League of Legends World Championship Kicks Off Knockout Round

-By Edward Brady

The 10th annual League of Legends World Championship has finished up the group stage and will begin the Knockout round at 5am on October 15th.

This yearly tournament is the culmination of the professional League of Legends scene and features 22 teams from 12 regions all around the world. Normally there would be 24 teams, but due to the global pandemic the representatives from the Vietnam Championship Series (VCS) Team Flash and GAM Esports, were unable to travel to China to compete.

The tournament runs for almost a month and consists of 4 stages, the final stage will kick off tomorrow at 5 AM with a best of 5 match between Damwon Gaming and DRX, a rematch of the League of Legends Champions Korea (LCK) finals. Damwon are considered heavy favorites for this match having swept DRX 3-0 the last time they met. Damwon are also considered to be a top choice to win the whole tournament alongside China’s Top Esports.

The tournament, being the biggest esports event of the year, with the finals of last year’s World Championship between China’s FunPlus Phoenix and Europe’s G2 Esports reaching a peak viewership of 44 million concurrent viewers as well as playing in front of a sold-out AccorHotels Arena in Paris France, means quite a bit to the UNT Esports program. I spoke to Ryan Lucich, the Graduate Assistant for the UNT Esports program, about what worlds means to UNT Esports.

When asked about how important Worlds is to UNT Esports, he told me that, “Worlds is very important to the program, as collegiate and amateur teams (such as UNT) rely on professional play to look at different strategies and champion picks. It allows the players to see what the best in the world are doing in their role and take ideas and strategies from them.”

The tournament resumes tomorrow with Damwon vs DRX. On Friday, it’s a battle between the Chineese League of Legends Pro League’s (LPL) 2nd seed JD Gaming and 3rd seed Suning. On Saturday, the LPL juggernaut Top Esports squares off with the League of Legends European Championship’s (LEC) Fnatic, with a rematch of the 2018 World finals in the bottom lane between JackeyLove and Rekkles. Finally, on Sunday, LCK 3rd seed and 2017 World Champions, (under the name Samsung Galaxy) Gen. G take on the 2019 World finalists and 8-time LEC champions, G2 Esports. The Semifinals are on October 24th and 25th with the Finals and the conclusion of Worlds 2020 taking place on October 31st. All matches are best of 5, and all matches begin at 5 A.M. Central Standard Time.