The League of Legends World Championships are on! The “Worlds” group stage begins Monday, October 11 in Iceland. Sixteen teams will compete for the supreme title. A highlight of the year of esport not to be missed, for several reasons.
One of the esport events of the year
Esport is rich in its diversity, with a multitude of games and competitions to follow. But a hierarchy is well established and in it, the League of Legends Worlds are at the top. Each year, it is the most followed esports event with The International, its equivalent on DOTA 2, the rival of League of Legends.
In 2020, 23 million people watched the final around the world, with a peak of 46 million according to figures put forward by Riot Games, the publisher of League of Legends and organizer of the Worlds. In France, the final drew up to 135,000 spectators on the Twitch O’Gaming channel.
League of Legends, a tactical and intense game
Since their launch in 2011, the Worlds have gathered more and more spectators. But why is League of Legends so passionate? The principle of the game is simple. Two teams of five players compete in a closed arena with the aim of destroying the opponent’s nexus (heart of the base). To reach this nexus, three lanes and towers to defend them. The ten players must choose a champion from 155, each with different abilities, strengths and weaknesses.
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Once this base is laid, anything is possible. Each game is a mix between the technical qualities of the players (the “mechanics”, the ability to perform well against a champion) and their tactical intelligence (the “macro”, the ability to make the right strategic choices at the right time). This combination offers intense games, between weak management times and grouped five-on-five clashes. A bad decision, or on the contrary a stroke of genius, can turn a situation around.
Because the China-South Korea shock is a dream
In League of Legends, China and South Korea look like scarecrows. The two countries have shared the world title since 2013 (6 for Korea, 3 for China). Sacred in 2020, the Koreans from DAMWON Gaming intend to defend their crown. With their midlaner (one of five League of Legends positions) Heo “Showmaker” Su, the Korean champions come in a strong position. From day one, they face another title contender, FunPlus Phoenix. The Chinese, titled in 2019, want to return to the top.
Champion of China, EDward Gaming will also aim for the coronation, just like the Koreans of Gen.G or those of T1, carried by the legend to the three titles of world champion Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok. Behind these Asian armadas, the Europeans advance masked. Lacking experience at this level, MAD Lions, Rogue and Fnatic must be content on paper with a role of outsiders. But they can always dream of more. In May, during the MSI (the international mid-season tournament), the MAD Lions came very close to eliminating DAMWON in the semi-finals.
To follow the French “Hans sama” and Adam …
And among these three European teams, two French players! On the one hand, an already veteran player, on the other a newcomer. At 22, Steven “Hans sama” Liv is a reference to his botlaner position. Rogue, whom he joined in 2019, inherited the Death Party along with DAMWON, FunPlus Phoenix, and North Americans from Cloud9. A huge challenge for the Frenchman and his teammates.
“Adam” is the beautiful story of these Worlds. There are still five months, Adam Maanane played in the French championship. While his Karmine Corp team dominated the second level in Europe, he was recruited urgently by Fnatic, in the midst of the crisis. The legendary structure, the only European team to have won the Worlds in 2011, attempted a risky bet by recruiting a 19-year-old toplaner, inexperienced at a very high level. A winning choice, with a final of the LEC to the key. And a first participation in the Worlds for Adam.
Tomorrow I’m flying to Iceland. Hosted in a 4 star hotel.
I will indeed represent France at the World Championships of the league of legends.
It is an honor my dear compatriots.
– Adam (@Ricadam_lol) September 24, 2021
… and PSG!
So there is a French team at the League of Legends Worlds? We arrest you right away, not really. Paris Saint-Germain is present at the Worlds, but it will not represent France. For its return to the League of Legends scene in 2020, three years after a first failed attempt in Europe, PSG has chosen to partner with a Hong Kong team, Talon Esports. The team became PSG Talon, but still play in the PCS championship, which brings together teams from Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macao and Southeast Asia.
– PSG TALON (@PSG_Talon) October 9, 2021
A choice that owes nothing to chance, Talon being the best team in the region and therefore qualified for the Worlds. PSG is not at its first attempt, since it had already partnered with another successful Asian team, LGD, on the DOTA 2 game. Renamed PSG.LGD, the Chinese team is currently participating at The International, the equivalent of the Worlds. This strategy allows PSG to expand its popularity in Asia, especially among young people, and to display its jersey at the biggest esport events of the year.