Riot Games has revealed plans for its first Legends of Runeterra World Championship, featuring a $200,000 (~£143,655) prize pool.
A total of 192 players from the Americas, Europe, and Asia, as well as several ranked and seasonal tournament participants, will compete for 16 seats in the World Championship finals beginning in September.
Riot Games launched Legends of Runeterra (LoR) in April 2020 as a collectable card game (CCG) spin-off of the League of Legends universe. The first seasonal tournament was held in December with a $10,000 (~£7,433) grand prize.
Jon ‘More Synergy’ Stebel, Riot Games Comms Strategist, commented on the official Runeterra blog: “We’ve been thrilled to see thousands of players battle it out to earn the title of Seasonal Tournament champion in the Monuments of Power and Cosmic Creation seasons. Today, we are excited to announce our greatest competitive milestone yet; the Legends of Runeterra World Championship — a major global event that provides a new opportunity for fans and players alike to engage like never before, pushing competitive LoR play to new heights.”
Competitors will be able to qualify for the World Championship in one of three ways based on either Seasonal Tournament or Ranked performance. Players will also retroactively receive ‘ranked points’ based on their performance from the Monuments of Power and Cosmic Creation seasons.
64 players each from the Americas, Europe, and Asia/SEA, respectively, will compete for seats in the Legends of Runeterra World Championship. They will be chosen as follows:
- Ranked – 22 players
- Points will be awarded to Master rank players based on their final rank at the end of each season.
- The top 22 players on each shard by the cutoff will earn a seat for the World Championship qualifiers.
- A player’s score is determined based on their best placement in 2 out of the 5 seasons leading up to the World Championship.
- Seasonal tournament finalists – 20 players
- The top four players from each shard’s five Seasonal Tournaments will be guaranteed a seat in the World Championship qualifiers.
- Any duplicates will pass their seat to a qualifier based on Seasonal Tournament Points.
- Seasonal tournament points – 22 players
- Points are granted based on performance in each Seasonal Tournament.
- One point will be awarded per game won in both the Open Rounds and Playoffs phase of the Seasonal Tournament.
- Points from all Seasonal Tournaments from Empires of the Ascended onward will be combined into a single total.
Qualification for the finals will be determined as follows:
- 64 players from the Americas will compete for six seats in the finals
- 64 players from Europe will compete for five seats in the finals
- 64 players from Asia will be combined with 64 players from SEA to compete for five seats in the finals
A total of 16 finalists will move on to the World Championship finals. These players will then compete in a group stage featuring four-player round robins. The top two finishers from each group will then advance to the final, single-elimination stage to crown LoR’s very first World Champion.
Additional information, including specific dates of the tournaments, will be shared closer to the event.
Esports Insider says: Since the launch of Hearthstone in 2014, collectable card games have struggled to keep the long-term attention of esports fans. Magic: The Gathering Arena is still going strong within its own bubble of organisers and players. LoR has attracted modest streaming attention since its announcement in 2019, but lured a mere 3,500 Twitch viewers in March, per Twitch Tracker. It will be interesting to see how Riot’s latest creation plays out, literally.