We now know which 16 teams will compete in the League of Legends World Championships 2016 .
It’s almost here and we’re not sure about you, but we’re as excited as a child on Christmas eve!
The tournament League of Legends fans wait for all year is just around the corner. The group stages begin on 29th September 2016.
This year the teams are given a seeding based on regional finish/MSI progression. There are four groups, each with 1 x First Seed, 2 x Second Seed and 1 x Third Seed.
The group is a double round robin format, with matches B01. The top two teams will progress to the knockout bracket whilst the bottom two are eliminated. The knockout will see the teams placed first in their group vs the teams placed second.
The draw for the group stages will be held on 10th September 2016, 11:00am PDT.
Let’s see the teams:
The North American LCS will be hoping for a better performance than last year. The teams finished 4th, 3rd and 3rd respectively, in their groups, last year with a combined 6-13 game record. They enter this years tournament in better form than the last. TSM are starting to look like a team capable of threatening the Asian boys. C9 are also fine form, playing out of their skin to get to the World Championships.
Team to watch: Team SoloMid
Player to watch: Bjergsen
Only H2k retain their place from last years EU LCS World Championships qualifiers. The stand out EU performer from 2015, Origen, have only recently managed to retain their position in the league. How far they have fallen. G2 are in an excellent vain of form and have been dominant over the course of the season yet they had a disappointing MSI. Splyce don’t seem to have reacted well to the new meta but on their day they are remarkable teamfighter’s. H2k, with the return of FORG1VEN, look a team on the up. Their recent performances have led to high moral in their camp, I wouldn’t put it past them to take a few scalps.
Team to watch: G2 Esports
Player to watch: FORG1VEN
It’s one hell of an achievement for Samsung to even be here. All the odds were stack against them in the gauntlet, but they did it. How far can they go now? Unfortunately I’m going to have to be sensible and say, they won’t win it. That being said, with the isolation of the leagues and the strength of the Korean teams, anything is possible. SKT and ROX tigers are clear favourites for this tournament. SKT have a knack of always turning up at the big events and ROX have just been a joy to watch over the season.
Team to watch: SK Telecom T1
Player to watch: Kuro
Edward Gaming have been nothing short of remarkable since the start of the LPL Summer Split. They have gone 18-0 with a 38-7 game record, including a 3-0 drumming of RNG in the playoff final. RNG themselves have been shown solid form over the Spring and Summer yet they don’t seem to have developed as well as EDG in the last few months. IMAY are another solid team yet they have struggled in games against their fellow qualifiers, over the course of the Summer Split. I would surprised to see them advance beyond their group.
Team to watch: Edward Gaming
Player to watch: ClearLove
The LMS has sent over the same two teams as they did in 2015, Flash Wolves and ahq e-Sports Club. J Team are the surprise omissions, after going the whole Summer Split unbeaten they capitulated right at the last. I’ve said it already, if these two teams both progress from their group stages again, I think Riot will have a strong case to answer as to why they only have 2 places. Flash Wolves, after finishing strongly in the Summer Split, and beating SKT twice in the MSI, will be full of confidence going into this tournament. Ahq are a stronger team than they were last year, when SKT sent them home in the quarterfinals with a 3-0 drumming. Are they strong enough to challenge for the tittle? My guess, probably not.
Team to watch: Flash Wolves
Player to watch: Westdoor
Both of these teams impressed in the International Wildcard qualifiers but i’m going to have to be cynical, again. I’ve watched a lot of games with both of these teams and their form is sporadic, at best. The best situation I can see arising from their entry is them getting a scalp or two. I cannot seriously consider either of these teams to progress past the group stage. I understand that we need to increase the demographic of the League of Legends teams, but should it be at the cost of quality? Can anyone seriously say that either of these teams are better than Immortals or J Team? I don’t have an answer for how it should be worked and I sincerely hope one (if not both) of these teams prove me wrong but the cynic inside me just can’t see it happening.
For yet another year Riot have decided to keep the prize pool the same. Whilst they ensure league players receive a minimum yearly wage we know the viewership, and intern the revenue, is increasing year on year. This begs the question, why isn’t the prize pool increasing? I understand that their are pro’s and con’s to the way Riot do things in comparison to say, Valve (DotA 2/CS:GO) but surely the pool should be increasing year on year? Wings collected over $9,100,000 with their victory at The International 2016, surely Riot can see the attraction that holds for new players. All that being said, the $1,000,000 on offer to the first place team here is a huge sum of money. These teams will be fighting tooth and nail for a chance to bag this mega payday.