So, you are really into Daily Fantasy eSports, but have you ever wondered if you are familiar with the different formats of the tournaments?
You are aware that NBA changed it’s Final format to 2-2-1-1-1 back in 2013, but did you know that Team Origen, representing EU in the 2015 World Championship was founded last December and not only participated in the EU LCS after taking 1st place in the 2015 EU Challenger Series Spring Playoffs but also made it to the World’s?
Are you familiar with terms like Spring/Summer Split? IWC? LPL?
If not, read carefully and learn everything you need to know.
In League of Legends, every team belongs to a specific region, based on geographical criteria.
The competitive scene is divided into 5 major leagues, with their respective competitions:
- North America, where teams compete in the NA League of Legends Championship Series (NA LCS)
- Europe, where top teams face each other in the EU LCS
- Korea, where top teams compete in the SBENU LoL Champions Korea (LCK), organized and hosted by OnGameNet
- China, where top-tier Chinese teams compete in the Tencent LoL Pro League (LPL), organized by Tencent Gaming
- Taiwan/Hong Kong/Macau, where the best teams of the region face each other during the season in the League of Legends Master Series (LMS) and it’s a sub-contest of Garena Premier League (GPL), where teams from across all South Eastern Asia compete, organized and hosted by Garena Taiwan
There are also other (less major) competitions, but they have a couple of disadvantages such as less developed infrastructure and teams competing lack the opportunity of a direct ticket to the Worlds Group Stage.
These competitions are:
- Circuito de Brasileiro de League of Legends (CBLoL), where Brazilian teams compete each other
- Copa Latin America (LAS Copa), where Latin American teams face each other during the Regular Season
- SLTV StarSeries, where top Russian teams compete each other
- Oceanic Pro League (OPL), where teams from Oceanic Region face each other
- League of Legends Japan League Season, where top-Japan teams compete each other
- Turkish Champions League (TCL), which was founded after Turkish teams have acquired their own server
- SEA Wild Card Qualifiers, where top teams from Garena Premier League compete each other.
The best teams participating in these competitions have to earn their spot to the World Championship by participating in two separate international tournaments, with the best team from each group advancing to the World’s.
Overview of the Formats
In Daily Fantasy e-Sports, most of the contests are about the major competitions. So I’m going to focus on describing how the “Game” is played in the major regions and the format of their leagues.
The NA LCS starts during late September, with one preliminary phase, the NA LCS Spring Promotion Tournament. 6 teams participate in a Promotion Tournament, 3 from last year’s LCS Regular Season (placed 7-9th) and the best three from last years NA Challenger Series, in Bo5 matches, with the winners advancing to NA LCS.
The Challenger Series consists of 6 teams: 16 teams picked by the Ranked Ladder System are divided in four groups, with the winner of each group advancing to the Challenger Series plus the two pre-qualified teams from the Expansion Tournament. The winner of CS advances automatically to the LCS, whereas teams placed 2nd and 3rd will qualify for the Promotion Tournament.
The Expansion Tournament consists of the 3 losing teams from the Promotion Tournament, 3 teams from the Challenger Series playoffs (the 3rd placed team plus the losers of the Quarterfinals) and the top 7 Ranked Ladder teams.
With this in mind let’s have a look at the major competition of NA the LCS.
It is divided in two 9-week periods (called Splits), the Spring Split starting during January, and the Summer Split starting during May.
The Splits are considered Regular Season and each Split is followed by Spring and Summer Playoffs respectively.
During the Regular Season, teams face each other in a double round robin format. Based on their results during each Split they compete in the Playoffs: teams 1-2 secure first round byes during the playoffs, 4th plays against the 5th team, the 7th placed team does not participate in the Playoffs but re-qualifies for the Summer Split, whereas teams finishing 8th and 9th during a Split, compete against the 2nd and 3rd placed teams from the Challenger Series.
Teams finishing at the bottom of the table during a Split are auto-relegated to the CS, with the team finishing 1st at the CS taking their place.
