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The League of Legends World Championship is now in full swing, with the play-in stage completed and the final list of participants finalized. Sixteen teams will compete for the biggest and most prestigious title in LoL esports, featuring heavyweights from all around the world as EDward Gaming gear up to defend their title and DAMWON Gaming aim to take revenge for their defeat in last year’s grand final, with much more action to come!

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What went down in the play-in stage of LoL Worlds 2022

After a bout of fierce fighting, four of the twelve teams in the play-in stage earned a spot in the main event. Ultimately, the first group stage turned out to be a good gauge of the teams’ strengths: the group winners qualified directly, and the other two spots were eventually snapped up by the runners-up as they made it through the elimination bracket. Fnatic made it out of Group A at the first time of asking with a 4-1 record, only dropping a game to LOUD. Evil Geniuses finished second on tiebreakers and they managed to make good on that extra bit of seeding advantage to earn their spot in the main event as Inspired got a healthy dose of revenge on MAD Lions. Meanwhile, DRX had a flawless run in Group B, as their game against Royal Never Give Up turned out to be the deciding factor to determine the first qualifying spot. RNG therefore had to fight tooth and nail in Stage 2 play-in bracket finals, but it was eventually a comfortable 3-1 win over DetonatioN FocusMe that got them past the line, earning them a spot in Group D of the main event. Now the real deal begins, with the strongest League of Legends esports teams entering the fray in the main event. Here’s what you can expect from each of the groups.

Group A: history repeats itself

Remember 2017? Just like then, Cloud9, T1 and EDward Gaming are going to square off against each other in the group stage, with the sky blue outfit an underdog in terms of qualification potential. The group is made all the more explosive by the addition of Fnatic, who, as expected by many prognosticators before the event, made it through the play-in stage. This means that three previous world champions are going up against NA’s best and brightest, making this group a must-watch for any League of Legends fan. So, is this the group of death at Worlds 2022? Well, about that…

Group B: what are these teams doing together in the same group?

Seriously, what the hell? JD Gaming, G2 and DAMWON Gaming are all stuck together, meaning at least one of them won’t make it to the playoffs at all this year. In a sense, Evil Geniuses only made it out of the frying pan of the play-in stage to get into the fire of this group, and their chances of qualifying for the knockout bracket are pretty slim. As for the three heavyweights, it’s impossible to predict who will fall short in the end, but if last year’s Worlds event is anything to go by, DAMWON Gaming are super-strong contenders. Meanwhile, G2 have quite the mental resilience to fall back on, as evidenced by their run in the LEC 2022 Summer Playoffs. Jankos and capS will make their triumphant return to the big stage this year, but there are definitely going to be tears once this is all over.

Group C: Europe’s best hope

Let’s get real: as impressive as DRX’s run was through the play-in stage, they are still the weakest team in the region. This means that Rogue might actually have a chance to make it out from the group, a good omen now that they’ve managed to qualify as the region’s top seed after multiple failed attempts. GAM Esports’ return to the big time is great to see for every fan as they missed out on multiple huge opportunities due to external circumstances in the past few years. Could the Nocturne buff push them past the rest of the field?

Group D: RNG’s arrival spices things up

Though Royal Never Give Up aren’t at their sterling best (as evidenced by the fact that they had to fight through the play-in stage), they are going to add a lot of intrigue to group that otherwise seemed like a bit of a cakewalk. Gen.G may very well clear the field with a 6-0 record, which leaves us with a discussion about who’s going to make it in second place. If any team fails to score the seemingly free victory against CTBC Flying Oyster, they will probably be in trouble by the time the tiebreaks roll around. The group stage of the League of Legends World Championship in 2022 run between October 7 and 16, with the games starting at 12pm PT or 9pm CEST. It’s a great time to be a LoL fan – be sure to tune in for the action and our coverage!

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