Riot games will be taking their world championships to the land of massive walls and cool martial arts. Spanning September 23 – May 21, LoL Worlds 2017 will be taking place in Wuhan, Guangzhou, Shanghai and Beijing. This follows the announcement that LoL’s other major tournament, the Mid-Season International, will be held in São Paulo, Brazil. This is hardly surprising, given that South America has had the fan base for a long time, with teams like paiN Gaming and Keyd Stars representing their native Brazil. Less than two years ago, both Twitch and Youtube even had to open new servers in São Paulo and Rio De Janeiro, just to cope with the traffic from Brazilian eSports fanatics.
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The World championships themselves will feature 24 teams from Brazil, China, CIS, Europe, Japan, Korea, Latin America (North), Latin America (South), North America, Oceania, Southeast Asia, LMS (which is Taiwan, Macau and Hong Kong) and Turkey. This is a significant increase on last year’s 16 teams and will require a play-in stage prior to the main tournament, with Korea (arguably the strongest region) getting to skip this phase and head straight to the group stages. Furthermore, LMS will be getting a third seed, given the region’s growth on the scene since last year.
This initial pre-tournament round will involve one team from each of Brazil, CIS, Japan, Latin America (North), Latin America (South), Oceania, SEA, and Turkey, as well as the third seed from China, Europe, LMS and North America. Ultimately, we will end up with four teams that come through from the play-ins, three teams from Korea, the top two seeded teams from each of China, Europe, LMS and North America and one team which will earn a bye from the MSI.