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All format changes coming to League of Legends’ World Championship in 2023

League of Legends World Championship 2023

The international League of Legends competitions will be getting a full revamp going into the 2023 season, with both the Mid Season Invitational and World Championship taking in changes to their base formats for the new professional season.

Riot Games has recently showcased their big plan to absolutely change the game’s 2 biggest competitions by providing more “best of” series and meaningful playoff brackets.

All format changes coming to League of Legends’ World Championship in 2023
All format changes coming to League of Legends’ World Championship in 2023

With the double-elimination format coming to the Mid Season Invitational, the entirety of Worlds being revamped from scratch, as well as the addition of a brand new, Western exclusive last qualifying match for a spot at Worlds, the international competitive scene will not be the same as previous years.

For the first change coming in this year, before the play-ins of Worlds begin, a brand new stage of the competition called the “Worlds Qualifying Series” will take place. The “WQS” is set to be a single best-of-five match between the 4th seed coming from the LCS and the 4th seed from the LEC. This newly implemented match is most likely the result of the western League viewership asking for more head-to-head games between the old-school NA vs EU rivalry, as this storyline has faded in the last couple of years.

The Worlds play-in stage will change massively going into this season with the start of dueling brackets, this will result in 2 teams going into the main event. The group stage in the play-ins will be set in order to have more meaningful “best of” matches right from the get-go, with implications being advancing to the main stage via several games, not with best of ones.

Teams who qualify for the play-ins will be slotted into a bracket full of best-of-three matches that eventually result in the top two teams advancing beyond play-ins.

The group stage of the World Championship has been a staple in competitive League of Legends since its inception. In 2023, however, that format will be scrapped entirely, and the group stage will change to a more recognizable Swiss-style tournament stage similar to other games such as CS GO.

A Swiss-style event sets teams against each other until either 3 wins or 3 losses are grabbed. Squads who manage to gather 3 wins will automatically advance to the knockout stage and teams who lose 3 games will be directly eliminated from the competition. One of the main appeals of this is that Swiss formats also ensure teams with identical records will always play each other, in order to break it.

No overall changes will be coming to the knockout stage itself in 2023. Per Riot’s statement, an 8-squad, single-elimination bracket will still be in place for this year.

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