The slots are locked and groups are drawn: we can't wait for Worlds 2022 to start! The competition that will kick off with the play-in stage on September 29 in Mexico is getting closer every single day. Let's take a look at the teams that qualified for the playoffs and where they will start competing.
As always, only 16 teams will be participating in the Worlds 2022 main event, 12 of whom are already decided. Four teams will make their way through the play-in stage. From China to North America, the best League of Legends teams worldwide will fight to reach the Summoners' Cup.
Teams in Worlds 2022
24 teams are invited to Worlds 2022 as a whole. Four teams from China, four teams from South Korea, four teams from Europe, three from North America, two from Pacific (Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macao and SEA), two from Vietnam, and one team from each of the minor regions (Brazil, Turkey, Japan, Latin America and Oceania) will participate.
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Worlds 2022 Play-In stage
As CIS won't be sending a participant, Europe took over their slot and will send two teams to play-in: Fnatic and MAD Lions. Fnatic managed to impress everyone in playoffs after securing qualification at the last minute. However, MAD Lions made it to here without winning a single best-of-five this year. MAD's chances don't look so great against these stacked play-in teams.
China will send MSI 2022 champions Royal Never Give Up as their performance dropped in summer season, they barely made it after defeating LNG Esports. South Korea will send DRX, who disappointed their fans in the second half of the summer season and also barely made it to Worlds, improving their performance in the regional finals.
From North America, spring champions Evil Geniuses will participate in this stage. EG had to swap their ADC mid-playoffs, and it wasn't enough to take down 100. Pacific Championship Series sends their second place Beyond Gaming who kicked PSG Talon out of playoffs after a long time. Vietnam is back, and their play-in representative will be Saigon Buffalo if GAM Esports don't face any visa problems.
Chiefs Esports Club won LCO after dominating their region, DetonatioN FocusMe once again represents Japan, Istanbul Wildcats struggled but managed to take the Worlds 2022 slot from Fenerbahçe, Isurus managed to outclass Estral in the finals to represent LATAM and LOUD won Brazil as the underdogs.
Take a look at the play-in groups:
The play-in groups will be played as a single round robin, and the team that finishes the group first makes it to the main event. Third-fourth places of each group plays a best-of-five, winner plays another best-of-five against the opposite group's second place to secure the Worlds 2022 slot.
Worlds 2022 main event teams
From South Korea, Gen.G enters Worlds 2022 as the champion of their region and one of the most feared teams in the tournament. They are clearly the favourite after eclipsing T1, MSI 2022 finalists. After Gen.G and T1, DWG KIA secured the ticket to Worlds and while the expectations are low for them, fans still believe in DK to turn things around.
The best region in League of Legends esports, China sends Kanavi and Yagao's JD Gaming as the champions. LPL champions are naturally the favourite of Worlds for the last few years no matter how strong the LCK teams are. Top Esports finished second but they are very close to JDG in strength, and Worlds 2021 champion EDG follow them but they aren't as strong.
Europe's main event fighters are Rogue, who defeated G2 Esports 3-0 in the grand final to secure their first LEC championship, and G2. The West has been away from any kind of international success since 2019, they will try to rekindle that fire.
North America follows up with Cloud9 and 100 Thieves. Cloud9 proved that they are stronger than the rest with their incredible playoffs performance, winning the LCS without losing a series. 100 Thieves' performance dropped in the playoffs, but they still managed to make it to here, even though they were outclassed by C9.
Finally, Pacific Championship Series has a new champion: CTBC Flying Oyster. The team eclipsed the almost-disbanded PSG Talon to reach the trophy and represent PCS in Worlds 2022. GAM Esports won Vietnam after dominating the region, Levi is back!
Worlds 2022 main event groups
Check out the groups:
Group A includes a repeat of a Worlds 2017 group: Cloud9, T1 and EDward Gaming will face each other once again. EDG took last place in 2017, they will try not to let that happen this time. Scout, Jensen and Faker will compete again, it will be great to see such players with history.
Group B is the real group of death. Chinese champion JD Gaming, LEC's second place G2 Esports and South Korea's DWG KIA will take on each other. ShowMaker managed to find G2 once again, he is officially the biggest G2 Esports hater in the world.
Group C treated Rogue nicely, but a strong team from play-in might change that. Rogue missed playoffs by a string last year, and they will try to make it happen after winning the LEC for the first time in their history. TES will probably top the group, and Rogue will be tasked to defeat GAM and the team that comes from the play-in groups (likely DRX).
Gen.G is one of the favourites at Worlds 2022, and they relatively have an easy group here. Against CTBC Flying Oyster and 100 Thieves, Gen.G should take the first place with ease. Only problem might be an RNG qualification from the play-in, which might make things harder for both Gen.G and the rest of the teams in the group.