The League of Legends World Championship Format Explained

The League of Legends World Championship is just around the corner and this year is going to be a juicy time. Who is going to lift the Summoner's Cup and who will go home crying?

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Let's go over the format for the upcoming World Championship. | © Riot Games

FIFA might be releasing at the end of September, but what fans are actually looking forward to at the end of the month is one thing and one thing only: The League of Legends World Championship. Yeah, I'm out here throwing shade at FIFA, but we all know that Worlds far surpasses some soccer game.

Okay, enough shade, now it's time to focus on the LoL Worlds 2022 and the format this year's event is going to have. Seriously, if you've watched Worlds in recent years, you'll know it, but for anyone who got into League of Legends this year – first of all, I'm sorry – we're going to quickly recap what you need to know.

League of Legends World Championship Format: What You Need to Know

One of the most important things to know about the format of the World Championship is that Worlds will have three different phases. We always have a Play-In Phase, followed by the main stage which is made up of a Group Phase and the Knockout Rounds. Let's go over each phase of the tournament in greater detail, though.


Play-In Phase

The first phase of the tournament is the Play-In Phase. In this play-in phase, the final four teams of the main event will be chosen. Twelve teams compete in two groups of 6 to try and earn the final spots in the tournament. The Play-In phase will kick off the event.

The Play-In Phase will be held in Mexico City. First teams will play one game against every other team in their group. Those teams seeded in first place after that will automatically qualify for the Group Phase, which leaves two more spots open.

The second place teams move onto the Play-In Playoffs while the fourth place teams will have to play a best-of-five against the opposite group's third place team. The winner of this match will play another best-of-five against the second placed team to determine who gets the final two spots in the Group Phase of the Main Event.

Main Stage: Group Phase

We move onto the Group Phase which features sixteen teams in total. There are four groups of four featured. In each group teams play against one another in a best-of-one series two times. The teams in first and second place will make it to the Knockout Stage of the event and will finally get to play some best-of-five series.

According to previous years teams of the same region are not allowed to be in the same group, though with the addition of a fourth LEC team this time around we might have to have 2 LPL or 2 LEC teams in the same group.

Main Stage: Knockout Phase

From here on out, we finally get some best-of-fives in the tournament. This part of the tournament follows a single elimination bracket and moves through the quarter-finals, into the semi-finals and finally into the big finals event which will take place in San Francisco.

Eight teams will make it into the Knockout Phase of the tournament, meaning we're going to have four quarter-final games, two semi-final games and one grand finale. Now one thing we do have to ask, who is your top team for pick'ems this year?

Problems With This Worlds Format

Many fans have expressed their dissatisfaction with this specific format of the League of Legends World Championship. Many fans believe that having a lower bracket for teams that lost would make the whole tournament more exciting and would also give fans more to watch. Especially the one-week wait between semi-finials and finals makes fans feel less excited and hyped for the tournament in general.

Also, with the introduction of lower bracket runs in leagues like the LPL and LEC, we've seen a lot of insanely cool lower bracket runs which resulted in some exciting esports action. LNG played some of the best best-of-five series this summer, and they ended up in the lower bracket, winning game after game.

Fans want to see more best-of-five games and the current format of the League of Legends World Championship doesn't give the fans what they want. On Twitter and Reddit, fans have asked whether Riot will make changes, especially since VALORANT Champions has a lower bracket format, so it's not like Riot is completely against this format... right?