October is a big deal in esports. Why? Because it signals the start of the League of Legends World Championship.
The biggest tournament in the most popular esport in the world, the 2019 League of Legends World Championship will see some of the best League of Legends teams from across the world fight in Berlin, Madrid, and Paris for money, fame, and glory.
The 2019 League of Legends World Championship will officially kick off on October 2 and end in November 10.
As the ninth iteration of League of Legends’ biggest tournament, the 2019 League of Legends world championship is worth looking out for. Not just because the tournament always delivers in terms of story lines, drama, action, and spectacle, but also because the legacy of the event is every bit as impressive as all of those.
With that said, we decided to give you a quick rundown of what transpired at each of the League of Legends world championship so far.
The first is always the most memorable, and the first ever League of Legends World Championship is no exception.
Sure, it wasn’t the spectacle that it is today. It wasn’t even a six-week event. In fact, it didn’t even last for more than a week. It was held as part of DreamHack Summer 11 and only had $100,000 in prize pool up for grabs. But, even so, it was memorable, especially for European fans of the game, as it was the first and only time that a European team won League of Legends’ biggest tournament, with Fnatic coming out on top.
If nothing else, the League of Legend World Championship 2011 serves as a reminder that everything starts from humble beginnings.
By 2012, the East had begun to assert their dominance over the competitive League of Legends season.
After featuring just two teams from the East in its first iteration, the second League of Legends World Championship saw many more enter the foray. The South Koreans, in particular, finally threw their hat inside the ring. However, it wasn’t their time to shine yet. Instead, it was the Taipei Assassins who took home $1 million.
While the first ever League of Legends World Championship started it all, it wasn’t until the second iteration that the tournament really felt like a big deal.
This was truly the time when League of Legends started becoming global.
Held once again in Los Angeles, USA, the third League of Legends World Championship is best remembered as where the best player to ever play the game introduced himself to the world.
Then a rookie, Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok did not hesitate to make his mark en route to guiding SK Telecom T1 to the championship. The Chinese team Royal Club came in second place at the tournament with Fnatic only making it to the top 4.
Other than Faker, the Season 3 World Championship was also when it became clear that the Chinese and South Korean teams were starting to improve at a much better rate compared to their counterparts from China and South Korea.
Because of how popular League of Legends had become in South Korea, Riot Games decided to bring the annual tournament to the country for the 2014 World Championship, and the fans, as well as the players did not disappoint.
At the end of it all, a South Korean team had emerged as the winners. However, it wasn’t the defending champions, SK Telecom T1 as many expected. In fact, SK Telecom T1 didn’t even qualify for the tournament. Instead, it was Samsung White, with Samsung Blue joining them among the best teams of the tournament with a Top 4 finish.
Unlike in previous years, no western League of Legends team made it to the Top 4 at the 2014 World Championship.
Season 5 saw the League of Legends World Championship return to Europe for the first time since its first iteration. But, unlike before, the 2015 World Championship very much closely resembled the spectacle that the tournament is today.
At the end of it all, SK Telecom T1 had reclaimed their status as the best League of Legends team in the world. Faker and his team also made history as the first team to win the World Championship twice. Also, the West had a lot to cheer for this year because two European teams, Fnatic and Origen, made it all the way to the Top 4 this year.
The Season 5 World Championship is also considered as some of the most memorable from League of Legends fans from across the globe.
Why? Because the success of the event proved that the current city-hoping, weeks-long format of the event could work outside of South Korea.
Season 6 felt pretty much like Season 5, with SK Telecom T1 winning once again, albeit going back-to-back this time around. Also, only one EU team made it to the Top 4 this time around.
With the tournament held in the United States, the Season 6 World Championship had a lot riding on it, and it delivered. Venues and arenas were sold out and fans came out in droves to support their favourite times.
Although the League of Legends World Championship 2016 is not as memorable for NA fans as the hometown teams were quite disappointing, it was still a memorable event.
The 2017 League of Legends World Championship was a first in more ways than one.
First of all, it was the first time that the tournament was held in China. Specifically, in Beijing. It was also the first time that Riot Games really upped the production value of the event, best exemplified by the iconic CGI dragon during the opening ceremony that remains one of the most memorable moments in esports history.
While no Chinese team made it all the way to the Grand Finals, fans were treated to quite the show all the same.
An all-Korean brawl between SK Telecom T1 and Samsung Galaxy produced many iconic moments that served as the fitting conclusion to what’s arguably the most memorable World Championship in League of Legends history.
The 2018 World Championship saw the return of League of Legends’ annual tournament to South Korea. However, unlike the last time, it wasn’t a South Korean team that reigned, nor did a hometown team make it to the Grand Finals to at least defend the country’s honor. In fact, no South Korean team made it to the Top 4.
Instead, it was a China vs Europe finals, with Fnatic squaring off against Invictus Gaming.
Season 8 was a particularly big deal for the west. Because, after years of being stuck with Top 4 finishes, a Western team had finally broken through. Also, it was fitting that Fnatic was the one to do it, as they are the first ever team to win a World Championship.
Ultimately, what Season 8 proved was that the West was finally starting to catch up to the East.
The 2019 World Championship sees the action return to Europe, with hometown teams looking to claim the title in front of the homecrowd.
G2 Esports, in particular, will settle for nothing but the title. This is especially after their huge win at the 2019 Mid-Season Invitational. However, they are not alone. Fnatic and Splyce are also looking like strong contenders.
Given that a European team hasn’t won a World Championship since Season 1, getting a chance to finally win it in home soil is only fitting.
Of course, because the League of Legends World Championship is a battle of some of the best League of Legends teams in the world, we’ll never know for sure what will happen until it happens.
For now, all we can do is wait and watch.