League of Legends’ biggest event of the year has officially started in Iceland.
The 2021 World Championship is now underway and runs all the way through Nov. 6.
The tournament is the culmination of the League of Legends season, with teams from all regions competing in the tournament to prove that they have what it takes to become the world champions.
This year’s tournament will feature 22 teams from all over the world. The tournament takes place in three main stages: play-ins, groups, and knockouts.
The play-in stage features 10 teams vying for four spots in the group stage. The ten teams are divided into two groups, with the top team from each group automatically qualifying for the group stage.
The teams that finish third and fourth will play a best-of-five series to determine who plays the second-place team for the last two spots in groups stages.
Among the teams taking part in this year’s play-in stage is North America’s third seed, Cloud9; Oceania’s top team, Peace; the top team from Japan, DetonatioN FocusME; Unicorns of Love, from the LCL; and the fourth-place teams from China and Korea, LNG Esports and Hanwha Life Esports.
The bigger the region, the more teams they send to the tournament. Europe and North America both sent three teams this year, with China and Korea sending four. The emerging regions, such as Japan, only send one team; the one that wins their summer season gets to compete on the international stage.
In the group, stage teams will play a double round-robin in four groups of four. The top two teams from each group advance to the knockout stage of the tournament.
Representing North America this year is the summer champion 100 Thieves, Team Liquid, and the previously mentioned Cloud9; all of which are looking to make it to the groups stage.
Other big names taking part in the group stage this year are the defending champions in DWG KIA; the MSI champions in Royal Never Give Up; the top seed from Europe, MAD Lions; esport staple organization, Fnatic; the top-seeded team from China, FunPlus Phoenix; and of course, the legendary T1 squad, featuring the player who is widely considered to be the greatest to ever play the game–Faker.
The tournament this year features a ton of talent. With plenty of familiar faces making their return to the international stage, and many new faces showing up for the first time, looking to leave their mark.
T1 Mid Laner, Faker, is participating in his sixth world tournament. The superstar player has won the tournament a whopping three times already, and he is looking to cement his legacy as the greatest player of all time.
On the opposite side is the Top Laner, Adam Maanane of Fnatic. Adam is 19 years old and has just completed his first ever split in the top league of Europe, the LEC. Adam is one of the bright stars of the game and is looking to establish himself in his first international tournament.
One of the most fun parts of the world tournament is the international rivalries. These teams typically do not get to play each other, and regional bragging rights are constantly on the line. It is always exciting to cheer on the teams from the region that you root for.
North America is typically viewed as the little brother of the other regions; so personally, I am pulling for the teams from the LCS to do well.
The LEC’s Fnatic is another team that I’m rooting for, the team has a strong international history but made a late push to qualify for the tournament this year.
Neither one of those groups of teams is considered to be heavily favored this year. DWG KIA is considered one of the strongest teams in the world, and one of the most likely winners of the tournament.
The favorites don’t always win, though, and just about every year someone unexpected makes a play for the championship, so there really is no safe bet as to who will come out as the 2021 League of Legends World Champions.