Learn how to watch the 2021 League of Legends World Championship
The 2021 League of Legends World Championship (aka Worlds) kicks off tomorrow, October fifth, marking the start of a month-long event the place 22 of the very best League of Legends groups will face off to take house the Summoner’s Cup.
Whereas Worlds is among the greatest esports competitions on the planet, League of Legends isn’t precisely the simplest recreation to begin watching. This time of yr is among the finest occasions to leap in, although, as you get to see the very best groups at their peak.
If you wish to study extra concerning the recreation — or are a longtime fan who simply needs to know extra about Worlds earlier than it begins — we’ve put collectively this primer for you.
Worlds is the concluding event within the League of Legends esports yr. Groups from across the globe have certified for the occasion after having profitable seasons of their native leagues. Consider it type of just like the Champions League in soccer; all yr lengthy, groups compete domestically for the possibility to face off in opposition to the very best from different areas.
This yr, Worlds takes place in Reykjavík, Iceland, on the Laugardalshöll indoor sporting area. The placement implies that for those who’re within the US, video games would possibly happen within the morning or early afternoon.
No followers might be in attendance on the matches themselves as a consequence of COVID-19 restrictions. The occasion was initially going to happen in China, however League of Legends developer Riot Video games needed to transfer the placement within the eleventh hour as a consequence of journey restrictions and COVID protocols.
What are the principles?
Here’s a very fundamental clarification of League of Legends. It’s a method recreation pitting two groups of 5 “champions” in opposition to one another. Every champion is managed by one participant, and every has completely different skills. The purpose of a recreation is for one crew to interrupt into the opposite crew’s base and destroy an enormous crystal, known as the Nexus.
Gamers can’t simply stroll in and whack on their opponent’s Nexus from the start of the sport, although. The bases are guarded by turrets that shoot highly effective magic vitality, auto-spawning soldier items that march towards the opposite crew’s base, and, after all, the enemy crew. Over the course of a recreation, which usually lasts about 30-45 minutes, gamers will degree up, earn in-game cash to purchase objects, skirmish in opposition to the enemy crew, and, ultimately, assault the Nexus.
I’m glossing over a variety of what occurs in a typical League of Legends match, however that’s the gist of it. For a brief video explainer with extra element, take a look at Riot’s introductory video made for final yr’s event. For a barely deeper dive, I like to recommend ESPN’s written article and video.
Who ought to I root for?
Like several sport, that’s not a simple query to reply. There are massive canines and underdogs, and also you would possibly resolve to root for a crew primarily based on their identify, their brand, or since you assume one participant is thrilling to look at.
If you wish to root for a US crew, there are three at Worlds this yr, representing the League Championship Collection (LCS): 100 Thieves, which simply gained the 2021 LCS Championship, Staff Liquid, a constant powerhouse within the LCS, and Cloud9, one of the storied groups within the league. (Cloud9 punched their ticket to Worlds by beating longtime rival TSM.) Europe is represented by League of Legends European Championship (LEC) groups MAD Lions, Rogue, and Fnatic. (Fnatic additionally earned their Worlds journey in dramatic trend, beating one in every of its rivals, G2 Esports.)
They’ll be up in opposition to some robust competitors, although. Final yr’s champions, Korea’s Damwon Gaming, have certified once more, as has Korea’s T1, the house of maybe probably the most well-known League of Legends participant of all time, Faker. The 4 groups from China’s League of Legends Professional League (LPL), together with the 2019 world champions FunPlus Phoenix and LPL 2021 champions Edward Gaming, might show to be formidable opponents as nicely.
Dot Esports has a great rundown of the 22 groups which have certified for Worlds.
Competitors begins with Play-Ins, the place 10 groups will compete for 4 spots within the Group Stage. The ten groups might be break up into two teams of 5. Every crew will play one match in opposition to the opposite groups of their group.
The crew with the very best report in every group robotically strikes on to the Group Stage. To find out who will get the ultimate two Group Stage spots, the third- and fourth-place groups in every group will play in opposition to one another, after which, the winners of these matches will play the second-place groups in every Play-In group. Whoever wins advances to the Group Stage.
Play-Ins kick off at 7AM ET on October fifth and can run by way of October ninth.
The Group Stage pits the very best groups on the earth in opposition to one another in 4 teams of 4. Three groups in every group have already been locked in, and one in every of every of the Play-In victors might be added to the teams.
Every crew will play one another crew of their group twice. The 2 groups with the very best report in every group will transfer on to the Knockout Stage, which is the ultimate stage of the event main as much as the championship match.
Teams go on for a bit longer than the Play-Ins. The primary spherical of matches runs from October eleventh by way of the thirteenth, whereas the second takes place from October fifteenth by way of the 18th.
Lastly, there’s the Knockout Stage, the place the highest eight groups from Teams vie for the championship. On this stage, groups will compete in a single-elimination bracket, taking part in one another in best-of-five matchups.
The video games happen over three weekends: a quarterfinals spherical set for October twenty second by way of twenty fifth, a semifinals spherical scheduled for October thirtieth and thirty first, and the finals match on November sixth to find out the world champion.
In the event you don’t tune into anything, contemplate trying out the Knockout Stage. The excessive caliber of groups which have superior that far are nearly all the time value watching. That doesn’t imply there aren’t blowouts or mismatches — the champions in each 2018 and 2019 gained in 3-0 sweeps — however you may count on to see some very thrilling matchups throughout these three weekends of the event.
Learn how to watch and schedule
You’ll be able to watch video games reside on the Riot Video games Twitch channel, the League of Legends esports YouTube channel, and at https://lolesports.com/. And if you wish to see the complete schedule, it’s proper right here.
And don’t miss out on the cool graphics
Riot normally makes use of Worlds to placed on a spectacular present that may be as attention-grabbing because the competitors itself. The 2017 Worlds finals ceremony included an enormous digital dragon. 2019’s opening ceremony featured holograms. And final yr, Riot made an astonishing combined actuality stage. Annually, Riot appears to do all the things it will probably to prime the final, so it certainly has some spectacular technological wizardry up its sleeve for the 2021 occasion.