International League of Legends esports events have struggled with bringing together full lineups of teams in recent years. That will again be the case at Worlds 2022, but things will at least be sorted in advance this time around, much to the delight of LEC team and their fans.
Riot Games gave LoL fans an update on the season-ending event, detailing the event’s structure and format. Though much of this was expected, one important bit of news was confirmed.
The LCL will not have a representative competing at Worlds 2022. The Russian league that is home to fan-favorite team Unicorns of Love had its spring split canceled after just two weeks of competition. The summer split never started, and it’s unlikely that it will at this point.
This frees up one spot in the Worlds 2022 play-in stage and unlike other recent events, it will not just be left open. Instead, the LEC will have four representatives at the event with seeding determined in the playoffs. According to Riot Games, this is because Europe “has had the best performance during international events over the past two years, but does not already have 4 team berths.”
This means that two European teams will be in the play-in stage. This is rough news for teams in the play-in stage, as it means more competition just to qualify for the main event at Worlds 2020.
With the announcement that an extra team from the LEC will start in the play-in stage, the regional breakdown stands as follows:
Worlds has used the same format in recent years for its play-in stage. Teams are divided between two groups and play in a round-robin. Groups are partly random but are seeded based on regional strength across recent international events.
Teams from the same league are typically split into separate groups. This means that both groups will have a European team, then either a Korean or Chinese team. Given the fact that only four teams advance out of the play-in stage, this is a blow to the hopes of every competing team, both those from major regions and the wild card hopefuls who will now be facing an even harder play-in stage path at Worlds 2020.
Worlds 2022 will run from September 29 to November 5, starting in Mexico City and concluding in San Francisco.