It’s the climax of the League of Legends calendar. It’s the biggest, most-watched event in all of esports. It is, of course, the League of Legends World Championship.
Worlds sees the planet’s best League of Legends teams of the year battle it out and become world champions. The 2019 Worlds was the biggest yet, breaking esports viewership records, throwing up tasty storylines and producing an incredible final that saw China’s FunPlus Phoenix steamroll G2 Esports to win their first ever Worlds title.
With the entire competition spanning more than a month from play-ins to the finals, there’s a whole lot of League to whet your appetite. But how does the tournament work, who have been crowned world champions, how many people tune in to watch and when is the next League of Legends World Championships? Here’s our rundown of everything you need to know about the greatest spectacle in esports.
Here’s our full preview of the 2020 League of Legends Season World Championship and recap of the 2019 tournament.
When is League of Legends Worlds?
The next League of Legends World Championships will take place in autumn 2020, and will be hosted in China across six different cities. Exact dates and locations are currently not confirmed, but the structure will be similar to the 2019 Worlds which were hosted across Europe. It has been confirmed, however, that the final will be hosted at the Shanghai Stadium.
From the start of the play-ins until the finals itself, the 2019 League of Legends World Championship took place across almost six weeks of competition, commencing on October 2 and concluding on November 10.
The play-ins began on Wednesday, October 2 and concluded on Tuesday, October 8.
Related: The League of Legends ranking system explained
The group stages of Worlds lasted for three days, running between Saturday, October 12 and Tuesday, October 15, and October 17 and October 20. Both the play-ins and groups were held in Berlin, but the competition moved on to Spain for the knockout rounds.
There was two weekends of knockout action in the Spanish capital, Madrid. The first spanned three days from Friday, October 25 to Sunday, October 27, while the second lasted just two days on Saturday, November 2 and Sunday, November 3.
We then moved location again to the AccorHotels arena in Paris for the Finals. All the action will be played in just one, crucial day: Sunday, November 10.
Where is League of Legends Worlds 2020?
The League of Legends World Championships are heading to China for the 2020 tournament. The tournament will take place in six different cities across the country and the finals will be hosted in the 54,000 capacity Shanghai Stadium in Shanghai.
What is the League of Legends Worlds prize pool?
We’re still awaiting official confirmation of the total prize pool for the 2020 League of Legends World Championship and how it will be divided among the teams. This is because Riot Games has to add a percentage of the revenue from in-game sales to the minimum prize pool of $2.5 million (£1.9 million).
Last year’s tournament saw the total prize pool exceed that number, although the final amount has not yet been released. In 2018, $6.45 million (£5.2 million) was shared, with the winners, Invictus Gaming, walking away with just over $2.4 million (£1.8 million).
Which teams are in League of Legends Worlds?
Usually the 16 spots in the League of Legends Worlds group stage are filled by the 12 top seeded teams from China, Korea, Europe, North America, Vietnam, and the Taiwan / Hong Kong / Macao region. The remaining four spots in the group stages are filled by the four winners of the play-ins. However, this year, due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and the fact that MSI 2020 has been cancelled, Riot Games has expanded the seeding for this year’s tournament.
This is what the seeding look like for Worlds 2020:
- Four teams each: LPL (China), LEC (Europe)
- Three teams each: LCK (Korea), LCS (North America)
- Two teams each: PCS (Southeast Asia), VCS (Vietnam)
- One team each: CBLOL (Brazil), TCL (Turkey), LJL (Japan), LLA (Latin America), OPL (Oceania), LCL (Commonwealth of Independent States)
What were the groups for League of Legends Worlds 2019?
The 12 teams to already qualify for the League of Legends World Championship 2019 were drawn into the four groups, with the final spot in each group waiting to be filled by the four winners at the play-ins.
The top seeds were G2 Esports from the LEC, SK Telecom from the LCK, FunPlus Phoenix from the LCL and Team Liquid from the LCS.
Two teams from the same league could not be drawn in the same group.
The group stage has now concluded and the top two teams from each group have progressed to the knockout phase.
