The League of Legends World Championship (or Worlds) is the largest competition in LoL esports. It takes place towards the end of the year and involves the strongest teams from all over the globe fighting each other for fame, glory, and a part of a multi-million prize pool. Combine that with the fact that the Worlds winners get in-game skins modeled after them and the title of the best team in League of Legends, and there’s a lot at stake here.
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Worlds Play-In Stage
The World Championship kicks off with the Play-In Stage. There, the eight strongest teams from the emerging regions and the four weakest teams from the major regions battle each other through a Bo1 double round robin group stage. The competition is stiff, as only eight teams can make it into the playoffs.
There’s no time to rest either. Every single team here has to play a Bo5 playoffs series against another Play-In lineup to decide who’s going to advance further. Once the dust settles, the losers are knocked out of the tournament, and the victors qualify for the Main Event.
Worlds Main Event
Worlds Group Stage
The competition reaches its peak at the World Championship Main Event. All 16 participating teams are split into four groups. No region can have more than one representative in a single group, so it’s common to have Chinese, European, North American, and South Korean powerhouses battling each other in the same group.
Much like its Play-In counterpart, the Main Event group stage follows a Bo1 double round robin format, but the matches are much more competitive. After all, every team that made it here has shown it has what it takes to play the highest level of League of Legends. And now is the perfect opportunity to prove it.
Only eight strongest League of Legends teams can qualify for the Worlds playoffs. This makes it that much more exciting when they clash in Bo5 matches to determine who’s going to advance through the tournament bracket. There are no second chances here, and every series is a do-or-die moment. With that, you get to see the explosive gameplay and immersive storylines that come from the best LoL teams fighting with their backs against the wall.
Making it through Worlds Quarterfinals is already an excruciatingly tough feat to manage, but things get even more difficult in the Semifinals. Still, tensions reach their peak in the finals, as fans get to witness two League of Legends titans playing at the highest stakes possible. Once the finals conclude, the winners raise the Worlds trophy, effectively becoming the #1 team in the game.
The first-ever Worlds was fairly modest. It only featured eight participants, and most of them hailed from Europe and North America. With that, it’s not exactly surprising that Season 1 World Championship was won by a European lineup in Fnatic. Even so, Europe had to take a step back in season 2, as the Taiwanese Taipei Assassins dominated the competition and claimed a World Championship title for the LMS.
Then came the LCK era. For five consecutive years, the World Championship was dominated by South Korea. Teams like Samsung Galaxy White and Samsung Galaxy made League of Legends history by winning some of the most competitive World Championships to date. But the ultimate bragging rights belong to the powerhouse SK Telecom T1 team that has three Worlds titles to its name.
A different narrative emerged in 2019. The LCK fell into a massive slump, as not even a single South Korean team made it past the quarterfinals. Meanwhile, the Chinese Invictus Gaming took the tournament by storm with the perfect mixture of aggression and mechanical talent. And just like that, the LPL won the first Worlds title in the league’s history.
Read Also: LoL Worlds Power Ranking 2019
Why Watch Worlds
Just as the name implies, Worlds provides the highest level of League of Legends possible. First-class teams pull out all stops to represent their region at the tournament, so it’s a great opportunity to witness unrivaled displays of skill and strategy. Moreover, fans get to cheer for their home regions while seeing how they match up against international competition. And it’s exactly this combination of top-tier gameplay and raw excitement that makes Worlds one of the most popular esports tournaments in the scene.