Should other regions replace VCS teams at Worlds 2021?
At Worlds 2021, we once again won’t see the representatives from the Vietnamese Championship Series (VCS). It’s the 3rd time in a row that the Vietnamese fans won’t see one of their teams at an international stage, following last year’s Worlds and this year’s Mid-Season Invitational.
As a result, Worlds 2021 will have two representatives missing. With Riot Games announcing the switch of the tournament from China to Europe, how will the company decide to fill the missing spots? Let’s take a look at the various possibilities.
VCS missing out on Worlds 2021… again
According to a report from TheThao.VN, VCS will not play at Worlds 2021 due to the restrictions surrounding the Vietnamese teams securing visas to travel to Worlds 2021 in Europe in the midst of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The teams had failed to secure visas for China previously as well. With Riot announcing the move of Worlds from China to Europe meant that new visas applications needed to be submitted. And those failed again.
Theoretically, the VCS could send two representatives: one directly to the group stage, the other to play-ins. Now that both will miss out, the question is how will Riot decide?
Adding seeds to other regions?
The first and most logical move by Riot Games would be to allow new teams to participate in Worlds 2021. One seed would go to group stage, the other two play-ins. Since China and Korea already have four seeds each, it’s unlikely they will add more spots for these two regions. The first idea would be promoting China or Korea’s 4th seed (Hanwha Life Esports) to the groups stage, and add one seed from another minor region, potentially the LCO or PCS due to their MSI performance.
Instead, it is more likely that Europe will have one additional seed. Mainly because they are the organizing region, but it would also be easier for EU teams to move across venues since they wouldn’t need visas or anything of that sort. Not only that, but EU is the 3rd best region across the world.
With that being said, the team that would go to Worlds would be EU’s 4th seed, G2 Esports. It would be exciting for all the fans as Caps & Co. would have another chance to fight with the very best. However, considering that G2 didn’t “deserve” to be there, fans might not like the idea.
The other potential team that would make it to Groups stage would be North America, but it’s less likely due to EU having better results in recent years.
Or Disregard the spots?
The other potential solution, though, would be doing the same thing Riot did with the Mid-Season Invitational: leave the two spots open and re-organize the matches without them. It would keep the fairness of competition and give more opportunities to the minor regions.
The main downside, though, would be related to the difficulty of adding more matches to compensate, as well as one group in play-ins and groups stage will have one less competitor. In the end, the competition will be “lower” in most cases.
So, how will Riot decide? Who do you think should be added to Worlds 2021?