On September 12th, Riot Games have finalized the groups for the 2017 League of Legends World Championship for 12 teams competing in directly from Group Stage and another 12 teams competing in Play-in Stage.
To start off, SK Telecom T1, the current champion, is in Group A along with EDward Gaming and ahq e-Sports Club. Although SKT has been the most dominant team in the history of League, their recent faltering performance in the Rift Rivals and in the Summer Split may be a good opportunity for EDG and ahq to bring down the giant.
Group B will have Longzhu Gaming, the newest reigning champion of LCK, along with Immortals and Gigabyte Marines. It’s Longzhu PraY’s 5th appearance in the Worlds along with TSM Doublelift, Fnatic sOAZ, EDG Clearlove and C9 Sneaky, and this may be PraY’s best chance at winning the Worlds.
Group C will have Samsung Galaxy, Royal Never Give Up and G2 Esports, while Flash Wolves, Team SoloMid and Misfits in Group D can rest a bit easier without an LCK team being in the same group.
The other half of the Group Draw show was for the newly introduced Play-in Stage. With 24 teams participating in this year’s Worlds, a preliminary stage has been added to accommodate more regions with 4 teams from Play-in Stage advancing to the Group Stage.
Team WE, Gambit.CIS and Lyon Gaming were drawn into Group A; Cloud9, Team oNe eSports and Dire Wolves were drawn into Group B; Fnatic, Young Generation and Kaos Latin Gamers in Group C; and HK Attitude, 1907 Fenerbahçe and Rampage in Group D. The first round of Play-in Stage will be played in a single-game double round robin format, with the top 2 teams from each groups advancing to the next round. 8 teams that make it to Round 2 will be paired randomly but with a #1 seed and a #2 seed playing against each other in a Bo5 match with the winner advancing to Group Stage.
Worlds 2017 will begin with the first round of Play-in Stage from September 23rd to 26th, and move on to the second round from 28th to 29th at Wuhan Sports Center Gymnasium. Group Stage will take place in the same venue from October 5th to 8th and from 12th to 15th. Quarterfinals will take place from 19th to 22nd in Guangzhou Gymnasium, and Semifinals at 28-29 in Shanghai Oriental Sports Center. The championship will end with the finals that takes place at Beijing National Stadium on November 4th.