Where better to host League of Legends’ biggest event than South Korea, where eSports long ago reached its natural position at the heart of pop culture? Riot Games have booked out the Sangam Stadium for the occasion – a “world-class sports arena” which once hosted the 2002 FIFA World Cup.
Group stages for this year’s LoL World Championship will take place in Taipei and Singapore in September, before a quarter-final bust-up in Busan, Korea in October.
Riot and the winning teams will then relocate to Seoul – home of defending champions SKT T1 K – for the semi-finals and final.
A new event format will see sixteen teams compete this year – three each from North America, Europe, Korea and China, two from Taiwan and South-East Asia, and two international wild card winners.
They’ll be placed into four qualifying groups, and the top two from each will head off to Busan for the quarter-finals.
“We’re looking forward to making our first stop in some of these regions and bringing the most talented League of Legends competitors in the world directly to local fans,” wrote Riot.
“We’re opening the door for more teams and more world-class talent from around the globe – all hungry for the chance to lift the Summoner’s Cup.”
Ticket information will begin popping up over the next few weeks. Will you be booking a World Cup-style holiday, do you think? Or staying home with Twitch?