DWG KIA, FunPlus Phoenix to play opening game of Worlds 2021 group stage

The Worlds 2021 main event will kick off with a clash of former champions.

Photo via Riot Games

The previous two League of Legends world champions will face off in the opening match of this year’s World Championship.

Earlier today, Riot Games revealed the full schedule for this year’s edition of Worlds. DWG KIA and FunPlus Phoenix are scheduled to begin the tournament’s main event with a best-of-one match. 

The group stage match between DWG KIA and FPX will be the first meeting between the two world champions in an official match. The two squads met in last year’s Mid-Season Cup, an exhibition tournament between LCK and LPL teams in place of the canceled Mid-Season Invitational, with FPX claiming victory in a best-of-one. 

This year, DWG KIA and FunPlus Phoenix are two of the strongest teams at Worlds, with both squads finding success on their respective domestic stages prior to their appearances at the tournament. DWG KIA won both the Spring and Summer Split titles in the LCK this season, while FunPlus Phoenix were the runners-up in both LPL splits this year. 

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The matchup will notably feature a pair of top laners facing off against their former teams, with DWG KIA’s Khan set to square off with his one-time FPX teammates. On the other side of the Rift, FPX top laner Nuguri will go head-to-head with the DWG KIA squad that he won a World Championship with last season. 

Another LPL/LCK battle is scheduled to kick off the play-in stage of Worlds, with Hanwha Life Esports and LNG Esports—the respective fourth seeds from Korea and China—starting the World Championship on Oct. 5 at 6am CT. The group stage of the tournament is slated to begin six days later on Oct. 11.  

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