Originally, Worlds 2021 was set to return to China for the second year in a row, as Riot wanted to deliver the "full experience" for all players from the Asian country across five cities. However, due to problems with the issuance of visas for Riot's staff and all qualified teams, the tournament has been relocated to Europe.
So with that said, let’s take a look at everything you need to know for Worlds 2021, from all teams qualified, schedule, format, prize pool and more.
Worlds 2021: All qualified teams and seedings
Featuring a similar format from recent years, Worlds 2021 will bring the 22 best teams from around the world to battle at the Laugardalshöll indoor sporting arena, Hall A, in Reykjavík, Iceland.
As always, the tournament's seedings have been based on the team's performances in their regional competitions, as well as the region's results on the international stage, with a two-year span considered for the ranking.
The distribution of all seeds was as follows:
- China and Korea (4 spots each): LPL and LCK 2021 Summer Split champions, most Championship Points, and top two teams from regional finals.
- Europe and North America (3 spots each): Top three teams from LEC 2021 Summer Split and LCS 2021 Championship.
- Southeast Asia (2 spots each): Top two teams from PCS 2021 Summer Split.
- CIS, Latin America, Turkey, Brazil, Japan, and Oceania (1 spot each): All champions from their 2021 Summer Splits.
As all leagues have now come to an end, these are the teams that have guaranteed their spots at the tournament, with each of the seeds being determined according to their final standings at each regional playoff.
- China (LPL): Edward Gaming (#1), and FunPlus Phoenix (#2), and RNG (#3)
- Korea (LCK): DWG KIA (#1), Gen.G (#2), and T1 (#3)
- Europe (LEC): MAD Lions (#1), and Fnatic (#2), and Rogue (#3)
- North America (LCS): 100 Thieves (#1), and Team Liquid (#2)
- Southeast Asia (PCS): PSG Talon (#1)
- China (LPL): LNG Esports (#4)
- Korea (LCK): Hanwha Life Esports (#4)
- North America (LCS): Cloud9 (#3)
- Southeast Asia (PCS): Beyond Gaming (#2)
- CIS (LCL): Unicorns of Love (#1)
- Oceania (LCO): PEACE (#1)
- Turkey (TCL): Galatasaray Esports (#1)
- Latin America (LLA): INFINITY (#1)
- Brazil (CBLOL): RED Canids Kalunga (#1)
- Japan (LJL): DetonatioN FocusMe (#1)
Worlds 2021: Format explainer
Worlds 2021 will feature its traditional three stages format: Play-In, Groups, and Knockouts. The absence of the teams from the VCS due to the global pandemic’s continuing impact on travel has brought major modifications, as the tournament will be played using the same format from Worlds 2020.
This stage will welcome all of the play-in regions' teams, as they will battle against the lowest-seeded from the top leagues. All of these teams will be drawn into two groups of five each, playing in a single round-robin format.
The top team from each group will automatically advance to the group stage, while the third- and fourth-place teams will play a best-of-five, with winners challenging the other group’s second seed for the last two spots to the next round.
The group stage will be composed of the best twelve teams from the top-tier regional leagues, and those four qualified from the play-in stage. All 16 teams will be randomly drawn into four groups of four each.
Here, all squads will battle against each other in a double round-robin format, with the top two teams from each of the groups moving on to the knockout stage.
This stage will feature the top eight squads from the groups, as all first-place teams from the previous round will be randomly drawn into a single-elimination bracket, against a second-placed team from a different group.
Afterwards, all qualified teams will battle until the end in a series of best-of-fives that can make history on their own, with the last survivors of the bracket being crowned as the 2021 League of Legends world champions.
Worlds 2021: Prize Pool and Championship skin
As its tradition, Worlds 2021 will feature a prize pool that will increase according to the profits collected from the sales of this year’s Championship skin, along with other exclusive content released for the event, with an initial prize pool set at USD 2.225 million, offered up by Riot Games.
The distribution of the prizes for Worlds 2021 will be as follows:
- Champions: 22%
- Runner-up: 15%
- 3rd - 4th: 8%
- 5th - 8th: 4.5%
- 9th - 12th: 2.5%
- 13th - 16th: 2.25%
- 17th - 18th: 1.75%
- 19th - 20th: 1.25%
- 21st - 20nd: 1%
During the group stage, if the 3rd and 4th place teams in a group are tied, they both will receive 2.375% of the total prize pool. Additionally, the VCS teams will be awarded their full share of the Worlds prize pool as if they had competed in the event.
This year's Championship skin will belong to Jarvan IV, becoming the first champion to have both a Victorious and a Championship skin within the game.
The 'Worlds 2021 Jarvan IV' skin will be available throughout the entirety of the tournament for 1,350 RP, with bundles including icons, borders, and event tokens available at prices to be confirmed.
As always, part of the sales from the Worlds 2021 skin will help increase the total prize pool of the tournament.
How to watch Worlds 2021
Alternatively, you can head on over to the LoL Esports website to catch all the matches live there, with the potential to earn rewards as the tournament unfolds.
We have embedded their Twitch channel right below, to make it easier for you.
Worlds 2021 is scheduled to run from 5th October to 6th November.
Don’t forget to check out our League of Legends dedicated section for more news, guides, updates, and esports coverage.