Worlds 2022: The Play-In Stage Itinerary
- By Edward Brady
The World Championship (also known as Worlds) is the second of two yearly international tournaments in the League of Legends Esports 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 will compete for the ultimate prize in LoL esports, 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.
As the 1st phase is almost here, who will be leaving the play-in stage with their hopes and dreams intact? Who is going to be the biggest surprise? What are the duels that will shape the outcome of the groups? Here is every play-in team’s roster, expectations summed up in 30 words, along with key narratives, and my predictions.
#1 Evil Geniuses, LCS (North America)
ADC: Kaori (subbing for Danny)
TLDR: Despite a substitute ADC in Kaori, Evil Geniuses’ MSI run proved that they handle opponents they should beat well (8-0 vs minor regions). A weak group should serve them wonders.
#2 Megabank Beyond Gaming PCS
TLDR: An originally unexciting team can now feast on a weakened group. The group is almost anyone’s to win, but BYG is the least battered and might have the most solid floor.
#3 Fnatic, LEC (Europe)
ADC: BEAN (subbing for Upset)
Support: Rhuckz (subbing for Hylissang)
TLDR: An already incredibly volatile team will be playing with 2 subs. They could go undefeated or completely collapse. The former favorite is now an enigma. Good luck.
#4 Detonation FocusMe, LJL (Japan)
TLDR: Despite the breakthrough in 2021, losing Aria hurt. Although even their least favorable matches are 50/50, they don’t quite have the same guaranteed X-factor that will see them through.
#5 LOUD, CBLoL (Brazil)
TLDR: I want to believe in player experience and Brazil’s general improvement, but I can’t give them the benefit of the doubt. I would keep a close eye on them, however.
#6 Chiefs Esports Club, LCO (Oceania)
TLDR: Despite this being the LCO’s super team, the LCO is one of the worst regions for a reason. They are probably outmatched by large margins in all aspects by everyone.
Highest chance to disappoint: Fnatic
Most exciting dark horse: LOUD
Most Important matches: FNC vs EG (day 1), DFM vs LLL (day 1), Winner of DFM/LLL vs FNC (days 2/3), BYG vs FNC (day 4)
#1 Royal Never Give Up, LPL (China)
TLDR: This is a team that can win the entire tournament. They are going to eat 80% of this group alive, DRX hasn’t shown enough for me to expect the upset.
#2 DRX, LCK (South Korea)
TLDR: Only 2 LCK teams have failed to make it out of groups over 11 years. RNG is a much better team, but they should annihilate everyone else with little effort.
#3 MAD Lions, LEC (Europe)
TLDR: Mediocre international history + no bo5 victories in 2022 = very shaky confidence. Should be solid enough, but I am waiting for games to be played before I get excited.
#4 Saigon Buffalo, VCS (Vietnam)
TLDR: A decent MSI performance puts them well above their fellow wildcards. But the top 2 are simply too solid. They could snipe a spot via knockouts if everything breaks right.
#5 Isurus, LLA (Latin America)
TLDR: The LLA has taken a nosedive in international relevance over 2 years. With the strength of the other teams, there’s little room for them to sneak into a playoff spot.
#6 Istanbul Wildcats, TCL (Turkey)
TLDR: The TCL has had an unbelievably harsh fall from grace. Two terrible (1-5) MSI appearances leave little reason to have faith in the Wildcats. Please give HolyPhoenix a decent team.
Highest chance to disappoint: MAD Lions
Most exciting dark horse: Saigon Buffalo
Most important games: DRX vs RNG (day 1), ISG vs MAD (day 1) SGB vs DRX (day 2), MAD vs SGB (day 3)
Knockout Round Predictions
#4B Saigon Buffalo 3-1 Megabank Beyond Gaming #2A: The only reason I believe BYG will be the 2nd seed is because of Fnatic’s subs. I believe the VCS is better than the PCS currently and it will show here.
The tournament will begin at 3 P.M. CST with Latin America’s Isurus vs Europe’s MAD Lions. You can catch all the action on https://lolesports.com/
If you want an in-depth breakdown of all these teams and daily coverage, you can find it here!