Is it fair that the Worlds LCL seed goes to LEC and Europe?
Riot Games revealed the seedings for this year’s Worlds 2022, and it also announced that the LEC will inherit the LCL spot, making it four slots for the European League. The decision was welcomed by LEC fans, but others did not seem too happy.
Was this the right decision? Or was there any better way?
LEC will get an additional slot at Worlds
Riot Games announced that this year’s Worlds will start on Sept. 29 and culminate in the finals on Nov. 5. The tournament will start with the play-ins stage in Mexico City, with the rest of the competition continuing in the USA. The venues will be the Madison Square Garden in New York City, Atlanta’s State Farm Arena and the finals will be held in San Francisco’s Chase Stadium.
The circuit will begin with play-ins in Mexico City’s Arena Esports Stadium from Sept. 29 to Oct. 4. The competition will then head to the United States for the remainder of Worlds, starting with Madison Square Garden in New York City between Oct. 7 to 10 and Oct. 13 to 16 for the group stage. Quarterfinals will also be held in MSG from Oct. 20 to 23.
Together with that, Riot kept the same format from last year, with 12 teams qualifying for group stage and the other 12 must go through play-in. With that being said, due to the LCL being unable to send their representative to Worlds (they weren’t allowed for MSI as well), the LEC will gain an extra slot, making it four in total and on par with both LPL and LCK.
Was LEC entitled to the slot?
The LEC was given an additional slot that probably wasn’t deserved if we’re talking about the region’s overall performance.
Based on last year’s Worlds, only one team made it to the Knockout stage and was immediately eliminated in the first round. To a certain extent, the LCS achieved a similar result with Cloud9. If we take a look at the major regions, both the LPL and the LCK should’ve probably deserved an additional slot, but five teams might create too much imbalance among the regions.
The LPL would strong enough teams to send with its current 17 participants, but last year’s 3 LCK teams got to the finals, which would also make them equally worthy of that right. Then why did the LEC get the slot?
The most straightforward answer would be the geographical area. While the LCL is stopped, they are still nearby the European continent, and the former LCL players have joined European organizations during the off-season. Thanks to that, the European League might have earned some preferential treatment, paired with the fact that it would boost the competition and viewership numbers overall.
What would’ve been an alternative solution?
If we cancel out the possibility of giving it to the LPL or LCK, the LCS would’ve been probably the second best option. With that being said, I doubt that the decision would’ve been well accepted, considering NA’s recent performances.
A good option would’ve probably awarded the slot to the PCS or VCS, the two minor regions which have achieved the strongest results. In particular, the PCS might have been the one to actually get the additional slot, if you consider the overall international performances (including MSI). If Riot instead wanted to boost some numbers, giving it to the CBLOL or the LLA would have also been good choices.
Nevertheless, it’s still important to mention that the additional slot is for play-ins. Any team that will participate will have to put in a lot of work if they really want to jump on the strongest stage of the season. One thing, however, is certain: the play-ins stage got a lot more interesting, especially for European fans. With two LEC teams, one LPL, LCK and LCS team, the preliminary stage of Worlds will guarantee us some action.