The 2021 LoL World Championship is just around the corner. The best teams from across the globe will battle it out for the coveted Summoners cup. Esports.gg will provide updates as teams book their tickets to the big dance.
Riot's biggest event of the year will once again return to China for the second consecutive World Championship. In 2020, Riot was still able to put on an amazing tournament despite the COVID-19 restrictions. As it stands five teams have qualified for Worlds but with every passing day more teams will have qualified.
Team Liquid is the surprising inclusion in this list given their lackluster regular season. However, after two dominant best-of-fives against C9 and TSM, no team deserves it more. After a number of roster changes and emergency substitutions, this is what the Team Liquid roster fans were expecting. They are decisive, aggressive, and playing at an extremely high level. TL is ready to take the Worlds stage by storm.
For only the second time in the organization's history, 100 Thieves will be competing at Worlds. This time will feel much better than the last. In 2018 there was a major debate about the validity of the LCS Championship points system. 100 Thieves despite having a poor summer split were able to qualify through a spring finals finish. This 100 Thieves roster was designed with the goal of reaching Worlds.
The inclusion of Bok "Reapered" Han-gyu, a coach who is arguably the LCS's greatest was the solid foundation. Reapered has been there and done it all and knows exactly how to get the best out of his players. Can "Closer" Çelik is back to his best and this is down to how Reapered has molded the team around him.
Who would have thought the MSS Champions would be one of the favorites to miss out on qualifying for Worlds yet again? This was the story for Cloud9 as they make their way back to Worlds after a one-year hiatus. C9 had a turbulent summer split following an inconsistent showing at MSI. Cloud9 scratched and clawed through the lower bracket to at least guarantee a spot at Worlds. One of the biggest differences for this team is Perkz. When the Western legend is on form, the team follows suit. It will be interesting to see what they can accomplish at Worlds this year.
Rogue is slowly becoming the face of the LEC, all they are missing is that championship to go along with their dominance. For the second consecutive season, Rogue has reached the World Championship. This is the consistent foundation they have built, but now the next step is following in the likes of G2 and Fnatic, international success. While there should be no expectation for Rogue to reach the finals, anything other than a top-eight finish would be a failure for what is such an incredible side.
Similar to Rogue, MAD Lions also qualified for their second consecutive Worlds. Despite failing to make it out of Worlds 2020 Play-Ins, the Spring Split champions redeemed themselves with a solid showing at MSI earlier this year. Both Rogue and MAD are on the same trajectory, though MAD Lions have the bragging rights with a win over them in the spring finals. Can MAD go one better and out-shine Rogue at the World Championship?
To think it would be a surprise to see Fnatic qualify for Worlds would be the headlines this week. Against all odds, Fnatic battered and bruised their way through the LEC lower bracket to make their way back to Worlds. After many questioned their roster coming into the year, Fnatic proved the doubters wrong and are a legitimate contender to the LEC throne. After so many close-calls, Upset finally qualifies to LoL's biggest tournament for the first time in his career.
The 2020 World Champions are here to defend their crown. Damwon KIA was the first team to qualify for the tournament from the LCK after earning enough championship points. After what was a disappointing finish at MSI, Damwon was able to eventually bounce back in the regular season. A four-game winning streak saw the World Champs finish first place In the regular season. Will the LCK side start another period of dominance or was they simply a flash in the pan?
Gen.G is back on the Worlds stage for another shot at winning their second title. Gen.G became the second team from the LCK to qualify after securing enough Championship points. Despite dropping out in the semi-finals of the playoffs, Gen.G fans have a lot to look forward to as Worlds come around. Gen.G has a world-class roster that will punish you hard in the early game. The LCK side should match up well with their Western counterparts who also like to scrap in the early game.
After missing out in 2020, the three-time world champions T1 are back. At the time of writing this, T1 has just taken down Gen.G 3-1 to book their ticket to China. In 2019 T1 came close to international success at both MSI and at Worlds, reaching the last four on both occasions. Now they are back and better than ever. With a player as storied as Faker, T1 can never be counted out of making another Worlds run.
