LoL Worlds History

League of Legends (LoL) has been released in 2009 and since then there have been 10 World Championships. From humble beginnings to playing in stadiums such as Staples Center and Beijing National Stadium, World Championships have always been dominated by true legends. With a decade of champions being crowned, this is the lol worlds history.

Season One

Season 1 LoL Worlds Championship Winner Fnatic

In 2011 League of Legends wasn’t yet an established worldwide e-sport. The tournament was held in Sweden and feature a prize pool of $100,000. Eight teams fought their way through the regional qualifiers in order to secure their place on the main stage, three from North America, three from Europe, and one team from Philippines and Taiwan each. Tournament winners ended up being Fnatic, beating aAa (Against All Authority) two to one (2-1) in the final. Most valuable player (MVP) of the tournament was Fnatic’s mid laner Maciej “Shushei” Ratuszniak.

Winner: Fnatic (Europe)

Top – Enrique “xPeke” Cedeño Martínez
Jungle – Lauri “Cyanide” Happonen
Mid – Maciej “Shushei” Ratuszniak
Bot – Manuel “LaMiaZeaLoT” Mildenberger
Support – Peter “Mellisan” Meisrimel

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Season Two

Worlds Season 2 Taipei Assassins

The following year Riot Games put a lot of effort in developing a professional League of Legends scene. They also released a Korean server, the home of all major e-sport scenes. The result was expected, with Korean teams on the rise, they were favored to win it all. Europe also had their major powerhouse, Moscow 5, considered one of the favorites of the tournament.

Moscow 5 lead by their mid lane Alex Ich was the first team to introduce concept of Counter Jungling (invading enemy jungle). Such style required the whole team to play aggressively and they often opted for picks that would allow them to have lane pressure so they would be able to dominate the map.

Season Two World Championship had a prize pool of $2,000,000 spread among the 12 participating teams. It took place in Los Angeles California. Four of the top 5 seeds had a bye to the knockout stage, while the rest of the teams had to battle out in the Bo1 group stage.

There were no surprising exists in the group stage and tournament was going on as everyone had predicted, Moscow 5 and the Korean teams were still the favorites. In the semifinals were Moscow 5 (Europe), Taipei Assassins (Taiwan), Counter Logic Gaming Europe (Europe) and Azubu Frost (Korea). In the first semifinal match TPA managed to upset favorites Moscow 5 with the score 2 to 1, while Azubu Frost did the same to CLG.EU. Unfazed against their adversary, Taipei Assassins beat Azubu Frost 3 to 1 in a rather convincing fashion thus becoming Season Two World Champions.

Winner: Taipei Assassins (Taiwan)

Top – Wang “Stanley” June-Tsan
Jungle – Sung “Lilballz” Kuan-Po
Mid – Wai Kin “Toyz” Lau
Bot – Chang “BeBe” Bo-Wei
Support – Chen “MiSTaKE” Hui-Chung

Season Three

Faker potrait Season 3

Becoming a Worldwide phenomenon, League of Legends was watched more than any other e-sports in the history. The tournament took place in Los Angeles and a prize pool of $2,050,000 was split between 14 participating teams. That year the world has learned the name “Faker” that it will never forget.

Faker made his Worlds debut with SKT T1 in Season 3. Having barely qualified to the tournament through Regional Qualifiers, Faker and SKT T1 had a strong start, going 7-1 in the group stage. Defeating their main rival, Korean 1st seed Najin Black Shield, 3-2 in the semifinals they advanced to the finals. Royal Club led by their superstar AD carry Uzi was waiting for them. In an anticlimactic finish to the tournament, SKT T1 stomped RYL 3-0 thus becoming Season 3 World Champions.

Winner: SK Telecom T1 (South Korea)

Top – Jung “Impact” Eon-yeong
Jungle – Bae “Bengi” Seong-woong
Mid – Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok
Bot – Chae “Piglet” Gwang-jin
Support – Lee “PoohManDu” Jeong-hyeon

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Worlds 2014

Worlds 2014 Samsung White lifting trophy
Credit: Riot Games

In 2014 Riot Games announced a new format for the League of Legends Worlds that is still being used today. One of the changes was introduction of double round robin. It mean that each team play other teams on both Red, and the Blue side in the group stage. Sixteen contestants are divided into 4 groups, from where only two will continue to the knockout stage.

Just like the previous two LoL World Championships, Korean teams were tournaments’ favorites. They were able to confirm those expectations by having all three teams place first in their respective groups. Both semifinals featured teams from the same region, Samsung White against Samsung Blue from Korea in the first semifinal, and Star Horn Royal Club and Oh My God in the second one.

Managing to defeat their sister team, SSW continued onto the finals where they would meet Chinese Star Horn Royal Club. Being finalists for the second year in the row, SHR wanted to avoid last years’ outcome. But Samsung White did not care. They demolished the Chinese team in a one sided 3-1 final to win it all.

