Never The Same – A Look At The League Of Legends World Championship Series Tournament Formats

NeverTheSamestrip

There have been four League of Legends World Championship Tournaments and all four of them have had completely different tournament formats.  RIOT shouldn’t be faulted for this, their game was growing almost exponentially from year to year.  As the game gained popularity throughout the world, new leagues formed and new qualifiers were needed.  The League of Legends World Championship Series grew from a modest eight team tournament held in a single location over a weekend, to 16 team premiere cup series that lasts over a month and travels around the globe.

But, maybe it’s time to look at the

Season 1 World Championship

Regions: 4 – North America, Europe, Singapore, Philippines 
Teams:
8
Stages: 3
– Group Stage: Round Robin Bo1, 2 Groups of 4
– Relegation Stage: Single Elimination Bo3, Higher seed receives 1 game advantage in series
– Bracket Stage: Double Elimination Bo3
Byes to Bracket Stage: 0
Games Played: 29
Most / Least Games Played by a Team: 11 / 3
Average Games Played by a Team: 3 – 4
Length: 3 Broadcasts, June 18th-20th, 2011
Prize Pool: $99,500

The first World Championship was held in Jönköping, Sweden in June of 2011.  The field of competitors consisted of eight teams from three regions of the globe.  North America was represented by Team SoloMid, Counter Logic Gaming, and Epik Gamer.  Europe brought Fnatic, against All authority, and gamed!de.  Finally, Xan and Team Pacific emerged from Asia through separate qualifiers in Singapore and the Phillipines.

The first stage of the tournament was a group stage round robin best of one.  The eight teams were divided into two groups of four and the first place team from each group advanced to the playoffs whereas the second and third place teams would be sent to the relegation round.  The next stage in the tournament was the relegation round where the second place team from group A played the third place team from group B and vice verse.  The relegation round is a single elimination best of three match whose winners will go through to the playoffs.

Season_One_Championship

The playoffs are a double elimination best of three with an extended series rule that came into play during the final match of the tournament.  Fnatic and against All authority played in the upper bracket final and later played again in the championship.  Because Fnatic defeated aAa in the upper bracket final they started the championship series with a game advantage due to the extended series rule.  aAa won the first game of the finals to tie the series 1-1, but Fnatic defeated aAa in the final game to win the Championship.

Season 2 World Championship

Regions: 6 – North America, Europe, Korea, China, Southeast Asia, Taiwan/Hong Kong/Macau
Teams:
12
Stages: 2
– Group Stage: Round Robin Bo1, 2 Groups of 4
– Bracket Stage: Single Elimination Bo3, Grand Finals Bo5
Byes to Bracket Stage: 4*
Games Played: 31
Most / Least Games Played by a Team: 12 / 2
Average Games Played by a Team: 2 – 3
Length: 5 Broadcasts between October 4th and October 13th, 2012
Prize Pool: $2,000,000

*5 teams qualified for a bye, so a random drawing was done to determine which team would have to enter the tournament in the group stage.

2012 brought the Season 2 World Championship and a $2,000,000 prize pool including a $1,000,000 first place prize.  The tournament took place in early October in Los Angeles, California.  Twelve teams from six different global regions competed for the

7pUoE

Season 3 World Championship

Regions: 7 – North America, Europe, Korea, China, Southeast Asia, Taiwan/Hong Kong/Macau, International Wild Card 
Teams:
 14
Stages: 2
– Group Stage: Double Round Robin Bo1, 2 Groups of 5
– Bracket Stage: Single Elimination Bo3, Semi-Finals and Grand Finals Bo5
Byes to Bracket Stage: 4
Games Played: 43
Most / Least Games Played by a Team: 18 / 2
Average Games Played by a Team: 3
Length: 11 Broadcasts between September 15th and October 4th, 2013
Prize Pool: $2,050,000

Season_Three_Championship_Bracket

Season 4 World Championship

Regions: 7 – North America, Europe, Korea, China, Southeast Asia, Taiwan/Hong Kong/Macau, International Wild Card
Teams:
 16
Stages: 2
– Group Stage: Double Round Robin Bo1, 4 Groups of 4
– Bracket Stage: Single Elimination Bo5
Byes to Bracket Stage: 0
Games Played: 74
Most / Least Games Played by a Team: 20 / 6
Average Games Played by a Team: 4 – 5
Length: 15 Broadcasts between September 18th and October 19th, 2014
Prize Pool: $2,130,000

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