The World Championship is one of the most intense meetings of talent in League of Legends each year. But with 24 teams and well over 100 individual players in attendance, it’s easy to focus only on the handful of superstars. There’s a good chance you probably missed the career trajectories of some of Worlds’ lesser-known players during the domestic portion of the season as it’s impossible to keep an eye on everyone, no matter which region you watch primarily.
Here are three of the most under-the-radar factors at this year’s Worlds, three players/coaches who have the potential to expose themselves to the world and steal the spotlight as their team’s secret weapon.
Flying Oyster is probably the most mysterious team competing at this year’s World Championship. They are just one of four teams to make their first international appearance at Worlds this season, joining LOUD, Evil Geniuses, and the Chiefs as the tourney’s other first-timers.
If there’s any player to watch on Flying Oyster’s lineup of unknowns, it’s their AD carry Shunn. He’s the only player on the team to not make the World Championship before, a true rookie on a team full of veterans. While the four other members of CFO have each been to Worlds with other PCS organizations, including J Team and Machi Esports, Shunn is making his international debut.
He comes into the tournament riding high off his performance in the PCS Summer Playoffs, where he had the second-highest KDA among all players in the domestic playoffs with a score of 5.8.
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Kaori is set to join a growing list of Western AD carries who are getting thrown directly into the fire at the World Championship with little time to prepare. Joining others like 100 Thieves’ Rikara in 2018 and Fnatic’s Bean last season, Kaori’s first real introduction to the highest level of professional League will be via the year’s most important tournament.
In a recent interview with Inven Global, EG coach Peter Dun claimed that there is “no question Kaori will play in the LCS next year,” and that he is a top-three laner in the region. In his debut series against 100 Thieves, Kaori was ahead in CS at the 15-minute mark in three of those five games, while holding a KDA of 4.1. While Danny’s return to the lineup remains an unknown variable, Kaori remains a high-ceiling second option for EG in the meantime, with very little scouting information out there about him.
In the equivalent of a football team firing their head coach right before the Super Bowl, T1 replaced former head coach Polt with an interim leader in former world champion Bengi just four weeks before the World Championship. While the talents of T1’s players are widely documented (they’ve already played 126 games before Worlds), Bengi’s approach to the head coaching role is still a big secret—one that could be a difference maker for a team that’s in desperate need of one last push over the proverbial hill. With the League of Legends World Championship being right around the corner, make sure to check out our League of Legends betting page where you can find all the best betting sign up offers and free bets available.