League of Legends 2020 World Championship Breakdown
The biggest and most important international tournament of the calendar year is mere days away, so let’s do a thorough 2020 World Championship breakdown to see what’s in store! The point of this piece isn’t to tell you about the many narratives coming into Worlds, but rather to inform and relay the bare facts — the who, what, when, and why. We’ll cover the mouth-watering storylines as well at a later date, so stay tuned!
For now, however, let’s focus on the nitty-gritty and do a breakdown of the most important facts!
A Quick Rundown
Where: The 2020 World Championship will be held at the Media Tech Studio in Shanghai, China. The finals, however, will be held at the Pudong Football Stadium.
When: This year’s Worlds will commence on September 25th, with matches happening across three separate stages up until October 31st. You can find more details on each tournament stage down below.
How: There are three stages of the World Championship: the Play-In stage, the Group Stage, and the Knockout Stage. The first one is where the lowest ranked (and presumably weakest) teams slug it out for a shot at advancing further into the tournament. The second stage (Groups) is where the sixteen best teams in the world compete on even footing. Teams are divided into four groups of four, and are scheduled to play a double round robin.
Two of the best teams from each group will advance into the Knockout Stage (quarters, semis, and finals). The Play-Ins will last from September 25-30, with the Group Stage being divided into two parts (October 3-6; October 8-11). Finally, the Knockout Stage begins on October 15th and lasts up until October 31st when the World Championship final is scheduled to go down.
Even though it’s the “least important” part of the tournament, the Play-Ins actually have the most complex format. VCS representatives won’t be able to travel to Shanghai because of COVID-19 related restrictions, so Riot had to tweak the existing format to accommodate for the fewer number of competing teams. There are ten teams in the Play-In stage, split into two groups with five teams apiece.
Both groups will compete in a single round robin. The best ranked team from both groups will automatically qualify for the Group Stage. The worst ranked team in each group will automatically be disqualified, they’ll pack their bags and go home. This leaves us with three remaining teams per group. The third and fourth ranked teams within each group will face off in a Best of 5. After that’s done, the winner of that Best of 5 will fight against the second best team from the opposite group. The two teams that are left standing will then advance further and round out the Group Stage.
The Group Stage is a lot simpler overall. We have four groups with four teams per group. This is the first World Championship in history that’ll have four representatives from the LPL (China) and LEC (Europe). These two regions were granted an additional seed based on their recent international performance. After a double round robin, the two best-ranked teams from each group will advance into the quarterfinals. Once this part of the tournament comes around, Worlds will shift to the single-elimination bracket with all matches played in the Best of 5 format.
The team that wins it all will become the League of Legends 2020 World Champions!
As with any recent World Championship, the total prize pool amount will remain unknown up until the last week of play. A big chunk of the money comes straight from Riot, with the rest of it being funded by players who purchase Worlds-related items in-game during the tournament’s duration. There’s a big change coming this year, however. In an attempt to distribute the prize pool more evenly, Riot will adjust the amount each team gets to take home.
With this set-up, the team that wins it all will earn 25% of the total prize pool (instead of 37.5%), with the runner-up getting 17.5% (instead of 13.5%). You can see the updated percentages down below.
This might not seem all that big of a change, but when there are millions of dollars at play, even a 0.01% can make a world of difference. Finally, the two VCS teams that couldn’t travel to Shanghai will still be paid for their efforts which is definitely a nice, wholesome move from Riot.
Here’s the full list of teams that’ll compete over the coming weeks for a shot at glory and an impressive sack of cash (the size of which will be revealed at a later date)!
LPL — China
1st seed: Top Esports
2nd seed: JD Gaming
3rd seed: Suning
4th seed: LGD Gaming (Play-Ins)
LEC — Europe
1st seed: G2 Esports
2nd seed: Fnatic
3rd seed: Rogue
4th seed: MAD Lions (Play-Ins)
LCK — Korea
1st seed: DAMWON Gaming
2nd seed: DRX
3rd seed: Gen.G
LCS — North America
1st seed: Team SoloMid
2nd seed: FlyQuest
3rd seed: Team Liquid (Play-Ins)
PCS — Southeast Asia
1st seed: Machi Esports
2nd seed: PSG.Talon Esports (Play-Ins)
CBLOL — Brazil
1st seed: INTZ (Play-Ins)
LLA — Latin America
1st seed: Rainbow7 (Play-Ins)
LJL — Japan
1st seed: V3 Esports (Play-Ins)
OPL — Oceania
1st seed: Legacy Esports (Play-Ins)
TCL — Turkey
1st seed: Papara SuperMassive (Play-Ins)
LCL — Russia/CIS
1st seed: Unicorns of Love (Play-Ins)
How to Watch
As always, the World Championship will be streamed on Riot’s official website along with Twitch and YouTube. This is truly the moment we’ve all been waiting for. The best teams in the world will converge in Shanghai and compete in one of the most exciting metas in the game’s history! What’s not to like? There’s a lot on the line, and if things pan out as expected, this might end up being the most exciting and competitive World Championship yet!
Mark your calendars, folks, because fireworks are all but guaranteed!