On September 15th, fourteen of the world’s best LoL teams will meet at Los Angeles once again to battle it out for the 1 million dollar prize pool and the right to be called Season 3 World Champions.
There were a total of 14 teams coming from different regions: Korea, North America, Europe, China, Taiwan/Hong Kong, Southeast Asia, and a Wildcard team.
Wildcard(August 21-23) One Spot
The Wildcard Tournament was held at Gamescon 2013. It composed of five teams who qualified through regionals from Turkey(Dark Passage), Brazil(paiN Gaming), Russia/CIS(Gaming Gear EU), Oceania(Team Immunity), and South America(Lyon Gaming). All five teams were put in a group and played BO1 matches against each other. The top four moved on to the playoffs where they played BO3s. In the end Gaming Gear EU qualifed for the World Championship with a 2-0 victory over paiN gaming.
1st Seed: Gaming Gear.EU
Southeast Asia(August 17-18) One Spot
Like the Wildcard, the Southeast Asia Regional teams came from Singapore, Vietnam, Malaysia, Philippines, and Thailand. Six teams participated, including heavy favorites Singapore Sentinels and Saigon Jokers. The matches were a BO1 until the finals, which was a BO3. If you lost in the winners bracket, then you would be dropped down to the losers bracket. In the end, Team Mineski pulled an upset over Singapore Sentinels and qualifed with a 2-0 victory.
1st seed: Team Mineski
Taiwan(July 3-August 29) One Spot
Twelve teams were invited to this regional, including Season 2 World Champs Taipei Assasins. The teams were divided into two groups, playing each team in a BO2 and winning points(Point system: 2-0=three points, 1-1=one point, 0-2=no points). After that, the top 2 in each group advance to the winners bracket, while the 3rd and 4th drop down to the losers bracket. In the end, Gamania Bears came back from the Losers Bracket and beat Taipei Snipers(sister team to the Assasins) 3-2 to qualify for Worlds.
1st Seed: Gamania Bears
China(September 7-8) Two Spots
The Chinese Regional composes of four Chinese teams. Two qualified by placing top two in LPL Spring 2013(iG and OMG), while the other qualified by placing top two in LPL Summer 2013(Royal Club Huang Zhu and Positive Energy). All matches(including ones in Loser Bracket) are BO3 until the grand final, which is BO5. Royal Club Huang Zhu and OMG qualified, with Royal taking 1st place to get the group stage bye(I will discuss this later in the Format Section).
1st Seed Royal Club Huang Zhu
2nd Seed OMG
Europe(August 23-25) Three Spots
The way the European Teams qualified is through the Summer season of the EU LCS. The top six teams will go to Gamescon 2013 and battle it out in the Summer EU LCS Playoffs. The first and second place teams are automatically in the semifinals, while the 3-6 teams will battle it out in the quarterfinals. All games, except the grand finals(BO5), are BO3. The EU LCS Spring Champions Fnatic, return and beat the Lemondogs(first seed) 3-1 to take the $50,000 prize and first seed going into worlds.
1st seed: Fnatic
2nd seed: Lemondogs
3rd seed: Gambit Gaming
Korea(September 4-7) Three Spots
In Season 2, the way you qualified for worlds was to get into a regional. Your seeding in the regional would be based on circuit points. In Season 3, Korea still uses the circuit point system. You earn circuit points based on your standings in the OGN/NLB Tournaments(Spring, Summer, and Winter).
The top 2 teams with the most circuit points at the end of OGN Summer 2013 will automatically be seeded into the S3WC. The remaining four teams will go to the Korea Regionals. All matches are BO5. The first game will be the 5th and 6th seed teams battling it out. Then the victor will meet the 4th seed team and the victor of that will meet the 3rd seed team. The regional finals was a repeat of the recent OGN Summer finals. KT Bullets faced off against SK Telecom. SK Telecom beat the Bullets 3-1 to be the last Korean qualified.
1st seed: Najin Black Sword
2nd seed: Samsung Galaxy Ozone
3rd seed: SK Telecom T1
North America(August 30-September 1) 3 Teams
Finally North America. NA follows a similar system as EU does. The top six teams go the PAX Prime to battle it out in the NA Summer Playoffs/Regionals. In the end, Vulcun defeated Dignitas in the 3rd place match, while TSM was 3-0ed by Cloud 9.
1st Seed: Cloud 9
2nd Seed: Team Solo Mid
3rd Seed: Team Vulcun
So why does 1st/2nd matter?
A couple months ago, the All Star event occurred. Each region at the time(Southeast Asia/Taiwan, NA, EU, Korea, and China), chose their own All Star team to participate. Before the All-Stars, NA and EU had 3 spots each, Taiwan had 1, Southeast had 1, Wildcard had 1, and Korea and China had two each. Of course, that’s only 13 teams. The team who won the All Stars tournament will get an additional spot for their region. Also, whoever placed last(fifth) will not have their first seeded team skip the group stages. For the results, Korea won the tournament, while EU placed last. Therefore Korea now has 3 spots going to worlds, and even though Fnatic are first seed, they still have to go into the group stages.
Fourteen teams at worlds, ten in the group stages, and four first seeds in the quarterfinals. Here is the current format for worlds:
In the group stages, each team plays another team exactly two times. However, it is not a BO2, but 2 BO1s. The top two teams from each group who wins the most will get out of groups to face the #1 seeds from NA, EU, Korea, and China. The quarterfinals are a BO3, and the semifinals and the finals are a BO5.
Group Stages: September 15th-September 22th held at the Studio
Quarterfinals: September 23rd- September 24th held at the Studio
Semifinals: September 27th- September 28th held at the Galen Center
Finals: October 4th held at the Staples Center
I feel that the Season 3 World Championship will have an even better impact than Season 2 World Championships had. I obviously can not wait for this event to happen. There have been few international meetings during the Season, it will certainly be interesting to see how each region fares against the other.
LoL Esports Website: http://na.lolesports.com/worlds
Leaguepedia Coverage: http://lol.gamepedia.com/Season_3_World_Championship