LoL Worlds 2022 is right around the corner! With such an important title on the line, rules are going to be crucial in certain scenarios. While the official ruleset is not out yet, we expect it to be similar, if not identical, to the previous year. But how does LoL Worlds work?
With the tournament starting on September 29, 2022, the best 24 teams from around the world will compete in the United States of America and Mexico. The champions will be crowned on November 5th at the Chase Center in San Francisco, California. Without further ado, here is the rundown of all the most important rules for the tournament.
LoL Worlds Rules and the Tournament Structure
Play-In Round 1 (September 29 – October 2)
The first round of Worlds will see twelve teams divided into two groups where they play a Single Round Robin format. All matches will be played in a Bo1 format, with the top team in each group advancing directly to the Group Stage.
From 2nd to 4th, the three teams in each group will play in the second round of Play-ins. As for the LoL worlds rules, below you can find the format from Worlds 2021, which will likely be the same this year:
- Side Allocation: Side selection for each match will be randomly pre-determined. Each team will have two games starting on each side of the map.
- Tiebreaker Timing: Tiebreaker will be played immediately after the final game of Round 1.
- Two-way tie: if two teams are tied within their group, they will play one tiebreaker game. Side selection will be determined by head-to-head record. If a tiebreaker is between 3rd and 4th place, there will not a tiebreaker game.
- Three-way tie: if three Teams are tied at the end of the Play-in Stage, the head-to-head record of all teams involved in the tie against all other teams involved in the tiebreaker will be considered. This means that there are two possible combinations:
- If each team has a combined record of 1-1 in the tiebreaker against each of the other teams in the tie, the teams with the highest total game victory time will play one tiebreaker with side selection going to the team with “faster” (and lower) total game time. The winner will face the other team, while the losing team will finish last among the three. The rules for the first game will be applied in the same way for the second tiebreaker.
- If one team has an aggregate record of 2-0, the next team has an aggregate
record of 1-1 and the third team has an aggregate record of 0-2. In this case, the team with a 2-0 record is granted the highest seed available in the tiebreaker, the team with 1-1 is awarded the second highest seed, and the 0-2 team will be awarded the lowest seed in the tiebreaker.
- Five-way tie: If all five teams are tied at the end of the Play-in Stage, the overall seeding will be based on total game victory time. A tiebreaker will be made between the two teams with the highest total victory time, with side selection going to the lowest of the two. The winner of this game will advance to a Best-of-1, single-elimination bracket, seeded by total game victory time (i.e. fastest team will play against the slowest team). There will be no third-place match completed.
Play-In Round 2 (October 3 – 4)
The third and fourth-place teams in each play-in group will play in the best-of-five match, with the winner going to face the second-place team from the other play-in group for another Bo5.
The winners of each of these two matches will advance to the Group Stage and will be randomly assigned to a Group Stage group, with the losing teams eliminated from LoL Worlds. For this stage, the LoL Worlds rules are not that complicated.
- Side Selection: Side selection will be awarded to the higher seed for Game 1. For all games after the first one, the losing Team of the previous game will have a side selection. In the scenario where the teams have identical seeding, side selection for Game 1 will be determined by the team with the lowest cumulative victory time.
Group Stage Rules (October 7 – 10, 13 – 16)
The group stage will feature a Bo1 double round robin among the group stage pools. The 16 teams will be divided equally into four groups, where each team will play the other teams within their group twice, non-consecutively. The LoL Worlds rules for the Group Stage can be more tricky, so we have all of them included here.
- Side Allocation: Side selection for each match will be randomly pre-determined. Each team will play every other team in their group on each side of the map.
- Tiebreaker Timing: Tiebreaker games will be played immediately following the final game of the Group Stage for the respective group.
- Two-way tie: If two teams are tied after the Group Stage, head to head record will be used as the first tiebreaker. If the two teams have an identical
head-to-head record, and the two teams are tied for first or second place in the
group, then the teams will play one tiebreaker game to determine the final standings. No tiebreaker game will be played if the tiebreaker would not decide
either the first or second place position in the group
- Side Selection: for a head-to-head tiebreaker matchup, it will be awarded to the team with the lower total game victory time.
