League of Legends World Championship 2017
Autumn is the time of year when League of Legends fans start to wonder who will be crowned as the world champion, and 2017 will be no different. In September 2017, the tournament will head to China, which is appropriate as there are more people playing LoL there than in any other country in the world. The event begins on September 23, before concluding in the impressive surroundings of the iconic Beijing National Stadium (also known as the ‘Bird’s Nest’) on November 4. With a slightly different format in place for this year’s tournament, fans should see plenty of thrills and spills along the route to the final.
A welcome change
The new format ensures that there is a truly global spread to this year’s event, with teams from all of the world’s top regional tournaments lined up to compete. The tournament will not begin with a group stage of 16 teams, as it did in 2016 in the USA. Instead, 24 teams will take part, with the first part of the tournament consisting of a play-in stage. The three Korean teams who participate will get a bye through this initial stage, due to their nation’s traditional dominance in LoL.
But the number three seeds from China, North America, Europe and the LMS countries of Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan will not be handed automatic group stage places, which is a new feature of the tournament. Instead, they will have to battle through the play-in stage, alongside teams from Brazil, CIS/Russia, Japan, Latin America North, Latin America South, Oceania, South East Asia and Turkey. The Mid Season invitational Event, scheduled to take place in Brazil in April and May of 2017, will help to shape the rankings for the League of Legends World Championship 2017. The Latin America South region will also receive a third seed in 2017.
The first round of the tournament will be played in a double round robin style, with best of one matches being used. Teams will be randomly sorted into four groups of three. The lowest team from each group will be going home early. Once round two kicks off, teams will be competing in best of five matches, which will be played between randomised groupings of the top two teams from each of the first round groups. The top four teams from the play-in phase will then move into the main group stage of the LoL World Championship, where they will join the seeded teams. From there, the format used to determine the final standings will be the same as that used for the 2016 edition of the tournament.
A prize pool of at least $2,130,000 is on offer at the League of Legends World Championship 2017, and those lucrative winnings are complemented with some fine venues. The play-in and the group stage will be played in Wuhan, at the Wuhan Sports Centre Gymnasium, from September 23 through to September 29. The group stage will take place from October 5 through to October 15, and will also be staged in Wuhan. The quarter finals are scheduled for October 19 through to October 22, and will be held at the Guangzhou Gymnasium. The semi finals, to be held at the Shanghai Oriental Sports Centre, take place on October 28 and 29.
The LoL World Championship will then culminate in style at the Bird’s Nest on November 4. Fans will be hoping that this Olympian setting helps to produce some heroic performances from the world’s best players.