Major League of Legends Tournaments and Tournament Structure

As one of the most popular eSports games today, there have been thousands of League of Legends tournaments in the years since professional tournaments started back in 2011 with Season 1.

These tournaments take place year-round and culminate in the world championship, where multiple teams compete for a chance to be crowned the world’s best.

Below is a list of some of the biggest tournaments today in the League of Legends eSports community.

The World Championship

The League of Legends World Championship is the annual tournament that is held at the end of each season. Riot Games, who created League of Legends, hosts the tournament. The team that wins the League of Legends World Championship is awarded the Summoner’s Cup (which weighs nearly 70 pounds) and a large cash prize.

Esports Tournament Summoners' Cup

When the tournament first started, the winning team was awarded $1 million, and in the 2018 World Championship event, the winning team (Invictus Gaming) was awarded more than $2.4 million. The finals of the most recent world championship were watched by nearly 100 million people.

The 2019 World Championship took place from October 2 to November 10th across three different countries. The play-in rounds were held in Berlin, Germany, the quarterfinals and semifinals were held in Madrid, Spain and the finals were held in Paris, France.

Twenty-four teams qualified for the 2019 League of Legends World Championship. FunPlus Phoenix is the reigning champion, while SK Telecom T1 (South Korea) has the most World Championships with three (2013, 2015, and 2016).

League of Legends Mid-Season Invitational

The Mid-Season Invitational began back in 2015. It is the second-biggest League of Legends tournament next to the World Championships.
Since 2017, Spring Split champions of all of the League of Legends regions qualify for the Mid-Season Invitational. There is also a play-in stage that acts as a wildcard round.

The best region in the Mid-Season Invitational receives a spot in the World Championship group stage for that year for their Summer Split champion. The top four regions in the Mid-Seasonal Invitational will get the pool-1 spot in the World Championship group stage.

SK Telecom T1 (South Korea) leads the way with two Mid-Season Invitational victories (2016 and 2017).

The Championship Series

The League of Legends Championship Series (LCS) is the top professional level of League of Legends in the United States and Canada. The league currently has 10 different franchises that participate.

Each season of the LCS is broken up into two splits, a summer and spring split. Each split has a nine-week regular season followed by a three-week playoff bracket. During the regular season, each team plays one another twice, totaling 90 games. Teams are then ranked by their win percentages.

Each split concludes with a double-elimination tournament between the top six teams. The top two teams of the regular season receive byes that put them into the semi-finals. The remaining four teams then play in the quarter finals.

Both playoffs for the summer and spring splits award cash prizes as well as Championship Points. Championship Points are used to determine qualification into the upcoming League of Legends World Championship.

The winner of the summer split as well as the next team with the highest number of Championship Points earn an automatic bid into the World Championships. The next four teams in order of Championship Points play in the Regional Qualifier tournament to determine a final qualifying team.

League of Legends Tournaments: 2020 Events

The 2020 LCS season is the first year in which the league will use a double-elimination bracket for its playoff format. Championship points and regional finals were removed from the World Championship qualification process this year.

The spring split began back on January 25th. The spring finals were scheduled for April 19th, but due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the season was suspended back on March 13th. Just four days later, it was announced the season would resume on March 20th but that all matches would be played online.

The summer split is scheduled to begin on June 20th and the finals will be on September 13th. While the spring split will still include six teams, the summer split was expanded to eight teams beginning with the 2020 season. Each split features a winners’ and losers’ bracket. The bottom two teams start in the losers’ bracket while the rest of the teams begin in the winners’ bracket.

The LCS schedule was changed for the 2020 season. Four LCS will be broadcasted on Saturdays and Sundays instead of the original five, and those two games missing from Saturday and Sunday will be held on Monday nights in what is being called the “Monday Night League.”

The Monday Night League will feature the two most popular matchups of that week, with commissioner Chris Greeley noting this change was to help less popular teams gain more exposure and help develop their brand.

Also starting in 2020, the results of the spring split will now only determine the LCS’ representative for the Mid-Season Invitational, and spring splits will no longer have any part in determining a team’s future qualification for the World Championship. The summer champions, runners-up and third place will qualify for the World Championships as the LCS’ first, second, and third seeds in that order.

The 2020 spring split resulted in Team SoloMid finishing in fourth, Evil Geniuses finishing in third, FlyQuest finishing in second and Cloud9 finishing in first place. However, the 2020 Mid-Season Invitational was cancelled due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic.

The 2020 League of Legends World Championship is scheduled to take place in China this year with the finals being held in Shanghai. No date is currently set for the World Championships.

While there are many local, regional, and international League of Legends tournaments that take place throughout the year, these are the major tournaments that will capture the attention of both fans and eSports bettors.

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