This year’s World Championship will be the largest in League of Legends history - featuring 24 teams from 13 different regions around the globe. To get you ready for all the action, we’ll walk you through all 18 non-NA and EU teams heading to Worlds, and the standout players you should keep an eye on.
LLN - Latin America North
Let’s start in South America, with Latin America North. Lyon have won every single title in Latin America North’s history -- they’re the only 9-time champions League of Legends has ever known. But while Lyon have utterly dominated their home, they’ve failed to qualify for Worlds for the past three years. Now Lyon is travelling to Worlds for the first time ever, and has a chance to prove that their undisputed history is a sign of strength, and not an unhealthy lack of competition.
Player to watch: Seiya
Seiya, once again, stands as the Bjergsen of the LLN, dominating each and every team from the midlane. He’s the most experienced and talented player in the region, and the only Lyon player who’s been there for all 9 local championships.
CLS - Latin America South
Kaos Latin Gamers
Kaos Latin Gamers was once known for their meme-tastic midlaner, El Reginaldo. Since then, they’ve continued to grow in Latin America South, chasing the level of competition seen in nearby Brazil. The result is a locally beloved team that boomerangs between first place and dead last.
Player to watch: Fix
KLG drafted a roster of veterans for this season, but it’s their rookie AD Carry Fix that’s been blowing up the charts. He’ll be pairing up with one of the region’s most successful supports in hopes of carrying Latin America South to groups.
CBLoL - Brazil
Written by Peter Dun, Ex-Head Coach of INTZ
Team oNe e-Sports
Brazilian teams have qualified for the last three World Championship group stages, claiming impressive victories against major teams like Edward Gamin.g, Koo Tigers, and Alliance along the way. It will be up to Team One to continue that legacy at worlds 2017
Team One have been the revelation of the 2017 Winter Season, winning the CBLOL championship one split after promotion from Challenger Series. Although not considered by most analysts in Brazil as a mechanically strong team, Team One play an intelligent macro and rotational focused style of play, using side lane minion wave control and disciplined application of pressure around the map to neutralise the playstyles of enemy teams.
Team One's key players at worlds will be ADC Absolut and Top Laner Verto. Verto was Team One's best player in playoffs, securing 3 solo kills in 4 games against Pain top laner Mylon in the finals. Absolut is a rising star of Brazilian League of Legends, and although he has a more passive laning phase to allow Support Redbert freedom to roam in the early game, his excellent team fight positioning is they key to Team One's late game success.
TCL - Turkey
1907 Fenerbahçe Esports
Now let’s head across the Atlantic to Turkey. Few minor regions have ever been on an international stage. Turkey has appeared on them three times. Supermassive Esports and Dark Passage have both proven to be feisty underdogs at Worlds and MSI, but this time, Turkey will be led by 1907 Fenerbahce Esports, a team that was founded just this year. They may be new to league of legends, but they’re part of the century-old Fenerbahce family -- a massive sports league with millions of die-hard fans behind it.
Player to watch out for: Frozen
Frozen is not only the MVP of Fenerbahce, but the nearly undisputed MVP of all the TCL, winning 90% of the MVP vote. He was recruited to Fenerbahce after leaving LCK’s Longhzu, and the organization has shuffled players around him until they found a winning formula.
LCL - Commonwealth of Independent States
Just next door, the Commonwealth of Independent States will be sending one of the oldest League names to the World Championships: Gambit Esports. This is the organization that once ripped through international tournaments with the legendary Moscow 5 roster, facing off against Regi and Qtpie before the LCS even existed. The team eventually lost their lineup, sold their EU spot, and moved to the young LCL region, where they struggled to return to the international limelight. This season, original M5 members Diamondprox and Edward have teamed up with two Albus Nox players that reached Worlds quarterfinals in 2016, and Gambit is ready to relive the old days.
Players to watch:
Old school fans should keep an eye on Diamondprox and Edward, veterans thirsty for another title. The last time the two won a tournament under the Gambit flag, it was at IEM Cologne in 2014.
And for newer fans, look out for Kira. He’s played 10 splits in the CIS, and won finals in 6 of them. The CIS’s MVP is now their only 6-time champion.
OPL - Oceania
Now let’s move towards the Oceania region. Throughout League history, the OPL has been dominated by the Chiefs, yet has never been able to qualify for worlds. This year, all of that changes. The Dire Wolves stole the Chiefs crown in both 2017 OPL splits, and they will represent the region in its first shot at the World Cup, while longtime champions stay home.
Player to watch: Shernfire
The Wolves have been a dominant voice in the OPL, and much of that is thanks to jungler Shernfire, "the posterchild for the rising quality of macro and mechanical skill in OCE." He isn’t humble about his role, either. Here, he accepts the screaming fans of MSI’s crowd in Brazil, and he doesn’t even care that they’re actually cheering for hometown hero BrTT.