Winner: Samsung White (South Korea)

Top – Jang “Looper” Hyeong-seok
Jungle – Choi “DanDy” In-kyu
Mid – Heo “PawN” Won-seok
Bot – Gu “imp” Seung-bin
Support – Cho “Mata” Se-hyoung

Worlds 2015

SKT T1 Lifting Trophy Worlds 2015
Credit: Riot Games

League of Legends kept growing at an extraordinary pace. In 2015, 36,000,000 viewers tuned in to watch World’s best 16 teams battle it out for glory. Compared to last years numbers, 27,000,000 viewers, League of Legends World Championship grew by 25%.

For the first time, the host of the tournament was Europe. Prize pool did not see any increase compared to the previous years and stayed at the $2,000,000.

Not wanting to repeat last years’ disappointment, Faker and SKT T1 were determined to participate in the tournament and win it again. Crushing their group 6-0 they were seen as favorites once again. Beating AHQ in quarterfinals, and European’s Origen in semifinals, SKT T1 still hadn’t lost a single game in the whole tournament. In the Korean-on-Korean final, they bested their fierce opponent KOO Tigers 3 to 1.

They finished the tournament with a total score of 15 wins and 1 loss, engraving their names in the LoL Worlds History as one of the most dominant teams. This was also 2nd World Championship title for both Faker and Bengi, who became first players at the time to accomplish such a feat. SKT T1’s top laner Marin was the tournament’s most valuable player (MVP).

Winner: SK Telecom T1 (South Korea)

Top – Jang “MaRin” Gyeong-hwan
Jungle – Bae “Bengi” Seong-woong
Mid – Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok
Bot – Bae “Bang” Jun-sik
Support – Lee “Wolf” Jae-wan
Sub – Lee “Easyhoon” Ji-hoon

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Worlds 2016

Worlds 2016 ROX Tigers versus SK Telecom T1 stadium
Credit: Riot Games

After three years of consistent Prize Pool, for League of Legends World Championship 2016, Riot games decided to increase the amount to $5,000,000. The tournament came back to United States again, with finals being held at Los Angeles Staples Center.

Having qualified for the second consecutive year, SK Telecom T1 wanted to become first consecutive winner in LoL Worlds History. With newcomer Duke in the top lane, SKT fielded nearly the same roster as the previous year. Although, this year would prove to be much harder.

Both European and North American first seeds, G2 Esports and Team Solo Mid, would get eliminated in the group stage. Again, all the South Korean representatives topped their groups and another Korean on Korean final was expected. On the bottom side of the bracket, Samsung Galaxy managed to 3-0 sweep Cloud 9 and H2K earning themselves a spot in finals for the first time.

Things weren’t so easy for their final adversaries, SKT T1. Defeating Uzi and RNG in quarterfinals they had to face their last year’s final opponents, KOO Tigers (former ROX Tigers). After a nail-biting 5 match series, SKT ended up being victorious. Finals managed to deliver the same excitement. Trading blows back and forth, neither team was ready to give up.

In a spectacular fashion, on shoulders of their legendary mid laner Faker, SKT managed to overcome Samsung Galaxy. By doing so, they became the first consecutive winners in LoL worlds history. The tournament’s MVP was Faker. This was also 3rd Worlds titles for Bengi and Faker, and they are still the only players with 3 titles in lol worlds history.

Winner: SK Telecom T1 (South Korea)

Top – Lee “Duke” Ho-seong
Jungle – Bae “Bengi” Seong-woong
Mid – Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok
Bot – Bae “Bang” Jun-sik
Support – Lee “Wolf” Jae-wan
Sub – Kang “Blank” Sun-gu

Worlds 2017

Words 2017 Fans

Having been to North America, South Korea and Europe, now it was China’s turn to host the World Championship. Teams played in different cities on different tournament stages, topping it off with finals in the National Stadium in Beijing. With the more increasing number of players around the world, the tournament system needed a shakeup. A number of teams that would qualify for it got increased to 24, compared to last years 16. Furthermore, 12 of the lowest seeded teams had to pass the Play-In stage to get to the group stage.

Out of 16 group stage teams, the 3 out of the 4 teams that entered through the Play-in stage managed to advance to the knockout phase. Faker and SKT were on the worlds stage for the 3rd time in 3 years and they were topping their group once again, while the other last years’ finalist, SSG finished 2nd in their respective group.

Samsung Galaxy breezed to the finals with ease just like the year before, while SKT had an even worse result. Going to five games vs European’s second seed Misfits Gaming was something no one predicted. In the semifinals they met their arch rivals, Royal Never Give Up for the third time in the lol worlds history. Uzi and RYL did not manage to overcome the challenge known as SKT and lost 3 to 2. After an exciting semifinal, came an anticlimactic final. Samsung Galaxy prepared a plan to shut down Faker, in which they succeeded. The rest of SKT didn’t manage to pick up the scraps and Samsung Galaxy won in a convincing 3-0.

