We‘re reaching the most exciting time of the year for the League of Legends fans: The LoL World Championship. This is the most prestigious tournament in the realm of League of Legends. Indeed, legends are born during this competition and some of the plays are left in the history of the game to remind us what astonishing gameplay looks like. Future generations of players are trying to build up based on what the best players in the world have accomplished during the few weeks of Worlds. Even if we‘re talking about the same players, the teams, the game, the meta are perpetually evolving, so nothing remains the same. This is what truly makes the League of Legends World Championship a magical contest. In this article, we‘ll explain the format of the competition and see what we can expect from the tournament in 2015.
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Format Overview – LoL Worlds 2015
The 2015 LoL Worlds tournament will have a structure strongly resembling the one from last year. First, there will be a Group Stage, then we‘ll proceed to Quarterfinals, after which naturally we reach the Semifinals, and last and most exciting – the Finals. The Group Stage is considered a separate section from the rest.
The Group Stage will involve all 16 teams competing in a best of 1s series of a double Round Robin-style tournament. This means that each team will play against each team in the group for a total of 12 games (and potential tie-breakers). The teams will enter the groups based on their regional seeding and will be established during a live Group Draw. Fans who watched the Worlds tournament last year may recognize this format. The 2015 Group Stage is running from October 1st to October 11th.
The Group Draw Explained
The Group Pool Structure will include three pools and will closely resemble the one from last year, except some leagues got renamed and restructured for LoL Season 5. Pool 1 will include the first-seed teams from North America (NA LCS), China (LPL), Europe (EU LCS), and Korea (LCK). Pool 2 will include second and third-place seeds from Korea, China, the two LMS (South East Asia) representatives, and the second-place seeds from Europe and North America. Pool 3 will include the third-place seeds from Europe and North America, as well as the IWC qualifier winners. Each group will include one team of Pools 1 and 3, and two teams of Pool 2.
Each group will only contain one team per region. After all, this is the World Championship, so we want to see cross-regional play. We‘ve watched enough games from the same region during the regular season. The live Group Draw Show will continue until all groups are filled. If a team is randomly assigned to a group which already contains a team from that region, they will be placed in the next available group. More details will be released further down the line. Watch the LoL Worlds Group draw live on September 12th here.
Knockout Stage (Playoffs)
After the Group Stage, 8 teams proceed to the Knockout Stage (which used to be known as a Bracket Stage in the past). The teams will play in best of 5s series in the Quarterfinals, Semifinals, and Finals. The Knockout Stage of the 2015 World Championship is running from October 15th to October 31st.
Determining the Knockout Stage of the World Championship
The Quarterfinals are going to be randomized. However, there are still some rules that apply, namely that no two teams from the same group cannot be placed in the same half of the bracket, and that teams finishing at the first place are to face teams that finish at the second place. All first-seeds will be drawn and assigned a place in the brackets from top to bottom, and then the second-seeds will go through the same procedure. If a team cannot be assigned in the matchup it has been drawn into (because there is already a team from the same group in that bracket), then it will be assigned to the first available matchup. After the Quarterfinals, everything proceeds as the games determine it.
What’s new for LoL Worlds 2015
As the culmination of the season and the most important tournament of the year, Riot are always trying to improve the format and make it better. That‘s why some changes were introduced from last year. More notably, these include the live Group Draw Show.
Another thing to note is the fact that first-place group finishers will compete against second-place group finishers. This leads to some randomization and gives team the incentive of giving it their best. This means that we‘ll potentially witness the most awesome Worlds ever. This is due to the fact that in the past teams were sometimes throwing games in order to get a better match-up walking into the Knockout Stage. We hope we won‘t be seeing throws this year.
This is what the League of Legends World Championship will look like in 2015. We can‘t wait for the tournament to kick off on October 1st, as we‘re about to witness some of the best games in history. Why do we think so? Based on the regular season, this Worlds will be amazing! Stay tuned.
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About the Author: Amna El Tawil is a news reporter and a technology blogger. For the past five years, she has worked for major publications and TV networks in the Middle East, covering one of region’s hotspots. When Amna is not chasing after the truth amidst gas canisters, she can be found cheering her favorite football team on, or unwinding with some online gaming.