Hanwha Life Esports
Against all the odds, Hanwha Life will be competing at the 2021 World Championship. The League of Legends side secured their spot after defeating Nongshim RedForce 3-0. While their seed has not been confirmed yet, this is a great moment for fans of LoL superstars Deft and Chovy. Deft secured his name in the record books as the first player to qualify for Worlds on five different teams.
Edward Gaming is back on the international stage for another shot at the summoner's cup. EDG returned to the top of the LPL mountain as they took down FPX in a thrilling best-of-five. This has been a long time coming for EDG fans who have waited desperately for their side to become the best team in China. Superstar AD Carry Viper returns to Worlds for the first time since his international debut in 2019.
FunPlus Phoenix returns to the international stage for the first time since their World Championship victory back in 2019. This is a monstrous team, a revived team, and a heavy favorite to win it all. Doinb is a man possessed, the super carry of the LPL is the best player arguably in the world right now and it will take a great team to stop him and the rest of FPX.
Royal Never Give Up
RNG will get the opportunity to win back-to-back international titles at the 2021 World Championship. The Mid-Season Invitational champions looked unlikely to attend Worlds during the regular season, making their attendance that more special. While RNG may not have the firepower they once had, they certainly have every member playing on the same page and that makes them dangerous.
After a more than impressive performance at the 2021 Mid-Season Invitational, PSG Talon has secured their ticket to Worlds. The summer split champions had to overcome defeat for the first time this split as they won the championship through the losers bracket. PSG is expected to make big waves at this year's event, the LoL side reached the top four at MSI without their starting roster.
Beyond Gaming made a lot of noise by taking down PSG Talon in the upper bracket of the summer playoffs. This was the first time PSG had lost all split long after going 18-0. To not only take a game off them but win in a best-of-five is an incredible achievement and something the players can be proud of. BYG was almost able to do it again after they lost to PSG 3-2 in the final. This is evident there is more than one solid team emerging from the PCS.
Unicorns of Love
UoL will be competing in their third World Championship in as many years. This season may be their best as they had to scratch and claw their way through the lower-bracket, even reverse sweeping a series just to make it back to Worlds. Unicorns of Love will be looking to make up for their shortcomings at MSI, finishing last place in a three-team group behind tournament winners RNG and LCO underdogs Pentanet.GG.
Infinity Esports is back on the international stage for the second time this year as they won the LLA 2021 Closing Playoffs. The Latin American side will be starting off their 2021 World Championship campaign in the play-ins stage. This is not unfamiliar territory for Infinity Esports. In 2019, the LoL side made waves in the play-ins after taking down Edward Gaming.
One of the many debutants in this year's World Championship is TCL Summer Split champions Galatasaray Esports. The longstanding TCL side made quick work of their opponents in the playoffs as they only dropped one map. Their AD Carry in Padden will be one of the players to watch out for on the side of Galatasaray. The TCL veteran is back on the international stage for the first time since 2017.
In surprising fashion Brazil's Red Canids punched their ticket to Worlds after running the Season 2 Playoffs gauntlet, winning the championship. While the regular season does not always paint the entire story, Red Canid's finished sixth place in the regular season. This will be their first appearance on the international stage and they will be kicking off their campaign in the Play-ins stage.
The LJL's DetonatioN FocusMe is becoming a household name on the international stage. The Japanese representatives have built up a surprising yet entertaining rivalry with North America's Cloud9. DFM was agonizingly close to making it out of their Play-ins group, sadly falling at the last hurdle to C9, meaning the NA side would advance to the main stage at MSI. The LJL team is a fun and explosive unit that will punish teams that do not take them seriously.
In a shocking turn of events, Pentanet.GG will not be attending Worlds this year. That honor will go to the LCO's PEACE. Similar to Red Canids, PEACE secured their spot in the post-season by stringing together three wins back-to-back in order to keep their Worlds hopes alive. What followed was pure excellence as the LCO side swept the entire playoffs, including the league favorites in Pentanet.