The League of Legends World Championship, often abbreviated as the League of Legends Worlds, is an annual competitive League of Legends tournament hosted by Riot Games.
It is the culmination of the professional competitive League of Legends season, with the winners being declared the ultimate worldwide League of Legends champion for that year.
The tournament has grown to become one of the biggest events in the Esports calendar, drawing in tens of millions of viewers from around the world.
So, when is the League of Legends Worlds held?
You’ve come to the right place to find out. However, let’s first cover the basics.
What is League of Legends? What are the League of Legends (LoL) Worlds? What is the history of the tournament? We’ll cover all this and more!
What Is League Of Legends?
First released in 2009, League of Legends is a multiplayer online battle arena video game.
Two teams of five players, each controlling their own ‘champion’, battle each other across multiple different maps and game modes.
Each champion has their own unique skills and abilities that lend themselves to different styles of play, and champions can become more powerful by gathering experience points and gold to purchase items to defeat the enemy.
The skill in LoL is a combination of strategy and teamwork, as well as picking champions that complement each other’s playstyles.
In LoL’s main game mode Summoner’s Rift, team members must work together to defend their own base at the same time as attempting to break through to destroy the ‘Nexus’ in the opposing team’s base.
The game mode has a ranked matchmaking system which lends itself to competitive play.
The game was well received on release but has only grown in popularity since, with several video games journalism outlets, like GameSpot and IGN, going back and retrospectively increasing their original review scores significantly.
Reviewers have praised the game’s accessibility (being free to play), with the game’s wide variety of characters and play styles also cited as contributing to almost unparalleled replayability.
It is now one of the world’s most popular video games, peaking at eight million concurrent players in 2019.
It has also spawned a number of tie-ins and spin-offs across different media platforms, from comic books and spin-off games to an animated TV series.
Despite this, many gamers remain unfamiliar with League of Legends.
It has only ever been released on Microsoft Windows and OS X platforms, meaning console-only gamers have missed out on the phenomenon.
What Is The League Of Legends World Championship?
League of Legends is commonly said to be the world’s largest Esport.
Indeed, the NYT has described the game as Esport’s ‘main attraction’.
The game has a thriving competitive tournament scene, with 12 competitive domestic leagues ultimately culminating in the LoL World Championship, the Grand Finals of the LoL season.
The tournament rotates the venue around the world each year.
What Are ‘Esports’?
Some of you might even be wondering what Esports are, and that’s fine.
In essence, Esports are simply competitive video game tournaments.
Esports is big business these days, with millions of viewers regularly tuning in to watch their favorite teams play their favorite games competitively.
A Brief History Of The League Of Legends Worlds
The first ever League of Legends Worlds was held in Jonkoping, Sweden, between the 18th and 21st of June 2011.
The first worlds had just 8 teams, mostly from Europe and North America, with a total prize pot of just $100,000.
The winning team, the European team Fnatic, took home just $50,000.
Some 1.6 million people in total watched the competition, with a peak of approximately 210,000 concurrent viewers in the final.
The tournament has grown rapidly year on year ever since.
In 2016, online viewership and in-person attendance outperformed those of the Stanley Cup, the NBA, and the MLB World series.
In 2018, the LoL Worlds was watched by some 99.6 million people.
For comparison, an estimated 103.4 million viewers watched the Patriots take on the Eagles in that year’s Super Bowl.
The 2019 LoL Worlds saw 100 million unique viewers watch 24 teams battle it out across several different platforms, from cable television’s ESPN to Twitch and Youtube.
The peak concurrent viewership was approximately 44 million people.
The aspiring teams battle it out to lift the specially commissioned Summoner’s Cup.
Originally specified to be 70lbs, this was reduced so the winners could actually lift it!
The winning team also takes away a cash prize. The pandemic has hit the prize fund somewhat, with the 2021 winners taking away $489,500.
The record first prize was in 2018, when winning team Invictus took home $2,418,750.
Since 2012, the tournament has been dominated by teams from South East Asia.
South Korea’s T1 is the most successful team in tournament history, having won the title in 2013, 2015, and 2016.
The now-defunct Samsung Galaxy team has won two championships, the second in 2017 and the first in 2014 as Samsung Galaxy White.
When Is League Of Legends Worlds?
The 2022 World Championships will be hosted in North America in a multi-city format.
Mexico City, New York City, Toronto, and San Francisco will all see LoL Worlds action.
The date has yet to be announced, but the tournament is typically held from around the last week in September or first week in October through to the first week of November.
The League of Legends Worlds is one of the most prestigious Esports tournaments in the world.
It is regularly watched by tens of millions of people, and the winning team comes away with prizes ranging from hundreds of thousands of dollars to millions.
The LoL Worlds rotates between venues around the globe.
The tournament is held in the fall, usually starting around October 1st and culminating in a grand final around the first week of November.