LoL Worlds Swiss System: How Does It Work?

Published: Oct 17, 2023

For many years, the League of Legends World Championship has featured a Group Stage at the heart of the main competition. But for 2023, Riot Games shook things up. Doing away with the Group Stage and introducing a Swiss-style format into the competitive mix.

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With its use in League esports, this pairing system format will ensure that fans get what they want – top teams facing each other more frequently, while teams that lose a match or two, still have a chance to come back from the defeat and get back in the tournament.

On this page, we’ll take a closer look at how the Swiss-style format works.

Lol Worlds 2023: Swiss-Style Format

Invented in 1895 by Swiss inventor and chess player Dr. Julis Müller (which is why it is also known as the Müller System) for use in tournaments with large numbers of participants at his local chess club – Schachgesellschaft Zürich, Chess Club Zürich. The popular format has been used widely for close to 130 years in a variety of sports and esports – including League of Legends.

lol worlds swiss stage explained

How the Swiss System Works

If you’re going to watch or even bet on LoL Worlds matches there are three important things to remember about the Swiss-style format in use at the 2023 League of Legends World Championships.

  1. Teams will only ever face an opponent that has the same win/loss record.
  2. Teams need to win three games in order to progress into the Knockout phase.
  3. Eight teams qualify for the knockout phase, the remaining teams are eliminated.

The Swiss Style format is contested over five rounds, but teams may only need three, four or all five rounds in order to qualify.

Here’s why.

Round 1

All 16 teams start with 0-0 records.

We have already previewed the Swiss Stage Round 1 games in another post. All teams start with a 0-0 record and this first round is played in a sudden-death best-of-one format.

Go to: LoL Worlds 2023 Swiss Stage Odds & Predictions

Round 2

8 teams 1-0, 8 teams 0-1.

Round 2 remains a best-of-one format, but this time the teams are split into two groups and drawn against teams in their group.

By the end of this round, there will be:

Round 3

4 teams 2-0, 4 teams 0-2, 8 teams 1-1

The big change from Round 3 onwards is that all games between 2-0 teams and 0-2 teams now become best of three matches.

The matches between the teams with a 1-1 record remain a best of one contest.

At the end of this stage, we will have six teams with 2-1 records and six with 1-2 records.

Round 4

6 teams 2-1, 6 teams 1-2

In Round 4, the six teams with a 2-1 record are drawn against one another and the same is the case for the six teams with a 1-2 record.

The three teams that win their game at this stage with a 2-1 record, qualify as the 3rd, 4th and 5th seeds in the knockout phase.

The three teams that lose their game with a 1-2 record are eliminated from the tournament.

This leaves us with six teams that all have a 2-2 record for the final round of action.

Round 5

6 teams, 2-2 record

Round 5 is the final round and teams can face any other opponent at this stage. It is a simple win and you’re in the final round, with the three winners of these games qualifying as the 6th, 7th and 8th seeds.

The three losing teams at this stage are eliminated.

lol worlds swiss satge explainer

The action starts on Oct. 19 and it promises to be hugely dramatic with this new Swiss Style format!

Read next: Who will win LoL Worlds 2023? 

Images: Riot Games via X (@LolEsports)

Ian John

Since: August 10, 2015

Ian is a regular contributor to EsportsBets. Ian is well-versed in the world of esports betting and casino gaming and has written extensively on the online gambling industry. Ian brings fresh insight into all facets of gaming.

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