League of Legends Worlds: it’s time for the playoffs!

The 2019 edition of the League of Legends World Championship has already been quite an exciting affair, and it’s only going to get more interesting in the knockout stage with massive prestige and money on the line.

2019’s League of Legends season is drawing to a close with the World Championship field down to the last eight – three of which are European sides, pushing the envelope in unexpected fashion. Both G2 and SKT are still standing, the bastions of the game who were heavily expected to do well in this tournament. The successes of Splyce and Fnatic were a lot less likely going into the event, but they are also in the running for the lions’ share of the initial $2 225 000 prize pool. Last year, 12.5% of all revenue from Championship Kha’Zix & Championship Ward skins was added to the total prize pool and another 12.5% was to be equally distributed among the teams: we assume there’s a similar arrangement in place this time around..

The 2019 World Championship is the crowning event of League of Legends esports for the year. The tournament welcomes 24 teams from all regions of the game in a months-long race for the Summoner’s Cup. It is the first time since 2015 that it takes place in Europe after Chinese and Korean locations in the past few years. The field has been winnowed to eight, and it stands to get even smaller as we look for the best League of Legends team of the year. You can’t just fluke your way to glory here: every single match will be a best-of-five series from now on.

Only one of the LPL teams failed to make the playoffs: Royal Never Give Up’s third-place finish in Group C behind SKT and Fnatic was a massive disappointment to Chinese fans. On the other hand, FunPlus Phoenix topped Group B and Invictus Gaming finished second in Group D. In Group A, Griffin finished ahead of G2 Esports on tiebreakers.

Eight of the 24 teams had to fight to get a spot in the group stage by getting through a play-in stage first – with MAMMOTH, MEGA Esports, DetonatioN FocusMe and Flamengo eSports failing the task –, and two of those teams ended up making it to the playoff brackets. Vizicsacsi made good of his first LCS opportunity as he and Splyce secured a playoff spot in second place in Group B, while DAMWON Gaming won Group D outright, setting up a barnburner of a match with G2 in the quarters. This, of course, means that three of the top four finishers of the League of Legends World Championship 2018 are still in the running this time around: Invictus Gaming, Fnatic and G2 are still kicking, even if Cloud9 failed to make it out of the groups.

The playoffs stage begins on October 26th with the first two quarterfinals (FunPlus Phoenix versus Fnatic and Griffin versus Invictus Gaming) with the next two (DAMWON Gaming vs G2 and SKT vs Splyce) on the 27th. The rest of the tournament will take place in November: the semis are slated for November 2nd and 3rd in Madrid, with the final on November 10th in Paris’ Accorhotels Arena.