Worlds 2021 champions Edward Gaming in Iceland. | Photo by Clive Rose/Riot Games Inc. by way of Getty Images

The climate is cooling down, leaves are beginning to change shade, and PSLs are in every single place, which may solely imply one factor: it’s time for the League of Legends World Championship. The annual esports match, higher recognized merely as Worlds, kicks off on September twenty ninth. Following a couple of years of competitions hampered by COVID-related restrictions, the 2022 version seems to be to be extra in step with the spectacle followers are used to.

This 12 months, the occasion is going down throughout a number of cities in North America, beginning off in Mexico City and culminating with the finals in San Francisco, the place none other than Lil Nas X will be performing at the opening ceremony. As all the time, there are many intriguing storylines, however maintaining with all the pieces is usually a problem with the occasion unfold throughout a number of cities over the course of a month. Here’s all the pieces it’s essential to know to observe alongside.

What is Worlds?

Put merely: it’s the most important annual aggressive gaming occasion on the earth. It pulls collectively the most effective League of Legends groups from throughout the globe, who spend all 12 months competing of their home leagues with the hope of qualifying for the massive occasion. The earlier champions, Edward Gaming from China’s League of Legends Pro League, are returning to defend their title, however there’s some stiff competitors.

In whole, there shall be 24 groups competing: 4 from China; 4 from Korea; 4 from Europe; three from North America; and a set of groups from different areas together with Brazil, Japan, and Oceania. Choosing a favourite isn’t a simple job. The Edward Gaming workforce has the troublesome problem of attempting to change into the primary repeat winner since 2016, but it surely’ll be up towards some resurgent groups from Korea’s LCK, together with league champions Gen.G and perennial contenders T1, led by the legendary Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok. And hey, perhaps that is the 12 months the underachieving groups from North America lastly break via. It may occur.

It also needs to be famous that groups are nonetheless having to navigate the challenges of COVID. Most notably, Fnatic, certainly one of Europe’s prime sides, will have to rely on at least one substitute after a string of constructive checks.

Last 12 months, Worlds took place in Reykjavík, Iceland, with out followers in attendance as a result of pandemic. This 12 months, issues are somewhat extra like a touring highway present. The occasion itself is split right into a collection of rounds, every of which is able to happen in a special metropolis. The play-in spherical goes from September twenty ninth to October 4th in Mexico City, that includes the lower-seeded groups. Then issues actually kick off within the group stage, which takes place from October seventh via the sixteenth in New York City and can see heavy hitters like Edward, T1, Gen.G, and extra enter the match.

From there, the highest eight groups transfer on to the knockout phases: the quarterfinals will proceed in NYC from October twentieth to the twenty third, the semifinals shall be in Atlanta on October twenty ninth and thirtieth, and the ultimate match will happen on November fifth in San Francisco’s Chase Center, residence of the Golden State Warriors. This video offers an excellent rundown of the format:

Oh, and the groups shall be competing for a brand-new trophy. Riot partnered with Tiffany & Co. to revamp the enduring Summoner’s Cup into one thing somewhat sleeker and fewer intimidating.

Meet president Lil Nas X

While the primary draw of Worlds is the competitors, lately that has typically been overshadowed by the opening ceremony, which takes place earlier than the ultimate match. It’s form of like a extremely nerdy model of the Super Bowl halftime present. Past opening ceremonies have utilized augmented reality, holograms, and high-tech soundstages to create gorgeous musical performances. In absence of a dwell occasion final 12 months, Riot created an impressive music video for Imagine Dragons, tied to the Netflix series Arcane.

For 2022, we’re going again to a dwell efficiency by Lil Nas X. Riot launched Lil Nas as League of Legends’ new president as a part of the lead-up to the occasion. And whereas we don’t know what his precise Worlds efficiency will appear like, the singer mentioned in a press release that he would “put on the biggest, coolest, sexiest Worlds in the history of all Worlds,” which sounds fairly good. Earlier this month, he launched the track “Star Walkin’,” which is able to function the anthem for Worlds 2022.

How to observe

All of the matches can be found to stream on the Riot Games Twitch channel, the League of Legends esports YouTube channel, and the League of Legends esports homepage. The first match kicks off on September twenty ninth at 4PM ET — and you may observe together with the entire schedule right here.

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