League of Legends Worlds: dates, winners, prize pools, and more

It's the biggest esports event of the year. Here's everything you need to know about the League of Legends World Championship

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. 2020’s tournament may have seen viewership fall just short of 2019’s viewership record, but it still saw 3.8 million tune in to the final between Suning and winners DAMWON Gaming – and that’s excluding audiences in China.

The entire tournament spans more than a month from the play-ins to the grand final so there’s a lot of top-tier competitive League of Legends to whet appetites. But if you’ve never tuned in before, or want some more information about what is the esports calendar’s biggest event, we’ve got you covered. From dates, to format, to previous champions, here’s all the info you need around League of Legends Worlds.

When is League of Legends Worlds?

The 2021 League of Legends World Championship is scheduled to take place from October 5 to November 6, with the final scheduled for that final day, November 6. The tournament was originally supposed to be spread out across five different host cities – Shanghai, Qingdao, Wuhan, Shnzhen, and Chengdu – but the ongoing pandemic has meant Worlds 2021 will now be hosted in Europe.

Related: The League of Legends ranking system explained

Iceland has been confirmed as the city which will host LoL Worlds 2021, considering the infrastructure already in place from the LEC in Berlin and the fact Riot has hosted MSI in Reykjavik already this year.

It’s currently looking unlikely that fans will be able to attend in-person.

League OF Legends Worlds 2021 schedule

Riot has finally confirmed the full schedule for Worlds this year, which you can find below.

  • Play-in Stage: October 5, 2021
  • Group Stage, Round 1: October 11-13, 2021
  • Group Stage, Round 2: October 15-18, 2021
  • Quarterfinals: October 22-25
  • Semi-finals: October 30-31
  • Finals: November 6, 2021

League of Legends Worlds 2021 location

The 2021 League of Legends World Championship will take place in Iceland. Originally, it was set to take place in five Chinese cities this year (Shanghai, Qingdao, Wuhan, Chengdu, and Shenzhen) before Riot shifted locale due to COVID.

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What is the League of Legends Worlds prize pool?

The League of Legends World Championship has an intial prize pool of $2,225,000. This is likely to grow, however, since Riot Games often adds a percentage of in-game sales from Championship skins.

Which teams are in League of Legends Worlds 2021?

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 / Southeast Asia region, with the remaining four spots in the group stages being filled by the four winners of the play-ins.

The teams which win the previous year’s Worlds, as well as the current year’s MSI, also grant their regions one extra spot. As DWG KIA won Worlds 2020, and Royal Never Give Up was victorious at MSI 2021, the LCK and LPL will have four representatives at this year’s Worlds.

This is what the seeding looks like for LoL Worlds 2021:

  • Four teams each: LPL (China), LCK (Korea)
  • Three teams each: LEC (Europe), LCS (North America)
  • Two teams each: PCS (Taiwan / Hong Kong / Macao / Southeast Asia), VCS (Vietnam)
  • One team each: CBLOL (Brazil), TCL (Turkey), LJL (Japan), LLA (Latin America), LCO (Oceania), LCL (Commonwealth of Independent States)

Here are the teams which have qualified for the LoL Worlds 2021 group stage:

  • DWG KIA (LCK)
  • Gen.G (LCK)
  • T1 (LCK)
  • Edward Gaming (LPL)
  • FunPlus Phoenix (LPL)
  • Royal Never Give Up (LPL)
  • MAD Lions (LEC)
  • Fnatic (LEC)
  • Rogue (LEC)
  • 100 Thieves (LCS)
  • Team Liquid (LCS)
  • PSG Talon (PCS)

And here are the teams which have qualified for the LoL Worlds 2021 play-ins:

  • Hanwha Life Esports (LCK)
  • LNG Esports (LPL)
  • Cloud9 (LCS)
  • Beyond Gaming (PCS)
  • Unicorns of Love (CIS)
  • Infinity Esports (LATAM)
  • Galatasaray Esports (TR)
  • RED Canids (BR)
  • DetonatioN FocusMe (JP)
  • PEACE (OCE)

As you may have spotted, there are only 22 teams listed here instead of the usual 24. Sadly, for the second year in a row, the two representatives from Vietnam’s VCS will miss out on LoL Worlds due to coronavirus travel restrictions.

2020 league of legends worlds play-ins groups

These were the League of Legends Worlds play-in groups:

GROUP A

  • Team Liquid
  • MAD Lions
  • Legacy Esports
  • SuperMassive eSports
  • INTZ

GROUP B

  • LGD Gaming
  • PSG Talon
  • V3 Esports
  • Unicorns of Love
  • Rainbow7

Due to Worlds 2020’s play-ins having just ten teams rather than 12 because of Vietnamese teams pulling out of the tournament, the usual format was revised to feature two groups of five.

The best four teams from the play-ins would qualify for the group stage.

2020 League of Legends Worlds Groups

These were the League of Legends Worlds groups:

GROUP A

  • Suning Esports (4-2)
  • G2 Esports (4-2)
  • Team Liquid (3-3)
  • Machi Esports (1-5)

GROUP B

  • DAMWON Gaming (5-1)
  • JD Gaming (4-2)
  • PSG Talon (2-4)
  • Rogue (1-5)

GROUP C

  • Gen.G (5-1)
  • Fnatic (4-2)
  • LGD Gaming (3-3)
  • TSM (0-6)

GROUP D

  • Top Esports (5-1)
  • DRX (4-2)
  • FlyQuest (3-3)
  • Unicorns of Love (0-6)

2020 League of Legends Worlds knockouts

Heading into the knockouts of Worlds 2020, Chinese side Top Esports and Korean top seeds DAMWON Gaming were widely billed as favourites.

While DAMWON charged through to the final, taking out DRX and G2 Esports, Top crashed out in the semi-finals to fellow Chinese team Suning.

Suning’s surprise run to the final also saw them take out the second seed from the LPL, JD Gaming.

However, it could not manage another upset and was defeated by a clinical DAMWON three games to one.

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 champion is LCK team DAMWON Gaming. It took down Suning 3-1 in the 2020 Worlds final in Shanghai.

DAMWON jungler Kim ‘Canyon’ Geon-bu was crowned Worlds final MVP.

Historically, T1 (previously SK Telecom) is the most successful team of all-time with three Worlds titles.

These are the teams that have won the League of Legends World Championship:

Year Team Nation/Region
2011 Fnatic EU
2012 Taipei Assassins Taiwan
2013 SK Telecom (T1) South Korea
2014 Samsung White South Korea
2015 SK Telecom (T1) South Korea
2016 SK Telecom (T1) South Korea
2017 Samsung Galaxy South Korea
2018 Invictus Gaming China
2019 FunPlus Phoenix China
2020 DAMWON Gaming South Korea

 

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