During the Playoffs, the matchups are played in a Bo5 format and single-elimination is applied. Depending on the final position during the Playoffs, teams acquire Championship Points.
Championship Points (CP) are summed at the end of the Summer Playoffs and the team with the most points follows the 1st placed during the Summer Playoffs (Auto-Qualification) to the World Championship.
After Summer Playoffs are finished, teams placed 3rd to 6th participate in the Regional Qualifiers.
The 3rd placed teams advance to the finals and 4th auto-qualifies to the Semifinals.
All matches are best of 5 (Bo5), with the team winning this mini-Tournament getting a ticket to the World’s too.
The EU LCS is pretty much the same in terms of format with NA LCS.
The Spring Promotion and the Expansion Tournament determine the participants in the Spring Split.
All teams face each other twice and the best 4 teams qualify for the Spring Playoffs, getting Championship Points depending on their final position.
When Spring Playoffs are completed, the team finishing at the bottom of the table is replaced by the team finishing 1st at the Challenger Series, whereas teams finishing 7th-9th face the 2nd-4th placed teams of the Challenger Series, for three places at the EU LCS Summer Split.
The team finishing 1st during the Summer Playoffs advances to the World Championship, the team with the most Championship points also makes it to the World’s, followed by a third team that comes out winner of the Regional Qualifiers.
Teams participating in Korean League are well trained throughout the Season.
This is due to the fact that during the Spring/Summer Split all games are Bo3, whereas in the EU/NA LCS it’s a single round robin match.
The Regular Season lasts 12 weeks, divided into two broad periods, also called Splits.
Top 4 teams qualify for the Playoffs of each Split, the team seeded #1 for the World Championship is the team finishing at the top of the table during the Summer Playoffs, followed by the team with the most CP and the winner of Regional Qualifiers (teams placed 3rd to 6th).
Summer Promotion takes place between the two Splits.
The main difference between the Chinese League and the rest of the regions, is that the team placed 1st does not auto-qualify to the World’s.
The number of teams is also larger than the EU/NA LCS (12).
The Regular Season is divided into two periods, Splits and the best four teams compete in the Playoffs gaining CP depending on their position.
The team that scores the most CP is seeded first to the World Championship, with another two teams representing China following.
These teams are seeded after the Regional Qualifiers are completed.
As already mentioned, LMS is a mini-Tournament focused solely on teams from Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macao regions.
8 teams face each other in best of two matchups, with the team winning 2-0 receiving 3 points and if the matchup is a draw, both teams receive 1 point.
They play each other once and the teams 1-4 advance to the Playoffs, where all the matchups are Bo5.
The winner of the Summer Split advances to the World Championship, whereas teams 2-4 fight for a place to the World’s during the Regional Qualifiers.
The International Wildcard Qualifiers determine which two teams will qualify from the not-so-important-Leagues to the World Championship.
This year all seven teams, after finishing at the top of their Leagues, were divided into two groups depending on their region.
The winner of each group will advance to the World’s.
During the group stage, teams will play each other twice and all matchups are Bo1.
The top two teams from each group face each other in a Bo5 contest, with the winning team making the dream come true.
This is what the competitive scene is all about. Teams making it to the World’s compete for high prizes and fame.
This Fall, the World Championship will take place in the European continent. Four great cities London, Paris, Berlin and Brussels will host the venues, and these glorious events.
16 teams will divide into four groups of four and they’ll be decided after a Live Group Draw.
During the Group Stage, all teams will compete against each other twice in a Bo1 format, with the top two teams from each group advancing to the Knockout Stage (where Bo1 becomes Bo5).
An important rule is that teams taking 1st position during the Group Stage can compete only with 2nd placed teams.
Also, a Group must not contain more than one team from each region, so no CLG vs. TSM during the Group Stage.
We hope this clarifies and explains the outline of the Tournaments for League of Legends so you can better apply this knowledge to your strategies for daily fantasy eSports!