League of Legends World Championships - Preview & Odds
League of Legends World Championships - Preview & Odds

The 2022 LoL World Championships begin September 29.

Author: Lee "Couple Sodi Pops" Jones
Lee "Couple Sodi Pops" Jones
Freelance Esports Writer
14th Sep, 22

The 2022 World Championship will take place from 29 September to 5 November 2022, across 4 cities in North America: Mexico City (play-ins), New York City (group stage & quarterfinals), Atlanta (semifinals) and San Francisco (finals).

As usual, the LoL Worlds kick off with the Play-In Stage in which the lower seeded teams from the game’s biggest regions face off against the smaller region representatives for spots in the Main Event.

Play-In Stage (September 29 - October 4)

The Play-Ins begin with 12 teams split into two groups. Each group will complete a double round-robin of best-of-one matches and the first-place finishers will immediately move on to the Main Event.

The second to fourth-placed teams will then enter a small knockout phase, with another two then also moving on through best-of-five series.

Interestingly, DRX, RNG, and MAD Lions are all in the same play-in group (Group B), which means 1 of these 3 teams isn’t getting to the Group Stage (as only 2 teams from each group progress through).

The Play-Ins will run from September 29 to October 4 and will be held in Mexico City’s Arena Esports Stadium; home of the LLA.

Play-In Stage Odds

*Check out all odds for LoL Worlds play-in matches.

Group Stage (October 7-10, 13-16)

Then comes the Main Event, starting with the group stage at Madison Square Garden’s Hulu Theatre in New York City. At this stage the higher pooled teams enter the fray, along with the four that qualified from the Play-Ins, to fill another four groups of four.

Once again, the groups will be decided by double round-robins, this time with the top two from each group moving on to the knockouts.

The Knockout Stage (October 20 - November 5)

The knockout stage brings together the final eight teams in a simpler, single-elimination bracket where each matchup is to be decided in a best-of-five, running from October 20 until the Grand Final on November 5.

Each round will be held in a different venue, starting with the Hulu Theatre for the quarter-finals, Atlanta’s State Farm Arena for the semis and San Fransisco’s Chase Center for the final.

Who are the favourites?

As with every international event, Korean and Chinese organisations will always find themselves among the favourites.

Group A (C9, T1, EDG)

T1 are still the team with the most World Championship titles, albeit all three coming during their SKT era, and the side looked unstoppable earlier in the season as they won the LCK unbeaten in Spring. They failed to continue the title charge into MSI, however, and have since also failed to retain the Korean title in summer and now head into a tricky group A at Worlds.

G.O.A.T candidate Faker still leads the side from the mid lane and anything could be possible with the Unkillable Demon King on their side. They’re joined by the current Worlds holders EDward Gaming who, despite playing with the same roster as last season, have struggled nationally in 2022 and only made it to the tournament through China’s Regional Qualifiers.

Neither side actually enter the group as the first seed which instead goes to LCS winners Cloud9, however they’ll enter the group stage very much as underdogs.

Group B (JDG, G2, DK)

Group B brings another stacked lineup, this one headed by China’s first seed JD Gaming. The side’s only other Worlds appearance came in 2020 where they crashed out in the semi-finals, however they qualify this time with an LPL championship which should give them added momentum heading into this season’s tournament.

They’re joined by 2019 finalists G2 Esports, the runners-up in this split’s LEC who have in recent years made themselves a nuisance to Korean teams in particular, becoming the only Western side in history to find consistent success against LCK teams in best-of-five series. A Korean team they’ll look to get the best of straight away is DWG KIA who have made the last two Worlds finals, winning it all in 2020 and with an expectation to do it again with the likes of Nuguri and ShowMaker joining forces after the former left the side last season.

Group C (RGE, TES, GAM)

Group C brings together a trio who have arguably failed to live up to their hype at previous international events. Top seed Rogue finally managed to claim their first LEC title after topping a number of regular seasons and now enter their final tournament before their imminent rebrand to KOI.

Second seed Top Esports, with superstar bot laner JackeyLove, has entered Worlds as China’s first seed in the past only to fail to reach the grand final, while third seed GAM Esports is set to finally appear at Worlds after dominating Vietnam in recent splits only to have sat out larger tournaments due to the county’s strict COVID-19 guidelines.

Group D (GEN, CFO, 100)

From Korea, Gen.G and their star mid laner Chovy enter the tournament having finally won an LCK title after finishing runners-up on numerous occasions. The team swept rivals T1 in the LCK final to enter Worlds as a top seed and have found themselves in a fairly comfortable group as a result.

They’re joined in group D by Southeast Asia’s CTBC Flying Oyster and North America’s 100 Thieves, neither of which is expected to make a deep run in the tournament.