League of Legends World Championship
The League of Legends World Championship is the annual professional League of Legends world championship tournament hosted by Riot Games and is the culmination of each season. Teams compete for the champion title, the 70-pound Summoner's Cup, and a multi-million-dollar championship prize. In 2018, the finals were watched by 99.6 million people, breaking 2017's finals' viewer record. The tournament has been praised for its ceremonial performances, while receiving attention worldwide due to its multiple dramatic and emotional series. A donation of US$2 million was raised through the sales of the Worlds 2017 Championship Ashe skin.
LA 2024, which is overseeing the Los Angeles bid for the 2024 Summer Olympics was inspired by the growing success of League of Legends World Championship and is considering to plan and include esports in the Olympic Games if they win the bid. Casey Wasserman, the chairman of LA 2024, suggested using technology used in certain segments of League of Legends Worlds such as augmented reality and virtual reality to make the Olympics more accessible to a younger demographic.
The League of Legends World Championships has gained tremendous success and popularity, making it among the world's most prestigious and watched tournaments, as well as the most watched video game in the world. Due to its success, esports scenes became prominent and widely seen as a potential Olympics event, already being included as a medal event in 2022 Asian Games.
The tournament is known to rotate its venues across different major countries and regions each year in a rotating manner. South Korea's T1 currently holds the highest record of wins, with three world championship wins.
TrophyRiot Games, which owns League of Legends, commissioned the winner's trophy known as the Summoner's Cup. Riot specified that it should weigh 70 pounds, though the actual weight of the finished cup was reduced so it would not be too heavy to lift in victory. Thomas Lyte, having already created the Season Two World Championship Cup in 2012, crafted the winners' trophy for the 2014 games.
Teams which have reached the top fourTeams/Organization has been disbanded, acquired or no longer participating in the regional league.
|Royal Never Give Up||2||1|
|NaJin Black Sword||1|
Regions which have reached the top four: Region had two teams that finished in 3rd/4th place in this year.
Season 2After Season 1, Riot announced that 5,000,000 would be paid out over Season 2. Of this $5 million, $2 million went to Riot's partners including the IGN Pro League and other major esports associations. Another $2 million went to Riot's Season 2 qualifiers and championship. The final $1 million went to other organizers who applied to Riot to host independent League of Legends tournaments.
The Season 2 World Championship was held in early October 2012 in Los Angeles, California to conclude the 5 million season. Twelve qualifying teams from around the world participated in the championship, which boasted the largest prize pool in the history of e-sports tournaments at the time at 2 million, with 1 million going to the champions. The group stage, quarter-final, and semi-final matches took place between 4 and 6 October. The grand final took place a week after, on 13 October in the University of Southern California's Galen Center in front of 10,000 fans, and were broadcast in 13 different languages. In the grand final, Taiwan's professional team Taipei Assassins triumphed over South Korea's Azubu Frost 3-to-1 and claimed the 1 million in prize money.
Over 8 million viewers tuned in to the Season 2 World Championship broadcast, with a maximum of 1.1 million concurrent viewers during the grand final, making the Season 2 World Championship the most watched esports event in history at the time.
Season 3The Season 3 World Championship was held in late 2013 in Los Angeles, California. 14 teams from North America, Korea, China, Southeast Asia, Europe, and one of the emerging League of Legends territories measured up at the World Playoffs after having qualified through their regional competitions. The grand final were held in the Staples Center on 4 October 2013, where Korean team SK Telecom T1 defeated the Chinese team Royal Club, granting them the title of the Season 3 world champions, the Summoner's Cup and the $1 million prize.
The Season 3 World Championship grand final broadcast on 4 October was watched by 32 million people with a peak concurrent viewership of 8.5 million. The numbers once again beat the previous records for esports viewership.
Season 4The 2014 World Championship featured 16 teams competing for a $2.13 million prize pool, with 14 teams qualifying from the primary League of Legends regions and two international wildcard teams.
The group stage began 18 September in Taipei and concluded 28 September in Singapore with eight teams advancing to the bracket stage. The bracket stage started on 3 October in Busan, South Korea, and concluded on 19 October with the grand final hosted at the 45,000-seats Seoul World Cup Stadium, where South Korean team Samsung Galaxy White beat the Chinese team Star Horn Royal Club to become the 2014 League of Legends world champions.
American band Imagine Dragons contributed the theme song "Warriors" for the tournament, and performed live on the grand final stage in South Korea. All games were made available for free via live streaming.
The 2014 World Championship games were streamed live by 40 broadcast partners, and cast in 19 languages. The grand final was watched by 27 million people, with concurrent viewership peaking at over 11 million viewers.
Top fourThe name and player ID in bold letters refer to the player who received the final MVP award. This is same in the tournaments below.
