The biggest League event in the esports calendar is just around the corner, as teams from around the globe travel to NA to compete for the Summoner's Cup. Here's a quick overview of the tournament's 3 stages.
Play-Ins Stage (September 29-October 4)
Worlds kicks off in Mexico City with the Play-Ins, beginning on September 29th. 12 teams from a mixture of major and minor regions have been sorted into two groups, where they'll play once against the other teams in their group in a best-of-one game:
The first place team in each group will automatically advance to the Group Stage, while the fifth and sixth placed teams will be eliminated from the tournament. The third and fourth placed teams will face off in a best-of-5, with the winners playing the second place team from the other group in another best-of-5. The two winners of these matches will then advance to the Group Stage.
Play-Ins are not to be underestimated this year, particuarly with the MSI champions RNG facing off against DRX in Group B. Additionally, with only 4 teams advancing, we're guaranteed to lose at least one major region team out of DRX, RNG, FNC, MAD and EG.
Group Stage (October 7-10, 13-16)
Once it's been decided which 4 teams will advance from Play-Ins, they will be randomly allocated into a group:
Teams will play against the other teams in their group two times in best-of-one games, with the top 2 teams from each group advancing to the Knockout Stage.
With a total of 6 teams from the LCK and LPL already in groups, it already looks extremely difficult for any Western team to make it out. For example, C9 looked fantastic in their LCS finals, but they will have to take down the reigning World Champions EDG and the MSI finalists T1 in order to qualify for Knockouts.
Considering no teams from the same region can be in the same group, we can start to fill out the final spots assuming major region teams advance from Play-Ins:
- RNG would join GEN, CFO and 100T in Group D
- DRX would join RGE, TES and GAM in Group C
- EG would join JDG, G2 and DK in Group B
- FNC/MAD would join C9, T1 and EDG in Group A
Knockouts (October 20-23, 29-30, & November 5)
The top 2 teams from each group will be entered into a draw to determine the bracket, with first place teams facing off against second place teams in the quarter finals. The quarter-finals, semi-finals and finals will all be single elimination best-of-5 matches, which will determine the 2022 World Champions.
The action kicks off on September 29th with Play-Ins, so make sure to tune in!