GPL - Southeast Asia
The GIGABYTE Marines didn’t win MSI, but they did walk away as heroes. After dominating Vietnam and Southeast Asia’s GPL, they used their insanely aggressive play style to take down teams like G2, TSM, and Team WE. Whether you think they’re fearless or just plain reckless, the Gigabyte Marines are always entertaining, and this year they want to shock you again.
Player to watch: Levi
Once again, superstar Levi will be jungling for the Marines. He tore up MSI with his lightning-fast Smite steals, and his long-time synergy with Optimus means we’ll be seeing more of the Marines’ non-stop action.
After their MSI success, Gigabyte Marines earned a second seed for their region at Worlds, a spot that’ll be taken up by Young Generation. The name fits -- the roster is full of… less than veteran talent. For two of these players, Young Generation is their first pro League team.
Player to watch: everyone
But what Young Generation lacks in experience, they make up for with determination. With five players ready to make a name for themselves, who knows who will surprise, be it Bigkoro’s aggressive Draven or Ren on his top Casseopeia.
Next up is the nearby LMS, which is sending three teams to worlds: Flash wolves, AHQ, and Hong Kong Attitude.
LMS - Taiwan, Hong Kong, & Macau
Written by xander torres, contributor to red bull & espn esports
Flash Wolves are the champions of Taiwan yet again after a 3-0 victory at the LMS finals. That makes four straight titles for Flash Wolves as it heads to worlds, but the team still carries a chip on its shoulder after a disappointing performance at this year’s MSI. Flash Wolves have dominated Taiwan with relative ease, but it’s still looking for the luster of its 2015 Worlds performance where it took first place in its group over the Korean juggernaut, KOO Tigers.
Player to Watch:
Look towards SwordArT to lead the Flash Wolves’s charge into yet another international tournament. He finished first in all-pro support voting and second in overall MVP voting, distinguishing himself as one of the best players the region has to offer. As an aggressive roaming support and teamfight catalyst, he’s the key to Flash Wolves’s success. Now, it will be up to him at Worlds.
Ahq eSports Club
This will be the fourth straight worlds trip for Ahq eSports Club, even though they’ve played second fiddle to the illustrious Flash Wolves for the last two years. Ahq is one of the few teams at Worlds returning with a completely unchanged roster, and while that may favor ahq in terms of synergy - that also means they will have the same problems as last year.
Player to Watch:
Westdoor is very much the spirit of ahq in terms of the team’s playstyle, but is too easily exposed by world class mid laners. For that reason, many call for ahq to field its Singaporean mid laner, Chawy, who has generally been more consistent, but less impactful. Ahq’s mid lane platoon at worlds may not be at the level of SKT’s Faker and Easyhoon duo in 2015, but it’s even more crucial to the team’s success.
Hong Kong Attitude
Following Riot’s change to the World Championship format to include 24 teams instead of 16, Hong Kong Attitude has the honor of being the first LMS team to qualify as third seed. But HKA’s qualification comes as a bit of surprise, given that J Team and Machi Esports have more successful histories in the region. However, the Hong Kong team managed to find its way into worlds by playing a game of musical chairs, using 16 different players this year alone.
Player to Watch:
One of the final players added to the roster, Unified, came over from the famous Team Fireball and is now the primary carry for HKA. He’s put HKA on his back more than a few times on the likes of Tristana and Kog’maw, so he’ll need to do a lot more of that to ensure Hong Kong Attitude’s group stage qualification.
LJL - Japan
Over to the east we have Japan and their historic rivalry between Rampage and DetonatioN FocusMe. These two teams are the only ones who’ve competed for the LJL crown, and for 3 splits in a row, Rampage has stolen Detonation’s chance to represent their home region. Rampage fell short at MSI, then dominated at their Rift Rivals. Now they have to prove Japan, after all their recent competitive growth, can compete on the biggest international stage.
Players to watch: YutoriMoyashi and Dara
YutoriMoyashi and his support Dara remain the most fearsome botlane in Japan, having perfected their signature power tradeoff. Yutori will sit tight in the early game, letting Dara aggressively roam all over the map. Later in the midgame, Dara passes the torch to his teammate, giving Yutori the room he needs to pop off on hard carries.
LPL - China
Written by Froskurinn, LPL Caster & Analyst
EDG are the premier LPL organization everything really... or every team in the LPL should really aspire to the success and the the decoration that EDG have. They have a very proven track record with their support staff, their coaching staff, that they can run pretty much different players in every single position and continually find greatness. One of my favorite stats is out of eight attempts at an LPL final, EDG have made it six times, and out of six appearances in finals, they have taken the title five times. And the only player to play in every single one of those is Clearlove. Otherwise he's played with two different supports, five different ADCs, three different Midlaners, and three different toplaners.
