All 24 teams from 11 regions have already been locked in for this year’s League of Legends (LoL) World Championship, which will take place from 29 September to 5 November.
The groups have also been drawn for both the Play-In Stage and the Group Stage, with some groups looking more stacked than the others.
Here’s what the format and groupings of each stage look like:
There are 12 teams competing in the Play-Ins, all eager to advance to the Group Stage.
These teams are divided into two groups. There will be two rounds in the Play-ins stage. In Round 1, teams will play a best-of-1, Single Round-Robin format.
The top teams will advance to the Group Stage. In Round 2, the third and fourth place teams will play a best-of-five, with the winners challenging the other group’s second seed for the final spot into Groups.
This year, the Play-ins roster is a mix of familiar names from major regions and many fiery hopefuls from minor regions, hungry to prove their strength in this competition.
The Play-in Stage will kick off on 29 September at the Arena Esports Stadium (LLA Studio) in Artz Pedregal in Mexico City, Mexico, and will conclude on 4 October.
Here are the groups for the Play-ins:
Fnatic (LEC 3rd seed)
Beyond Gaming (PCS 2nd seed)
DetonationFocusMe (LJL 1st seed)
Evil Geniuses (LCS 3rd seed)
LOUD (CBLOL 1st seed)
Chiefs Esports Club (LCO 1st seed)
DRX (LCK 4th seed)
Royal Never Give Up (LPL 4th seed)
Saigon Buffalo (VCS 1st seed)
MAD Lions (LEC 4th seed)
İstanbul Wildcats (TCL 1st seed)
Isurus (LLA 1st seed)
Group Stage: Groups A and B are touted as the “Groups of Death”
In the Group Stage, 12 pre-qualified teams and the four Play-ins qualifiers will be split into four groups, where teams will play against each other in a double round-robin format.
The top two teams in each group will advance to the Knockout Stage.
Most fans and analysts are already calling Groups A and B the "Groups of Death".
Group A is piled with some of the heaviest hitters in Lol Esports history, including North American Summer champions Cloud9, 2021 reigning World Champions EDward Gaming from the LPL, and LCK's T1, the most decorated team in LoL history.
This looks like a rematch of the 2017 Groups when C9, T1, and EDG were together in one group.
Fans also noted that each team’s mid laners were the same from that year — T1’s Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok, C9’s Nicolaj "Jensen" Jensen, and EDG’s Lee “Scout” Ye-chan.
Group B will also be action-packed, headlined by the LPL’s Summer champions, JD Gaming, as well as G2 Esports, the LEC’s winningest team that also placed third in this year’s Mid-Season Invitational.
Add to that DAMWON KIA Gaming (DWG KIA), the only team in this group to ever win a Worlds title in 2020... and it's fair to see why many can’t predict who might make it out of Group B either.
We can’t say that teams in groups C and D will have an easy time, especially since both groups are filled with some of the best of the strongest regions, including Rogue Esports and Gen.G, teams that toppled the LEC and LCK’s giants this Summer.
The Worlds 2022 Group Stage will be hosted at the Hulu Theater in Madison Square Garden, New York City, from 7 to 16 October.
Here are the Groups so far:
Cloud9 (LCS 1st seed)
T1 (LCK 2nd seed)
Edward Gaming (LPL 3rd seed)
JD Gaming (LPL 1st seed)
G2 Esports (LEC 2nd seed)
DAMWON KIA (LCK 3rd seed)
Rogue Esports (LEC 1st seed)
Top Esports (LPL 2nd seed)
GAM Esports (VCS 1st seed)
100 Thieves (LCS 2nd seed)
CBTC Flying Oyster (PCS 1st seed)
Gen.G Esports (LCK 1st seed)
The surviving eight teams will compete in a best-of-five single-elimination bracket, progressing through the quarterfinals and the semifinals.
The last two teams will then face off in the best-of-five grand finals, where the winner will be crowned as the one and only World Champions and the Lion’s share of US$2,225,000.
Are you excited for Worlds? Which groups look like the most exciting, and which teams are you rooting for?
Anna is a freelance writer and photographer. She is a gamer who loves RPGs and platformers, and is a League of Legends geek. She's also a food enthusiast who loves a good cup of black coffee.