Winner: Samsung Galaxy (South Korea)

Top – Lee “CuVee” Seong-jin
Jungle – Kang “Ambition” Chan-yong
Mid – Lee “Crown” Min-ho
Bot – Park “Ruler” Jae-hyuk
Support – Jo “CoreJJ” Yong-in
Sub – Kang “Haru” Min-seung

Worlds 2018

Worlds 2018 Finals
Credit: Riot Games

Prize pool got increased by 22% and was now $6,450,000. Having won the previous 5 world championships, it was expected South Korea would take home another world title. Especially considering that the tournament was taking the place in their home country.

For the first time in 4 yours there was no Faker and SKT. No one wanted to let such an opportunity go to waste. With Korean Gen.G getting eliminated in the group stage and other Korean teams not dominating as much as they used, anyone could grab the title. An unprecedented thing happened when the remaining two South Korean teams, Afreeca Freecs and KT Rolster, both got eliminated in the quarterfinals.

With all the cards on the table, the lest of the tournament did not live up to the expectations. Both semifinals and the finals featured 3 to 0 stomps by the better team. In the first semifinal Fnatic defeated Cloud 9, and reached the finals for Europe only for the 2nd time in all of lol worlds history (with first being in season 1). On the other side of the bracket Chinese Invictus Gaming dismantled G2.

Finals were watched by more than 100 milion unique viewers. Invictus Gaming was a much better team on all fronts and beat Fnatic with ease. By doing so they ended the South Korean reign that lasted for 4 years. Worlds 2018 MVP was Ning.

Winner: Invictus Gaming (China)

Top – Kang “TheShy” Seung-lok
Jungle – Gao “Ning” Zhen-Ning
Mid – Song “Rookie” Eui-jin
Bot – Yu “JackeyLove” Wen-Bo
Support – Wang “Baolan” Liu-Yi
Sub – Lee “Duke” Ho-seong

Worlds 2019

Worlds 2019 Trophy
Credit: Riot Games

With Fnatic’s recent success on the world stage, as well as G2’s win at MSI, Worlds 2019 were back in Europe, with finals taking place in Paris. With the most recent results Korean teams did not seem as unbeatable opponents anymore.

Someone else who has been missing from last year was back too. Faker. SKT topped their group in the convincing fashion, just like their regional rivals, Griffin and Damwon Gaming. The knockout phase was consisted of 3 South Korean teams, 3 European teams, and 2 Chinese teams. G2 beat newcomers Damwon and Faker’s SKT on road to the finals hastidly.

After a shaky group stage, Chinese 1st seed Funplux Phoenix found their form in quarterfinals versus Fnatic. In the semifinals they beat last years’ winners Invictus Gaming and would go on to face G2. For the second year in a row, finals featured teams from China and Europe. As it is with most of the finals, this one was 3 to 0 stomp as well with Funplux Phoenix taking the win. Thus, getting China their back to back wins and becoming second region to do so in lol worlds history.

Winner: Funplux Phoenix (China)

Top – Kim “GimGoon” Han-saem
Jungle – Gao “Tian” Tian-Liang
Mid – Kim “Doinb” Tae-sang
Bot – Lin “Lwx” Wei-Xiang
Support – Liu “Crisp” Qing-Song
Sub – Chang “Xinyi” Ping

Worlds 2020

Worlds 2020 Finals
Credit: Riot Games

The latest World Championship took place in China. Due to the Covid-19 Outbreak, only 22 out of 24 teams were able to attend. Such a situation also called for an adjustment in the play in system. Furthermore, 10 teams were split in two groups, rather than 12 teams in the 4 groups like previous years.

They weren’t on the throne for some time, and South Korean teams were hungry for the win. With all three teams passing the group stage everyone was having flashbacks to their past reign. G2 and Fnatic were again making their presence known. G2 were coming off back to back finals, but this time they were stopped in their tracks by Damwon Gaming in the semifinals. Same time that they beat 3-0 in the quarterfinals just a year earlier. On the other half of the bracket, Chinese 3rd seed Suning was beat both Fnatic (3-2) and Top Esports (3-1) to advance to the finals.

Last year’s rookies Damwon weren’t planning on letting worlds slip from them again. Trading blows with Suning they managed to get a 2-1 lead, and convincingly won Game 4 to round up the finals with the score 3 to 1. DWG jungler Canyon was Worlds 2020 MVP. Damwon’s win meant that South Korea now holds 6 out of 10 world titles in lol worlds history.

Winner: Damwon Gaming (South Korea)

Top – Jang “Nuguri” Ha-gwon
Jungle – Kim “Canyon” Geon-bu
Mid – Heo “ShowMaker” Su
Bot – Jang “Ghost” Yong-jun
Support – Cho “BeryL” Geon-hee

Worlds 2021

To be determined