Player to watch: Clearlove7
I find it very interesting that Hai is given this -- not pass, and I don't want to make it seem that I'm discrediting Hai. I think Hai is an incredible player, but Hai and Clearlove to me are very similar. You know Clearlove it is not renowned for his mechanical ability. He's not the flashy player, he's not the guy that's going to style on you and kill you. But he is a genius and he is recognized for his shot calling and his leadership qualities and that veteran status and they have a very similar trajectory where you know like Hai left then he came back and every team that he's on, he's able to you know dig deep scrounge and lead them to victory. And I think Clearlove has that same intangible X Factor to him.
RNG come in kind of changing the flagship of their organization. You know it's always been the Uzi show for as long as Star Horn Royal Club, Royal Club, RNG, whatever iteration the artist formerly known as Title you want to give them, it's usually always been about Uzi. Now it is about Xiaohu. They make this very clear.
Player to watch: Xiaohu
They've changed up their style. He's the centerpiece. Uzi was injured. I think it was an elbow injury so he's only played half the split. He is playing very well consistently, as always we have high expectations for Uzi, but Xiaohu is just playing on another level.
I think their 1-3-1 is really strong, but it's only because of Xiaohu and his ability to juggle all of these different pressure points on the map, to create team fighting opportunities for RNG.
WE are still chasing their legacy of 2012 and what could have been. They've been with this roster for close to two years now and they started very much at the bottom. They effectively got a midlaner who was known as a Twisted Fate one-trick. Ha ha ha. Misayah. No it's Xiye. They picked up an AD Carry named Mystic who is kind of nobody from Korea. CUT: He had a very short professional career but it was kind of meh and they signed him in an hour because they liked him so much. They had Zero as their pick up for support and they recently brought in a kind of an an unknown talent in 957. So when you looked at Team WE, you didn't see any of the superstars that China is known to to purchase for victory. They knew that this was going to be a long term development type of team and now they're finally reaping the rewards of what two years of developed trust and practice has brought to them. We used to call them five B-tier players that came together to make an S-tier team. But now it's closer to two or three S-tier players that still make probably the best shot that China has at winning worlds. If you look at the record with SKT right now, they're actually two-two.
Player to watch: Mystic
Mystic is the best AD Carry in the LPL and people can say oh that's debatable it should be Uzi, Uzi beat him last time, nah. Statistically Mystic is the best player, or the best ADC. He does a ridiculous supply of damage. Now the differences in terms of resources that the team gives him, which Uzi does get a lot of resources but Mystic, everything is built around him. I have the feeling that he's almost kind of been trained up to be the new WeiXiao. WeiXiao was the godfather of A.D.C. He defined how to play it.
LCK - Korea
This season’s Longzhu really reminds us of SKT T1 in 2013. Both teams rose up out of nowhere and clinched the summer title of LCK. Both teams feature extremely strong laning phase and team coordination. It’s too early to tell if Longzhu is the strongest team right now, but this year’s worlds will be its chance to rewrite history, just like SKT T1 did in 2013.
Player to Watch: Khan
Continuing the parallels between this team and 2013 SKT, Khan is the "Faker" of Longzhu - the playmaker that can completely change the game. In the LCK finals, Khan completely destroyed SKT, and in game 4, almost single-handedly carried the game with his Jayce. All eyes will be on Khan to see if he can lead his team to victory in his first-ever international appearance.
SKT T1 is history’s greatest League of Legends team, yet this year has been the toughest year in their history, with an unprecedented 8-game losing streak in LCK and first-ever loss in an LCK final against Longzhu. SKT is still packed with sheer talent and experience, including the Unkillable Demon King Faker and the legendary coach Kkoma.
Player to Watch: Huni
SKT’s decision to pick up Huni over more consistent Untara means that SKT is placing its bet on Huni’s potential to carry. As we saw in Game 3 the LCK Finals, Huni can carry his team to victory, even against Longzhu’s Khan. We also saw, however, that Huni can really tilt and crash his team to oblivion. Will this bet pay off? We will see - it’s Huni’s time to shine. SKT’s title depends on him.
Samsung Galaxy is the most balanced and consistent team of the three LCK teams going to worlds. They don’t have the stellar rookies of Longzhu and the legends of SKT, but they’re the only LCK team with an unchanged roster from last season. As Samsung heads to worlds, they’re going to bet on their teamwork to clinch the title they narrowly missed last year.
Player to Watch: Ambition
If there’s something Samsung Galaxy have that no other LCK Worlds teams do, it’s Ambition’s experience. Ambition debuted in the very first season of LCK back in Spring 2012 and won the title. Since then, he’s had ups and downs, and now uses his five years of experience to lead Samsung’s squad as its jungler.
And there you have it: all 18 Non-LCS teams competing at Worlds. Now that you know their stories, you can follow all the Worlds action using the Blitz Esports mobile app, featuring live stats, schedules, tournament standings, and more.