New Format Creates Familiar Matchups at Worlds

The League of Legends 2023 World Championship’s Swiss Stage kicked off in South Korea, and the first day of play brought some fun and dramatic games.

However, the next slate of games has some fans disappointed in the matchups due to the high number of matches between teams that have already competed against each other multiple times this year due to playing in the same league.

These are still the Top 16 teams in the World, and you don’t want to miss them when they take to Summoner’s Rift, regardless of their opponents.

New Format, New Problems

Historically, Riot Games has used a Group Stage format in the opening round of the World Championship in which no two teams from the same regional league would be in the same group, truly pitting all of the regions against each other in international competition. For the 2023 competitive season, they switched to a Swiss System format.

Instead of being put into groups and only competing with teams within that group, all teams can face each other with round-to-round matchups determined by teams’ current records.

The first round of the Swiss Stage was guaranteed to be comprised solely of international matchups, while every round following has no such guarantee.

Some fans worried that due to the format, the fanbase would be subjected to watching games that had already taken place domestically instead of the exciting matchups that span across regions. Those worries came to fruition in only the second round of Swiss Stage matchups, as five of the eight matchups are comprised of teams that compete in the same domestic leagues.

To many people, this completely kills the point of international competition. Fans from all over the World tune in to see how the teams from their home region fare against the best teams internationally, not to see matchups that have been played out repeatedly.

With so few chances to see teams compete against teams from other regions, it’ll be interesting to see how fans react to the format after all five rounds have been completed.

Day 1 Excitement

Other than an odds-defying Round 2 draw at the end, Day 1 had plenty of exciting moments as a majority of the teams took to the Rift for the first time. The day started with a crazy game between North America’s Team Liquid Honda and Korea’s T1.

T1 is the most historied franchise in all of Esports, having lifted the Summoner’s Cup 3 times in the team’s history, each time with their star Mid-laner and the consensus G.O.A.T of competitive League of Legends in Faker.

Team Liquid battled against the Faker-led squad in an incredibly close match that no one could have expected. Late in the game, Team Liquid found multiple team fights that went their way but would ultimately lose the game as T1 would find multiple isolated kills on Summit down the stretch to seal the match.

The LEC’s G2 Esports also had a great showing in their opening match, as they were able to take down the LCK’s Dplus Kia in a grueling 42-minute game. Coming into the main event of Worlds, multiple players and coaches thought that G2 Esports would surprise many people due to results behind the scenes in scrimmages.

Their next match is against WeiboGaming from the LPL, and if they’re able to find another win over an eastern opponent, they’ll definitely have the attention of the international community.