anything that would make us doubt in their ability to hoist the Summoner’s Cup in November.
Even though there is a certain degree of regional bias when it comes to ranking the Chinese’s League of Legends Pro League (LPL) as the strongest league in the world, we have to consider that LPL teams have won back-to-back World Championships. So there is no denying China is producing some of the biggest esports talents in the world. What makes Top Esports even scarier, however, is that this is arguably one of the strongest LPL teams we have seen in a very long time.
Ever since Top Esports signed the 2018 world champion ADC Yu “JackeyLove” Wen-Bo to their roster in April 2020, this squad has been nothing short of exceptional. Since April, Top Esports have claimed a silver medal from LPL Spring playoffs, secured the Mid-Season Cup, and won both the LPL Summer regular season and playoffs. They dropped only three series out of 18 played with a 45-12 map differential.
Even on the international stage, Top Esports did not fail to impress. They finished on top of their group with a near-perfect 5-1 run, which included two convincing wins against the League of Legends Champions Korea (LCK) runners-up DRX and a somewhat humiliating fluke loss to the North American team, FlyQuest.
Individually, Top Esports field some of the brightest talents at the tournament. This especially holds true for ADC JackeyLove, mid laner Zhuo “knight” Ding, and top laner Bai “369” Jia-Hao, who are all in the discussion of some of the best players in their respective roles. With so much talent and renown, we have to ask ourselves: Are Top Esports even beatable, or are they all but guaranteed to bring home the trophy?
Fnatic are entering this bout as heavy underdogs. While they have earned their spot amongst the best eight LoL teams in the world, it’s hard to argue against the betting odds offered on them.
Individually, Fnatic are outclassed by Top Esports in all lanes. Since they are hailing from an objectively weaker region, it’s also fair to say that their ceiling is significantly lower than that of Top Esports.
Having said that, we don’t believe this will be a complete blowout win for Top, and there are a couple of good arguments to be made in favor of that. First and foremost, Top Esports – like many other LPL teams – do not draft their team compositions around strong late-game team fighting. Instead, they pick champions that will help them win in lane.
This can be a particularly bad way to approach the game, which can easily turn around and bite them. This is especially true when facing teams that are very effective in drafting the right balance between early-game stability and late-game strength.
Unfortunately for Top Esports, Fnatic are that kind of team. That is not to say Fnatic’s playstyle is superior to Top Esports, but it should give them a slight edge.
The second thing to note here is that Fnatic’s players, while objectively weaker, are still nothing short of world-class. Fnatic boast with a very aggressive and deadly bottom lane, a stable weak-side top laner, and one of the best laning mid laners in Tim “Nemesis” Lipovšek. On top of that, they have arguably the best-performing jungler of the tournament in Oskar “Selfmade” Boderek.
If we draw a line, Top Esports should win since they’re – besides DAMWON Gaming – a class above all other teams at the tournament. But that does not necessarily mean Fnatic will just roll over and die.
Fnatic looked better and better with each passing day at Worlds. While they had their slip-ups, this version of Fnatic is far better than the Fnatic we have seen throughout this season and perhaps equally strong as in 2018 when they made it to the grand finals.
The boys in orange have recently found their long-lost synergy and are now playing like a solid unit with a very deep champion pool, and one of the most experienced rosters at the tournament. Their fast decision making and the ability to fight form behind has made them a tough team to deal with, which leads us to believe they will be a tough nut to crack even for Top Esports.
Everyone loves the underdog story, and while the League of Legends World Championship has had its fair share of upset wins, we don’t expect Fnatic to defeat Top this weekend. What we do expect, however, is Fnatic to put up a fight and prove they’re not as weak as many people believe they are. A smaller bet on Fnatic +1.5 maps can be considered since there is a world where Top Esports underestimate the European squad and drop two games.
Prediction: Fnatic +2.5 maps
Longshot prediction: Fnatic +1.5 maps
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