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2017 League of Legends World Championship Heads for China, New Format Explained

The 2017 League of Legends World Championship will take place in China, beginning on September 23 and running through to November 4, this year. The region boasts the largest number of League of Legends players in the world, painting Worlds 2017 in both excitement and expectation.

In an official announcement, Riot Games explained significant changes being made to the tournament format from previous championships. The 2017 League of Legends World Championship will begin with a new Play-In Stage that determines four teams for the following 16-team Group Stage.

A total of 12 teams will participate in the Play-In Stage. This will not include Korea since all three of its seeded teams have earned a bypass into the Group Stage in light of performance metrics from past years. Additionally, the number three seed from North America (NA), Europe (EU), China (CN), and Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau (LMS) must fight in the Play-In tournament to earn a spot in the Group Stage.

The other eight teams will be sole representations from each of the following regions: Brazil (BR), Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), Japan (JPN), Latin America – North (LAN), Latin America – South (LAS), Oceania (OCE), Southeast Asia (SEA), and Turkey (TUR).

The Play-In Stage for Worlds 2017 will take place from September 23-26 and September 28-29 in Wuhan at the Wuhan Sports Center Gymnasium. The same venue will then host the Group Stage a week later, from October 5-8 and October 12-15.

For the Quarterfinals, Worlds 2017 will shift to the Guangzhou Gymnasium in Guangzhou, pitting the top eight teams against each other from October 19-22. The Semifinals will be played in Shanghai at the Shanghai Oriental Sports Center where the top four will face off between October 28-29.

The grand finals for the 2017 League of Legends World Championship will be hosted at the famous Beijing National Stadium, also known as the Bird’s Nest, in Beijing on November 4. Built for the 2008 Summer Olympics, it’s regarded as one of the most iconic stadiums in the world.