This is how the four groups finished, with their Win-Loss records in brackets:
- GROUP A
G2 Esports (5-1)
Hong Kong Attitude (0-6)
- GROUP B
FunPlus Phoenix (4-2)
J Team (3-3)
GAM Esports (1-5)
- GROUP C
SK Telecom (5-1)
Royal Never Give Up (3-3)
Clutch Gaming (0-6)
- GROUP D
DAMWON Gaming (5-1)
Invictus Gaimng (4-2)
Team Liquid (3-3)
ahq e-Sports Club (0-6)
The biggest surprise of the group stage was that neither of the two North American teams – Team Liquid and Cloud9 – managed to progress from the group stages, whereas all three EU teams – Splyce, Fnatic and G2 – did.
Related: Find out who are the best esports teams of 2019
Reigning champions Invictus Gaming also moved on to the knockouts from Group D, while one of the favourites for the competition and three time Worlds winners SK Telecom topped Group C.
What were the fixtures AND RESULTS for the League of Legends Worlds 2019 knockout stage?
For the knockout phase of the competition, each fixture will be a best of 5. The winners of quarter-finals 1 and 2 will face each other in the semis, as will the will the winners of 3 and 4.
This is how the quarter-final fixtures at Worlds 2019 panned out:
- QUARTER-FINAL 1
DAMWON Gaming 1-3 G2 Esports
- QUARTER-FINAL 2
SK Telecom 3-1 Splyce
- QUARTER-FINAL 3
Griffin 1-3 Invictus Gaming
- QUARTER-FINAL 4
FunPlusPhoenix 3-1 Fnatic
Two of the three European teams in the quarter-finals were eliminated by their tough Eastern opponents. Fnatic and Splyce went home, but G2 flew the flag for the West after they overcame an intimidating DAMWON team.
Reigning champions Invictus Gaming also progressed after knocking out Griffin, setting up an all-Chinese semi-final with FunPlusPhoenix who defeated Fnatic.
The semifinals were fiercely contested and the results gave us a Worlds final that not many predicted at the start of the tournament:
- SEMI FINAL 1
G2 Esports 3-1 SK Telecom
- SEMI FINAL 2
Invictus Gaming 1-3 FunPlus Phoenix
G2 conquered its Korean opposition and will head to the final hoping to become the first European world champions since the very first LoL Worlds in 2011.
In the second semi, FunPlus Phoenix swept aside reigning champions Invictus to set up a China vs EU final.
The final had most expecting a G2 win. They came into the tournament as one of the favourites and looked full of confidence after defeating SK Telecom in the semis. However, few would’ve predicted the sheer brutality of FunPlus Phoenix who put on a ruthless performance to sweep G2 aside 3-0 and lift the Summoner’s Cup.
- WORLDS 2019 FINAL
FunPlus Phoenix 3-0 G2 Esports
How do I watch League of Legends Worlds?
The League of Legends World Championship is broadcast on the official Riot Games Twitch channel. There will be complete coverage of the whole tournament, from play-ins all the way to the final.
Alternatively, you can view all the action from the League of Legends website, where you can also sign up for Pro View. This allows you to watch the action unfold in real-time from whichever angles and perspectives you want, including a POV from any of the players in a game.
Who has won League of Legends Worlds?
The current League of Legends Worlds champions are FunPlus Phoenix from China. They defeated G2 Esports in the final in Paris to become the second Chinese team in as many years to lift the Summoner’s Cup
FunPlus Phoenix’s jungler, Gao ‘Tian’ Tian-Liang, was also named as the MVP of the finals.
The full championship-winning roster was:
- Top Lane – Kim ‘Gimgoon’ Han-saem
- Jungle – Gao ‘Tian’ Tian-Liang
- Jungle – Chang ‘Xinyi’ Ping
- Jungler – Xie ‘Minjing’ Ming-Jing
- AD Carry – Lin ‘Lwx’ Wei-Xiang
- Mid Laner – Kim ‘Doinb’ Tae-sang
- Support – Liu ‘Crisp’ Qing-Song
The 2020 World Championship will be the tenth Worlds since it began in 2011.
SK Telecom are the most successful team of all-time with three Worlds titles.
These are the teams who have won the League of Legends World Championship:
|2013||SK Telecom||South Korea|
|2014||Samsung White||South Korea|
|2015||SK Telecom||South Korea|
|2016||SK Telecom||South Korea|
|2017||Samsung Galaxy||South Korea|