Season 5After the 2014 season, Riot Games introduced a number of changes to competitive League of Legends. The number of teams in the League Championship Series was increased from 8 to 10 in both the North America and Europe regions. A second Riot Games official international tournament was announced, the Mid-Season Invitational, which took place in May 2015, and featured a single team from each major region and one international wildcard. Additionally, starting from 2015, all teams are required to field a head coach in their competitive matches, who will stay on stage and speak with the team via voice-chat in the pick-ban phase of the game. This change makes the head coach an officially recognized member of the team.
The 2015 World Championship concluded the 2015 season, and was held at several venues across Europe in October 2015. Like the 2014 World Championship, the 2015 World Championship was a multi-city, multi-country event.
2015 Worlds was won by SK Telecom T1, their second title, as they won the 2013 Worlds too. SKT top laner Jang "MaRin" Gyeong-Hwan was named the tournament most valuable player.
The finals were watched by 36 million people, with a peak concurrent viewership of 14 million viewers.
Season 6The various stages of the 2016 Worlds were held throughout the United States in Chicago, San Francisco, New York City, and the finals in Los Angeles.
The Groups of teams were decided through a live Group Draw Show on 10 September. The games were played on the 6.18 patch of the game with Yorick disabled and Aurelion Sol was disabled for days 1-3. There were 16 teams and 4 groups that consisted of 4 teams. The group stage was Bo1 and the top two teams from each groups would advance to the Knockout Stage.
The Knockout Stage was Bo5 and the #1 vs #2 teams from each group would face each other in the bracket.
The total prize pool was US$6,700,000 and it was spread among the teams. The first place took $2,680,000, the second team took $1,005,000, the third place took $502,500. The rest of the prize pool was distributed among the 5th-16th places.
SKT won 3-2 vs. Samsung Galaxy in the 2016 , with Faker winning the MVP award, and along with teammate Bengi captured their third world championship in four seasons, cementing SKT's legacy as the most dominant League of Legends team in the world.
The finals were watched by 43 million people, with a peak concurrent viewership of 14.7 million viewers, breaking 2015's finals' viewer records.
Season 7The 2017 World Championship series started in September 2017, and concluded in November 2017. It was held in 4 different locations throughout China: Wuhan, Guangzhou, Shanghai, and Beijing. It was played on patch 7.18, with the newest champion Ornn being disabled. Patch 7.18 is slightly older than patches 7.19 and 7.20, which are the new standard for online matches during the September - November period. The most notable difference being the stronger Ardent Censer support meta with patch 7.18.
A total of 24 teams participated in the tournament: 3 teams from South Korea, China, North America, Europe and Taiwan/Hong Kong/Macau; 1 team from Brazil, Latin America North, Latin America South, Japan, Oceania, Turkey, Southeast Asia and CIS/Russia; and 1 team from the Wildcard region with the highest rank finish at the 2017 Mid-Season Invitational.
Samsung Galaxy reversed the previous year's result and defeated SK Telecom T1 3-0 in the 2017 World Championship Finals. Park "Ruler" Jae-hyuk, the AD carry of Samsung, was named MVP.
The finals were watched by 60 million people, breaking 2016's finals' viewer records. The tournament is widely praised for its high quality of plays and amazing ceremonial performances, while receiving worldwide attention for its dramatic and emotional series. It is currently the most watched tournament in League of Legends' history, and is lauded as one of the best.
Prize Pool: $2,350,000 + ~$2,650,000 Fan Contribution = ~5 million as of 7 October.
Season 8The 2018 World Championship was held from 1 October to 3 November 2018, in 4 cities across South Korea: Seoul, Busan, Gwangju, and Incheon. Twenty four teams qualified for the tournament based on their placement in regional circuits such as those in North America, Europe, South Korea, and China, with twelve of those teams having to reach the group stage via a play-in round.
The 2018 World Championship was played on Patch 8.19. Notably, champions Aatrox, Alistar and Urgot were extremely prevalent in the tournament, with the three characters being picked or banned in over 90% of the 78 games played. The World Championship Finals were played between Invictus Gaming and Fnatic. Invictus Gaming won 3-0 against Fnatic, granting China and the LPL their first World Championship. Gao "Ning" Zhenning was named the MVP of the series in their victory.
The finals were watched by 99.6 million unique viewers, with concurrent viewership reaching a peak of 44 million viewers, breaking 2017's finals' viewership record.
Season 9The 2019 World Championship was held between 2 October to 10 November 2019, in three countries and cities in Europe: Berlin, Madrid, and Paris. Twenty-four teams qualified to participate at the World Championship based on placement within their own regional leagues and previous regional results in international play.
The 2019 World Championship was played on Patch 9.19 from start to finish. The World Championship Finals were played on 10 November 2019 between LPL's FunPlus Phoenix and LEC's G2 Esports at AccorHotels Arena in Paris. FunPlus Phoenix won 3-0 against G2 Esports, granting China and the LPL back-to-back World Championships. Gao "Tian" Tianliang was named the MVP of the series in their victory.