• Edward Brady

5 thoughts about the 2022 League of Legends World Championship.


- By Edward Brady


The World Championship (also known as Worlds) is the second of two yearly international tournaments in the League of Legends E-sports scene, where players compete on franchised teams for fame, pride, a considerable salary, and hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash prizes.


24 teams from 11 regions across the globe will compete for the ultimate prize in LoL E-sports, the Summoner’s Cup. The tournament will start with the play-in stage starting September 29th, before advancing to the main stage groups which will begin on October 7th before eventually ending with the finals on November 5th.


With the biggest E-sports event of the year about to go underway as teams gear up to end their seasons (with unimaginable heartbreak or euphoric joy is still up in the air), here are 5 things to look forward to as the tournament unfolds.


Bloodbath of Play-Ins


Ever since its implementation in international events in 2017, the play-in stage has mostly been a formality or a forgone conclusion. The 3rd and 4th seeds of the major regions destroy the minor regions, maybe a minor region shows something exciting, and then they get kicked in the teeth by said major region team. Aside from Hong Kong Attitude in 2017 (back when Southeast Asia was a major region), and the meltdown of MAD Lions in 2020, the major regions have always made it out relatively unscathed.


That will change this year.

There are 5 major region teams (Korea #4, China #4, North America #3, Europe #3 and #4) and only 4 spots up for grabs. At the very least, 1 major region will lose a team before the main stage. And that doesn’t even consider the dark horses. Perhaps Vietnam’s Saigon Buffalo will snag a spot. Maybe Japan’s Detonation FocusMe makes another miracle run. Or maybe LOUD finally brings Brazil back to glory. Teams in this stage can’t afford to drop their guard for even a second.

It gets even more exciting when you look at the names of the teams in this brawl. You have the MSI champions, the LCS Spring champions, the season 1 Worlds winners, a Korean squad with one of the most legendary ADCs to ever play, and a 2-time LEC champ who surged in summer. When Deft vs GALA is a play-in match, you know the tournament is loaded to the brim with talent.


A Reunion of Champions.

Perhaps the reason this tournament feels as stacked with talent as it does is the history that surrounds almost every team. Out of the 9 teams to hoist the Summoners cup (FNC, TPA, SKT, SSW, SSG, IG, FPX, DWG, EDG), and the 4 teams (EDG, SKT, RNG, G2) to lift the MSI trophy, all but 3 of the former (FPX, IG, TPA) and every one of the latter will be attending the tourney.

From the European legacy org where it all began in Fnatic, to the most famous dynasty in T1, the rebranded Samsung turned super team Gen. G, to the most recent champions in Damwon KIA and EDward Gaming. Even the 3-time MSI Champions Royal Never Give Up and Europe’s modern international hope G2 E-sports made it to the big dance.

When combining the Worlds attendance numbers of every team listed over the tourney’s 12-year existence, it adds up to 60 Worlds appearances! You’d be hard press to find a tourney with this much history surrounding the entrants.




No Hope for the West?


I am not a man who likes to write teams off before a tournament even begins. Aside from the wildcards whose title hopes are so far out of the realm of possibility, I can’t argue for them in good faith, I like to give teams a fair shake before considering their hopes dead.

But when looking at the group draw and how it shook out, it is a very difficult thing to resist doing.

Out of the 7 teams from Europe and North America, things are looking dire for almost every single one of them. Just to go down the list alternating from EU to NA, the MAD Lions made it without winning a single best-of-5 all year. Evil Geniuses might be playing with a substitute AD Carry. Fnatic were wildly inconsistent especially in best-of-1s.

100 Thieves will have to duel one of the tournament favorites and the defending MSI champions to get out while already being a team some believe to have peaked. G2 E-sports, despite being a usual hope for international success is in a group with the best team from the best region and the 2021 runner up. Cloud 9, despite being talented, is in a group with the most successful LoL org of all time and the 2021 champions. Even Rogue, EU’s number one seed with likely the easiest group is still dueling the Korean 4th seed an incredibly volatile team looking to put Vietnam back on the map, and a team who was only 1 game away twice from winning both LPL splits.

As you can see, merely getting out of groups is looking to be an uphill battle. Cloud 9 and Rogue are the only teams I’ve seen optimism around and only the latter is projected to get out. Even then, they are expected to get smacked the moment the knockout stage is drawn.


I want to believe, but I’m keeping my expectations low for both my home region and personal favorite team.


A Dynasty in the Making.


Although the question of who will be lifting the trophy is still up in the air, the question of where they’ll come from might be significantly easier to answer.

The LPL (China) has been in the process of creating a dynasty to match the LCK’s reign of terror (2013-2017) for quite a while now. It may not seem like it given that there hasn’t been one team that stands head and shoulders above the rest like SKT did back in the day. But despite the organizations changing frequently, the LPL has been standing strong for quite a while now. Since SKT was defeated by Samsung Galaxy back in 2017 Worlds, an LPL team has won the past 6 out of 8 international events.

With only a surprise upset from G2 at MSI 2019 and a dominant Damwon at Worlds 2020, it’s been all LPL, all the time. Some of their teams may underwhelm or even bomb out in the group stage, but at the end of the day, at least one of them has been left standing to claim the crown. It’s because of that modern success that I (and many others) believe all 4 LPL teams have a legitimate shot at the title.

JD Gaming have an unrivaled clutch factor, the best top laner in the world and very few exploitable weak points. TOP E-sports may be volatile at times but matched JDG blow-for-blow in summer while standing far above the other 88% of the league. EDG are the defending World Champions and have quite possibly the best ADC in the world (top 2 at worst). Even the lowest seed, RNG are the most recent international champions.

This might just be the most talented group the LPL has ever sent, and I won’t be surprised if one of them adds another Summoners Cup to the LPL’s ever-growing title case.


The Hope of the Old Guard


Despite all this praise for the LPL, there is one team I’d have confidence in to take down the LPL and bring a championship back to Korea. The (literal!) golden hope of the LCK, Gen. G.

Built by combining stars from 4 different LCK teams, (KT Rolster, Nongshim RedForce, Hanwha Life Esports, Afreeca Freecs) and their face of the franchise in Ruler, Gen. G have had a summer to remember. They went 17-1 with a +30 game differential (better than the 18-0 spring T1!).

They blasted aside an upstart in Liiv SANDBOX, and their fellow super team T1 with little difficulty in both series. All but 1 member (Peanut) won their first LCK title after many years of searching. Doran, Lehends and Chovy were reunited from the Griffin roster of old, Chovy constantly in contention for best player in the world finally got their first trophies. Ruler was a World Champion but had yet to win a title in his home region. He finally jumped that hurdle.

With so much talent at all parts, Gen. G are expected to blaze past the group stage with almost zero difficulty. They are one of the top picks to hoist the trophy when the dust settles, and if there is any team that will unseat the LPL and bring glory back to the home of E-sports, Gen. G will be that team.


The tournament will begin at 3pm CST on September 29th. You can catch all the action on https://lolesports.com/, the LoL Esports YouTube channel, or https://www.twitch.tv/riotgames .


You can also find more detailed daily coverage on https://ebworlds.wordpress.com/

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