- Three-way tie: If three Teams are tied, the head-to-head record of all teams involved in the tie against all other teams involved in the tiebreaker will be considered. There are five possible combinations of records in a three-way tiebreaker:
- Each team in the tiebreaker has a combined record of 2-2 against each of the other teams in the tie. In this case, the teams with the highest total game victory time (i.e. the two slowest teams) will play one tiebreaker game with side selection going to the team with the lower total game victory time. The loser of that game will be awarded the lowest standing of the tiebreaker and the winner of that game will play a single tiebreaker game against the team with the lowest total game victory time, with side selection going to the latter. The winner of that second tiebreaker game will be awarded the highest standing being decided by the tiebreaker, and the loser of the game will be awarded the remaining standing.
- One team has an aggregate record of 3-1, the next team is 2-2, and the third team is 1-3. In this case, the teams with the 2-2 and 1-3 records will play one tiebreaker game. The loser of that game will be awarded the lowest standing being decided by the tiebreaker, and the winner of that game will play a single tiebreaker game against the 3-1 team. The winner of that second tiebreaker game will be awarded the highest standing being decided by the tiebreaker, and the loser of the game will be awarded the remaining standing.
- Two teams have an aggregate record of 3-1, and the third team has an aggregate record of 0-4. The team that is 0-4 is directly awarded the lowest standing of the tiebreaker and a new tiebreaker is declared amongst the two teams with an aggregate record of 3-1 utilizing the two-way tie rules.
- One team has an aggregate record of 4-0, and the other two teams have an aggregate record of 1-3. In this scenario, the 4-0 team is automatically granted the highest seed available in the tiebreaker (therefore winning the tiebreaker), and a new tiebreaker is declared amongst the two teams with an aggregate record of 1-3 utilizing the two-way tie procedure.
- One team has an aggregate record of 4-0, the next team has an aggregate record of 2-2 and the third team has an aggregate record of 0-4. The team that is 4-0 is automatically granted the highest seed available in the tiebreaker (therefore winning the tiebreaker), and the 2-2 team is awarded the second highest seed available (since it would win the head-to-head tiebreaker against the 0-4 team), and the 0-4 team is awarded the lowest seed available in the tiebreaker. No games will be played.
- Four-way tie: The teams will be drawn into a single elimination bracket based on the cumulative game victory time for the individual teams. Teams play best-of-one matches throughout the League of Legends Worlds bracket. The seeds will be given in order to the teams that won their games the quickest. The four teams will be split into two first-round matches;
- the #1 seed will face the #4 seed;
- the #2 seed will face the #3 seed in the first two games;
- The losing teams will be eliminated from the tournament.
- The winners of the first-round matches will face off in Game 3, with the winner gaining the top seed.
- Side Selection: Side selection for all games under this tie-breaker will always belong to the team with the lower total game victory time.
Playoffs Rules (October 20 – 23, 29 – 30 & November 5)
From the Bracket Stage (also known as the playoffs stage), the LoL Worlds Rules will be more straightforward and easier to understand. The top two teams in each group will be drawn into an eight-team bracket. Seeding will be determined by placement within each group from the previous stage. The #1 seeds will play with the #2 seeds from different groups, which will be randomly selected through a draw process.
- The draw process for quarterfinals shall be arranged so that winners of Quarterfinal 1 and Quarterfinal 2 shall face each other in the semi-finals, while winners of Quarterfinal 3 and Quarterfinal 4 face each other.
No teams from the same Group may be drawn into a match that would require them to play against each other until Finals. This means that if Group A #1 seed is placed into Quarterfinal 1, Group A #2 seed cannot be placed into Quarterfinals 1 or 2.
All quarterfinals matches will be best-of-five. The winners of the quarterfinal matches on each side of the bracket will face off in the semifinals.
- Side Selection: it will be given to the higher seed for Game 1 and to the losing team of the previous game in the series
The semifinals will also consist of two best-of-five matches between the four winners of the Quarterfinals matches, with the winners going to the final
- Side Selection: in this case, the side selection for Game 1 for each match will be decided by a coin flip. The team that wins the coin flip will choose the side, while for all games besides the first one, the losing team of the previous game will have side selection.
The final round of the tournament will consist of one best-of-five match, with the winner becoming the Worlds 2022 Champions.
- Side selection: the same process used in the semifinals will also be used in the finals.
Worlds: Competitive Patch
Aside from having the rules of LoL worlds explained, we also have to consider the patch that teams will play the tournament in. Riot has confirmed that for this year’s Worlds 2022, the participants will play in Patch 12.18 throughout the whole tournament.
It is worth noting, however, that Udyr and his latest rework will not be enabled. This is due to the “new Champions and VGUs must be enabled for playoffs in all four of the top regions in order to be playable at the next international tournament” policy.