The League of Legends World Championship was set to take place in China for the second year in a row. From the first stage of the event in Shanghai until the finals in Shenzhen, a multi-city tour with five different locales had been planned.
However, Riot had to make the difficult decision to move Worlds 2021 from China to Europe in order to accommodate as many teams as possible during the continuing COVID-19 pandemic.
On August 24th, Riot's head of eSports, John Needham, remarked that they figured 2020 would be the hardest Worlds they ever had to produce. He further added that they expected a return to some type of normalcy in 2021, with vaccines being distributed globally this year. Unfortunately, this hasn't proven to be the case. Travel limitations and COVID rules were considerably more difficult to handle in 2021 with the Delta variation than they were in 2020. After weighing all of the options, Riot determined that shifting the World Championships to Europe provided the best opportunity for the most teams and their finest players to compete.
The top teams from 12 regions will play for the Summoner's Cup at Worlds 2021, regardless of where it takes place.
The event will include 24 teams, including four from China and Korea, three from Europe and North America, two from Taiwan and Vietnam, and one from each of the CIS, Latin America, Turkey, Brazil, Japan, and Oceania.
All of the teams competing in Worlds 2021 are listed here:
China – LPL
FunPlus Phoenix, EDG and other two teams are yet to be determined.
Since winning it all in 2019, FunPlus Phoenix has won their first Worlds berth. They swept WE in the semifinals, securing a position in the domestic finals and, at the very least, the most championship points of any team with 180.
Following a dominant win against Team WE in the LPL Summer Split semifinals, EDG qualified for Worlds 2021. The team goes to the group stage of the end-of-year event with 160 championship points, second only to FPX in the standings.
Korea – LCK
DWG KIA, Gen.G, T1, and Hanwha Life.
DWG KIA qualified for the 2021 World Championships based on championship points earned throughout the season. After accumulating 150 championship points, Gen.G qualified for Worlds 2021.
Despite difficulties throughout the season, T1 qualified for Worlds 2021. The team received 100 championship points in the Summer Split playoffs after defeating SANDBOX in the quarterfinals and Gen.G in the semis, in addition to the 30 points earned in the spring.
Hanwha Life earned the fourth and last spot at Worlds 2021 after a dominant 3-0 win against NS RedForce in the LCK regional finals.
Europe – LEC
MAD Lions, Fnatic, and Rogue.
MAD Lions defeated G2 Esports 3-1 in a rematch of the LEC Spring Split playoffs, securing a berth at Worlds 2021.
Long-time rivals G2 Esports were defeated by Fnatic to gain a ticket at Worlds 2021.
Rogue needed only a hard-fought win versus Misfits to qualify for Worlds 2021 after finishing first in the LEC summer regular season with a 13-5 record.
North America - LCS
100 Thieves, Team Liquid, and Cloud9.
After defeating Evil Geniuses in the LCS Summer Split playoffs, 100 Thieves qualified for Worlds for the first time since 2018.
After a convincing 3-1 win against TSM in the LCS Summer playoffs, Team Liquid qualified for Worlds 2021.
After a tight 3-2 win against TSM in the loser's bracket of the Summer Split playoffs, Cloud9 regained their form and qualified for Worlds 2021.
SEA – PCS
PSG Talon and Beyond Gaming.
PSG earned a berth at Worlds 2021 after a nail-biting 3-2 triumph over Beyond Gaming in the PCS grand-final.
After overcoming a 2-1 deficit in the semifinals, Beyond Gaming defeated reigning champions PSG Talon in five games to earn a spot in Worlds 2021.
Latin America – LLA
Infinity Esports qualified for Worlds 2021 after a 3-2 victory over Estral Esports in the LLA 2021 summer final.
Oceania – LCO
Peace won the LCO Split Two finals in Australia, sweeping MSI representatives Pentanet.GG and securing a ticket at Worlds 2021.
Teams from the following regions are yet to be determined:
Vietnam – VCS: Two teams
CIS – LCL: One team
Turkey – TCL: One team
Brazil – CBLOL: One teamJapan – LJL: One team