Qualifying for Worlds

One of the unique aspects of professional League of Legends is the World Championship. The World Championship takes the best teams from North America, Europe, Korea, China, Taiwan and the International Wildcard Regions, and puts them in a single tournament. This year it is a new system with more teams, but qualification is the same. Qualification for Worlds is a year-long process, and this is how it works.

There are three ways to qualify for the World Championship in North America and Europe. First and most simply is to win the summer split for your region. If you place first in your summer split’s playoffs, you go to World’s as your region’s first seed. This is because that team is the strongest team in that region, so it makes sense for them to represent the region at the highest level.

The second method is more complex, and that is by accruing the most Championship/Circuit Points. A team’s placement during the spring and summer splits determines the number of circuit points that team will earn. In the spring split, the points earned by first through sixth place are ninety, seventy, fifty, thirty, ten and ten respectively. For the summer split, first place automatically qualifies, and second through sixth are awarded ninety, seventy, forty, twenty and twenty respectively. A greater value is put on the summer split because it is closer to the time of worlds and teams’ performances at Worlds are more likely to reflect summer performances than spring. The team with the most total circuit points earns the second place seed at Worlds for their region.

Lastly is to win the Gauntlet. The four teams with the next-most circuit points participate in a four-team tournament. The winner of this tournament qualifies for the third seed to go to Worlds. This method rewards teams who were at least decent throughout the split and were able to perform well right before Worlds. The classic example of this was a struggling Cloud9 finishing low on the list, barely qualifying for the gauntlet, and reverse-sweeping their way to the top for the final seed for North America in 2015. For regions with only two seeds, this is the method for determining the second team to represent that region at Worlds.

It is still very early to be making predictions for Worlds, but it definitely does not hurt to understand how the teams are selected. If you do not yet understand the LCS format, make sure to check out this article!

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