Unfortunately for fans of the VCS, they will not be seeing their teams compete at the 2021 League of Legends World Championship. Riot also confirmed this will once again affect the tournament format for the play-in stage as Rogue is bumped up to the main group stage.
Earlier today Riot Games confirmed
the reports of Upcomer
that the 2021 LoL World Championship will take place in Iceland. Sadly, this does confirm that once again teams from the VCS will not be participating. The last time VCS teams were able to attend an international event was Worlds 2019 prior to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Unfortunately, due to travel restrictions, the two teams from the VCS will not be able to attend. We will continue to work with our trusted partners to explore every option to get a VCS representative to MSI 2022.
Quote from LoL Esports Worlds announcement.
Riot Games has a solid track record of hosting events in Iceland. Earlier this year Riot hosted both the LoL Mid-Season Invitational and the first-ever VCT Masters LAN. Unfortunately, fans will not get the opportunity to attend the event live to ensure the safety of everyone involved.
VCS announcement equals play-in format change
As they did in last year's World Championship, Riot has chosen to stick with the same format. This has implications on LEC's Rogue specifically, who will now start their 2021 campaign directly in the group stage. The remaining ten groups will now compete in two groups of five. The two first-place teams will automatically qualify for the group stage. The teams that finish in third and fourth will play each other in round one of the play-in qualifiers. The two winners will then play the two teams that finished runners-up in their respective groups.
A year of sadness for VCS fans
It goes without saying how tough it must be for fans of the VCS. While they were able to watch their teams play in the spring split, in the summer it was a completely different scenario. The league officials were forced to cancel their 2021 summer split due to multiple problems, including the country's ongoing problems with the pandemic. While there were rumors the League would hold a regional qualifier to potentially send their teams to Worlds, the VCS simply could not get their teams to Worlds.