The 2018 League of Legends World Championships kicking off in South Korea this October 1st. If you’re as excited as we are, you’ll need to be caught up on every detail in order to enjoy all the festivities. Therefore, here are all the things you need to know before Worlds begins.
For people who aren’t in the loop, Worlds is League of Legends’ biggest and most prestigious event. Three of the best teams from every region in the world will compete for glory at this tournament. North America, Europe, Korea, and China will be amongst the many regions joining this event. Last year, China would host the star-studded event but this year it will be in South Korea, home of the best region on Earth.
The tournament will begin on October 1st, where the Play-In Stage will commence. Twelve teams from all over the world will be battling for a chance to represent their team in the Worlds group stage. The Play-ins will run from October 1st to the 7th, where participants will go through two rounds of games. Afterward, the top four teams from that portion of the tournament will move on to the Worlds Group Stage.
After the Play-ins, we finally move on to the Group Stage. There are three teams from Korea, and a minimum of two teams from China, Europe, North America, and the LMS. The twelve that qualify for the Group Stage and four from the Play-In Stage will slot into four groups. Each group will play a double round-robin, best of one series. At the end of the Group Stage, the top two teams from each group will move on to the Knockout Stage.
In the Knockout Stage, Riot Games will draw the eight teams into matchups the day before competition begins again. The stage will be a single-elimination bracket with all matches played in a BO5 format. Here, the Quarterfinals, Semifinals, and Finals will be playing in Busan, Gwangju, and Incheon, South Korea. A rundown of all the locations Worlds will be playing at can be found here.
Like we said before, Worlds 2018 will feature some of the best League of Legends teams in the world. Here’s a refresher on the teams joining us from Korea, China, North America, and Europe.
Representing South Korea will be KT Rolster, Afreeca Freecs and Gen.G. Of course, Korea will be sending some of the best players not only in the region but in the world. They have been the strongest region in the game for some time now. However, Korea’s dominance in 2018 has been in question. For example, at the two international League events of 2018, Korea would falter to China. At the Mid-Season Invitational, Chinese powerhouse Royal Never Give Up would stomp Korean Kingzone DragonX in the Grand Finals. Korea would even lose at the 2018 Rift Rivals event, where China would defeat Korea in the Finals.
However, even with these losses under their belt, Korea will still be a favorite to raise the trophy this season. KT Rolster is coming off of their first-ever championship, and their star-studded roster is looking for a big first impression at Worlds. Also, Afreeca Freecs’ veteran roster combining with budding star, Kim “Kiin” Gi-in, should prove to be a riveting team to watch. Finally, the 2016 World Championship winning lineup of Gen.G will be looking for glory once again. Can Korea maintain their dominance at Worlds? Or will another region snatch victory from their hands?
The biggest test for South Korea has to be China. The region has only improved from last year, and they have already shown their strength at two international events. However, they must display their dominance over 2018 at the biggest event of them all. China boasts some of the best teams in the world, but they have never been able to jump the hurdle of Korea. Could this be the year they begin the era of China in League of Legends?
The biggest threat from China would be Royal Never Give Up, who is looking poised for another deep run at Worlds. They were victorious against Kingzone DragonX at MSI, and they would also beat Afreeca Freecs to lock China’s victory against Korea at Rift Rivals. They would end up winning both regional championships in China this year as well. Their superstar ADC Jian “Uzi” Zi-Hao will be a problem for every team they face, and their flexibility with their roster is a scary sight to see. Can China make history and win their first League of Legends World Championship?
North America hasn’t been taken seriously at Worlds for some time now. The cycle of hype turning to disappointment has many North American fans skeptical, no matter who the region is sending. However, this could be the year that the underdogs push for a deep run. The region is sending some of the best teams to ever come together in its history. Also, the biggest enemy any team could have at Worlds is underestimating an opponent. One such team you should not underestimate is Team Liquid.
The organization’s first appearance at the League of Legends World Championships should be an interesting one to watch. This Team Liquid squad is the best team in the region by far, and no one in NA has really come close. All-Star Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng is playing some of the best League of his career and will need to maintain his brilliance if they want to stand a chance. Cloud9 is back in the Worlds spotlight and is sporting a brand new lineup with some fresh-faced rookies. Finally, 100 Thieves will be making their Worlds debut as well. However, while some of the players are all too familiar with the setting, many of the players will be stepping foot onto the Worlds stage for the first time.
The last time a European team held the World Championship trophy over the heads was back in season one, with Fnatic. Now, Europe will be aiming for the top once again. Representing Europe this year will be a combination of some old faces and some new. We will need to see if Europe can make it past the Quarterfinals this season if they make it to the playoffs at all.
First, a Worlds veteran will be taking the stage in Fnatic. The perennial European champions were looking dominant this season, and if their MVP-winning mid laner Rasmus “Caps” Winther can play at the highest level, they could push for a level the West hasn’t reached before. Joining them will be a new face, Team Vitality. The feisty, aggressive roster of Vitality will have a lot of nerves to calm, as it will be the first time at Worlds for many players on the team. On the other hand, this won’t be the first rodeo for G2 Esports, who made it to Worlds via the regional gauntlet. They will need to keep the same form they found in the gauntlet if they wish to make it past the Group Stage this year.
You can catch all the action on lolesports.com, or on Riot Games’ Twitch channel. Remember to mark your calendars for October 1st. We cannot wait for the best League of Legends competition to begin!
What do you think of this year’s Worlds layout? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below! If you want more Worlds 2018 coverage, check us out here!
Born and raised in Toronto. Sometimes a writer. Sometimes a creative director. Sometimes bored. Catch me with hundreds of unplayed games in my Steam library.