It’s only been a few days since League of Legends fans witnessed one of the greatest finals in World Championship history, but many people are already looking toward the tournament’s future.
In an in-depth interview with Travis Gafford, Riot Games’ president of esports John Needham talked about the unsatisfactory state of Worlds and the raving demand for a double-elimination format in the knockout stage, acknowledging that the fan base isn’t happy with the current way that the tournament is set up.
“I think there are a lot of matches that are meaningless in the format that we have now,” Needham said. “We want every match, ideally, to mean something, and I think there’s just a lot of wasted matches right now at Worlds.”
A big grievance that fans have with Worlds is that the group stage—the longest part of the event—can feel a bit lackluster since teams can almost be effectively eliminated through the first round robin. In many instances over the years, some knockout stage teams were locked in after one game in the second week, making every other match in their group pointless.
Needham said that aside from the knockout stage, the current format is not optimal. As a result, the team will be looking at changes for the tournament in the near future, along with other international League esports events. Additionally, the president shared what might be pretty disappointing news for some supporters: there won’t be any change to a double-elimination format any time soon.
Fans have also constantly voiced complaints about the lack of best-of-five matches at the biggest event of the year, pointing out the loss of potential storylines and the overall lack of inter-regional play. Even though the format has seen success in other titles and tournaments like VALORANT Champions, Needham believes that Worlds should carry the biggest and most exciting stakes of any title in Riot’s growing catalog since it’s the biggest event that the company has.
“We believe the emotion [and] the excitement of one given day [where] the biggest team could get knocked out means something in the sports experience,” Needham said. “We just think that for an event that is as big and impactful as Worlds, that we want to keep—from knockout stage forward—single-eliminations for now.”
Looking ahead, however, it seems like there are changes on the horizon for League‘s competitive ecosystem in the coming months. The excitement never stops if you’re a fan of the game, so buckle up for even more developments soon.