It’s that time of year when twenty-four of the world’s most dominant teams fight it out over the span of a month for the coveted summoner’s cup in one of the most prestigious eSports events, the League of Legends World Championship.
Drawing in millions of viewers and with a partnership containing some big name brands, it represents the culmination of 12 months of intense play and hard work from the world’s best players. Upsets, riveting narratives, hard fought matches on the rift; it promises to be a celebration of all things League of Legends, but only one team can come out of top.
Here’s everything you need to know about the event.
This year Riot’s premier eSports event takes place in Europe. First in Berlin at the LEC studio and Verti Music hall for the play-in and group rounds, before jumping to Madrid’s Palacio Vistalegre for the quarter and semi-finals, and finally at the 20, 300 capacity Accord Hotels Arena in Paris for the finals.
Here’s the rundown of key dates:
A full breakdown of each individual match as well as start times is available on the dedicated League of Legends World Championship portal.
Below is a list of all four groups and the teams contained in each.
The Play-in Groups:
The play-in and group stages follow the double round-robin best-of-one format before jumping to a single-elimination best-of-five series for each knockout stage and from the quarterfinals onward.
Before the event kicks off in earnest and a World’s meta takes shape based on the latest patch, it is difficult to predict outcomes; as is often the case at Worlds, we can expect some surprise upsets and an underdog story or two.
Based on performances during the regular season, all eyes are on European powerhouse G2 Esports and their star mid-laner Caps to return home with the League of Legends World Championship trophy.
After storming to back-to-back titles in the Spring and Summer splits of the LEC this year, winning the Mid-Season Invitational, and embarrassing North American teams at Rift Rivals, Worlds is G2 eSports to lose.
As always, we can’t discount three-time World champions SK Telecom T1 led by Faker and Invictus Gaming who return as reigning champions to defend their title.
Chinese Behemoth Royal Never Give Up, and notably their ADC Uzi, is worth keeping an eye on as well.
Fnatic and Cloud 9 are regular performers at Worlds despite failing to win regional titles this year, and both reached well into the knockout stages at last year’s event.
As for North America’s dominant outfit, Team Liquid, they have yet to prove themselves on the international stage beyond an unexpected finalist spot at the Mid Season Invitational. Whether they can even progress beyond the group stage remains to be seen.
From Group A, G2 Esports is more or less guaranteed to advance beyond the group stage. The second team is a little murkier, but an on form Cloud 9 should power through.
Group B is pretty open and doesn’t feature any dominant regional team. We’d put our money on FunPlus Phoenix.
Group C is nicknamed the League of Legends World Championship’s group of death, so we could see any of the three confirmed teams make it past groups. SK Telecom have a point to prove after last year’s sketchy performance and Fnatic will want to replicate their finalist run from 2018.
In Group D, Invictus Gaming will pick up one of the spots, while the other is up for grabs.