Worlds 22 off to a “steady” start – scalped tickets, delays and strange meta
Worlds ’22 kicked off last night, with unexpected LEC dominance, DRX dominating RNG and wildcard teams looking better then LCS. However, results aside, there are some issues that LoL Worlds is facing that simply ruined the viewership experience for some.
Ticket Scalpers ruin audience attendance
LoL Worlds tickets have been a huge pain point for the Play-In stage at Worlds. The opening shot from the Mexico City venue says it all. Bots bought up all the tickets and ended up reselling them for 7-10 times the price. As a result, the venue was half empty for a big portion of Day 1, and the trend may continue in upcoming days.
How Riot Games let things get so out of hand is strange, especially considering over 80% of tickets have been scalped.
Delays galore on Day 1 of Play-Ins
We had plenty of broadcast issues on opening day, hopefully getting resolved on Day 2. Due to several teams and players contracting COVID-19 recently, Riot created a mini-bubble and special designated play-rooms for players to be able to compete uninterrupted. However, once game time rolled around, plenty of delays in both setup, technical issues in LAN play and just extended wait times made the opening day broadcast uninteresting at time.
Giving credit where credit is due, the Worlds casters did their absolute best to entertain the viewers, but at some stages even they ran out of meme material to use. Hopefully day two gets things going more smoothly.
Thus far, our Worlds Play-Ins predictions are holding true.
Play-Ins and Strange Worlds Meta
We are seeing a very different meta being brought into play-ins between different regions. The recent Worlds patch and limited scrims have put teams into an awkward position to stylize their picks on the go with varied success. Several teams (MAD, RNG, EG) seem to have a wrong understanding on how to draft for the current patch, and although MAD won both their games, it was obvious they are not on point with their picks. We can chuck EG and RNG dropping their openers to jitters, it was clear they also approached their drafts with a different “meta” in mind.
Many fans were disappointed in the LoL 2022 Worlds format staying stagnant once again. While Riot has changed up the Play-In stage, the most tense and exciting part of the competition the “knockout stage” remains unchanged. Even in Play-Ins, playing a single round-robin bracket and securing a direct spot into Groups seems unfair. Especially given the opening matches (eg. DRX / RNG) are heavily dependent on weak scrimmage and meta understanding based on only days of patch play. We may see some teams entirely lose out on a shot at qualifying due to a tricky format setup.
Fans have long called for a double elimination bracket, and we should honestly have one for both Play-Ins and Knockouts. Such a format would be slightly more forgiving during a team’s bad day, and give the opportunity for much hyped miracle come backs.