It’s nearly that time of year again – the League of Legends World Championship is around the corner. Every major region has locked in their top four teams and are booking their tickets to the Championship destination, and what a destination it is! It is the backyard of the Season 12 World Champions in DragonX (DRX), and teams are gearing up to head to Seoul, South Korea, in just a few short weeks. While the actual World Championship does not start until mid-October, every World Championship qualifying team is heading to Korea for another reason: the Korean League of Legends Bootcamp.
The Korean League of Legends Bootcamp
Being a professional League of Legends seems like fun and games until hearing what this boot camp entails. In short, teams will travel to Korea with over a month until their actual tournament and play League of Legends for 12 to 18 hours per day, seven days a week. Between scrimmaging other teams, trying to reach the highest rank on the solo queue ladder, and reviewing gameplay, players and coaching staff on these teams will only have enough time to eat and sleep outside of their focus on the game.
However, this is something that most teams do even when the World Championship is not in Korea. The South Korean League of Legends server is widely regarded as the premiere server in the world. All the best players play on it, and it upholds the highest standards of integrity within the game. This means purposely ruining games or verbally harassment is heavily punished, so much so that there can be jail time involved if the offense is bad enough. Part of what makes the Korean server so elite is its exclusivity. There are only two ways to get League of Legends accounts on the Korean server:
- Be a registered Korean citizen with an ID that can be used for account creation. Something that happens all the time on other servers, buying and selling accounts, is illegal in Korea, and doing so amounts to identity theft, which equates to at least a few years in prison.
- Be granted an account by Riot Korea. Outside of the native Korean pro players, this is how all the pro players that boot camp in Korea get their account.
Given these rules, there is no other region in the world that has a higher standard of play than Korea. Therefore, all the teams spend their practice time for the World Championship in Korea.
World Championship Specifics
This year, for Season 13, the top four teams from China and Korea will be playing in the World Championship. The top three teams from Europe and North America have also qualified, and a fourth team from one of these regions will also qualify through a decider match taking place one day before the World Championship starts in Korea on October 9th, 2023. Minor regions will be sending one to two teams (depending on the region’s population) each to Korea, making a total of 22 teams.
The World Championship will start on October 10th, beginning with the play-ins in which eight of the bottom-seated teams will play double-elimination matches. Only two of the eight teams will make it out. Then, the Swiss stage will involve all 16 of the remaining teams, each playing five games against other teams – three wins make it to the next stage of the Championship, while three losses are elimination. This will leave only eight teams remaining for the last stage of the competition, the Knockout stage. The eight teams will be drawn into a bracket and play best-of-five game matches. Losing means elimination until the two winningest teams meet on November 19th in the Grand Finals. These stages of the World Championships will take place in four different venues across South Korea, the Grand Finals having the largest venue of all.
There is truly a lot to look forward to in this World Championship. If you are like me and cannot wait until then, I would recommend checking out the LoLWorldChampionship twitch channel. It is playing 24/7 footage of all the past League of Legends World Championships in chronological order, starting from Season one. It is amazing to see how the game, tournament format, and technology has evolved through the lens of professional League of Legends.