Monkey’s Musing: Worlds Need Format Changes

This is an exclusive weekly series by Adam that looks back at the week of esports as a whole and brings up topics and discussions based on a particular game. In this version; does the Worlds Format need to change or stay the same?

With the overwhelming amount of surprises coming out of the International Wild Card teams, questions have been constantly asked about the Worlds format in the League of Legends community. Do the “World” Championships really represent such a stage when only two teams that are not a part of the EU, NA, South Korean, Chinese and Taiwan leagues are represented at the tournament? The IWC circuit for those two places usually is contested by many teams from many separate regions; so why does Riot Games not just allow the best team from each region to take part in their World Championships and make Worlds feel more like a spectacle where upsets, like we are seeing from INTZ e-Sports and Albus NoX Luna, can become a common staple at the end of the year grand event?

The IWC playoffs consisted of teams from Brazil, Russia, Japan, Latin America, Oceania, South East Asia and Turkey. If you were to take just the best team from each region, then you would have a greater diversity of fans, cultures and playstyles to look at, which breathes new life into the competition, allows for a bigger audience base and truly gives off the feeling of a World Championship. But, I digress; this is something that has been preached for many years, but stubbornness to change the format is forever present due to the multiple concerns I will address later on.

There has always been this growing call into why, but never how, so I want to label a simple method Riot could bring into Worlds 2017 to expand and improve their tournament, based on other large scale championships both in and out of esports.

Worlds 2017 Possible Changes

24 Teams Instead of 16.

  • Six groups instead of four.
  • Top-two of each group progress to the last 16 (instead of last eight) 
  • Two best third placed teams from the six groups also progress.

– Similar to the European football/soccer championships.

-In the event of a third place tie, the team with most KDA> Gold Lead> etc. progress. 

-Bring in playoffs for third-placed teams if all criteria keep matching up (though very unlikely exact gold leads will be the same). 

Allow LMS to have the third seed 

  • Matches EU LCS, NA LCS, LCK and LPL third seeds.
  • LMS has been around long enough and is one of only three regions to have a World Championship winning team.
  • Why Riot insists on keeping them at two spots is beyond me.
    • J Team (Formerly Taipei Assassins) would have been a great addition to the event this year.

Give the CB LOL their own first and second seed (third in future Worlds if successful)

  • After successive World Championship appearances, they deserve it. 
  • Highlight the CB LOL region similar to other regions.
  • Pain Gaming and Kabum! e-Sports could also become a staple of the competition, similarly to LMS’ Flash Wolves and ahq esports club. 

Regional places for Worlds 2017 format as follows:

  • EU LCS: Three
  • NA LCS: Three
  • LCK: Three
  • LPL: Three
  • LMS: Three
  • CB LOL: Two

IWC Places

  • LAN (Latin America North): One
  • LAS Sur (Latin America South): One
  • TCL (Turkey): One
  • OPL (Oceania): One
  • LJL (Japan): One
  • LCL (CIS): One
  • GPL (South-East Asia): One

This also leaves options to improve the format in the future on the success of the new format. As more regions gain IWC recognition, they could gain more slots like CB LOL and create a truly global stage.

Keep the IWC Regionals as a means to fight for seeding for the IWC sides.

  • Keep the IWC Regionals in order to create an IWC League before Worlds for the seven IWC regions.
  • Group format, like the Mid-Season Invitational; best-of-one match format.
  • Top-four in each group of the IWC go into the competition as second seeds.
  • Bottom-three remain as third seeds. Will join EU, NA, LCK, LPL and LMS third seeds. 
  • CB LOL first seed goes into pot one.
    • Second seed goes into pot two.

Why Change What Works?

The biggest problems facing any changes coming through are usually around the players and the competition itself. Are players playing too many games? Are they able to rest at all from a hectic regional schedule? Will the inclusion of so many teams lead to the lack of talent/entertainment at such an event? If the event as a whole is working, why should Riot change it?

To that I say: If Riot truly wants to keep League of Legends as a stable sport, let alone an esport, changes, implementations and other forms of lacking change will only sooner or later come back to haunt them. If a formula is continuously used, it can only do so for so long before people lose interest.

Look at Pokemon as an example of that (I know, bare with me). Many different versions of “if it’s not broken, don’t fix it” came out in support of the game, but when numbers of sales declined, they brought in Mega Evolutions, Alola forms, and a lot of new changes to revitalise the series. It’s the same with sports.

If we as a community are truly happy to keep things as they are, then fine. But with Riot starting to implement new changes to benefit its esports scene and keep the esports teams of the future happy to create a healthy infrastructure, I hope Worlds is the next thing they look at and think “How can we make this better?”

What would you like to see changed about the current Worlds format? Let us know by commenting below or tweeting us @GAMURScom.

Thanks for reading. My name is Adam Newell and this is the first of a new series called “Monkey’s Musings.” Let me know what you think, if it’s something you would like to see more of, and which esports scene/game you would like me to look at next week.

Adam Newell is a writer for @GAMURScom and can be contacted in ways displayed below:

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @MonkeyKingHero