In less than a month and a half, the best League of Legends teams in the world will face off to find out who among them is the best. The yearly LoL World Championship organized by the game’s developer, Riot Games, kicks off October 1st in Europe but this year they’ll be making a few changes to the format.
The Group Stage
This portion of the tournament does not feature any changes from last year, but I’ll go over it for those who are not familiar. For the first two weeks of the event, the sixteen teams that qualify will face off in a double round robin playing best of ones. There will be four groups, each made up of four teams. The division of teams within the groups will be decided by a live Group Draw. Due to the rules of this drawing, there will be one first place team in each group, one second place team or third place team and one third place or wildcard team. There can also only be one team per a region in each group. This part of the championship will be played at Le Dock Pullman, a dock event complex located in Paris, France.
The Knockout Stage
Only half of the teams that made it to the World Championship will advance out of the group stage. The top two teams of each group will have the opportunity to move on and will be seeded appropriately based on how well the did with a randomized drawing. Teams that finished first will only be matched up against teams that finished second (and vice versa, obviously). This is different from last year’s format as before it was a static bracket where it was already known what team they would play against based on their placing. Their performance in groups, however, only gets them into the quarterfinals. From there, they will have to win a best of five against another team. Winners of this match will then move up to the semifinals and then inevitably the grand finals themselves. This bracket is only played as single elimination; once you’re beaten in a best of five there is no chance at redemption.
The quarterfinals will be played at the SSE Arena in Wembley, London from the 15th to the 18th. The tournament then moves to Belgium where the semifinals will take place at the Brussels Expo in Brussels on the 24th and 25th. The grand finals will be on the last day of the month at the Mercedes-Benz Arena (or as it’s currently known, O2 World) in Berlin, Germany.
What do you think of these changes to the way they determine who plays who in the quarterfinals? Riot claims to have made the decision so that they can preserve competitive integrity and prevent teams from winning or losing games to face off against a specific opponent while still providing an incentive to finish first in their group.
The teams that are currently qualified for the event are:
- LGD Gaming (China)
- SK Telecom T1 (South Korea)
- Fnatic (Europe)
- Team SoloMid (North America)
- AHQ e-Sports Club (Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan)
- Flash Wolves (Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan)
On top of these teams, China, South Korea, Europe, and North America all have two more teams that will attend, we just don’t know who they’re going to be yet. There will also be two wild card teams in attendance, to be determined from two tournaments played on different sides of the world. In Chile the Brazilian Pain Gaming, the CIS Hard Random and the Latin American Kaos Latin Gamers will face off. Over in Turkey, the Japanese DetonatioN FocusMe, the Oceanian Chiefs eSports Club, the SEA Bangkok Titans and finally the home champions, the Turkish Dark Passage, will fight for their own path to the big stage. We will know everyone who will be attending by the end of the month and we can’t be more excited to find out who gets to go!
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