“Announcing the Legends of Runeterra World Championship! The Pinnacle of LoR, Bringing Together the Best Players to Compete for Fame and Glory”.
It’s been a little over a month and a half since these words were published on the Playruneterra website, and I (Boulevard) wanted to take some time and make sure that everyone is on the same page and up to speed on where we currently stand regarding our first world championship for Legends of Runeterra. Over the next few months we’ll be keeping you up to date on who is qualified and even get to know some of them a little bit better. But before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s recap what we know, starting with the 3 ways to qualify for this prestigious event
- Seasonal Points, which are awarded per game won during the Empires of the Ascended, Guardians of the Ancients, and Rise of the Underworld seasonal championships
- Ranked placement during the Monuments of Power through Rise of the Underworld seasons
- Finishing in the Top 4 of any seasonal tournament
That’s going to total out to 64 players battling for 6 spots to represent the Americas shard in the final round of 16 for a $200,000 prize pool. While we don’t have a date for the event yet, we do know that the Rise of the Underworlds seasonal will be the last qualification event, and that takes place in August.
Recently, Riot released both the ranked ladder points system as well as the current standings for qualification. Since we’re only just over halfway through the ranked seasons and only one seasonal in points wise, nothing is set in stone. This leaves a lot of players asking “what is the minimum amount of points I’ll need to qualify?” For ladder, no one can be totally sure of the cutoff for a few reasons. Let’s take a look at the current lowest qualified player, CriticalVeins, with 152 points. We’re missing the key piece of information of what two numbers were added together to get 152, meaning we don’t know how much another good placement or two will impact their point total. If it’s the result of 99 + 53 (a top 3-4 finish and a top 90-95 finish) then a top 10 finish (93 points) would result in a much bigger jump than if it were the result of 73+79 (a top 26-30 and a top 41-45). All we can say for sure is that at the time of printing this article the cutoff for the Americas is 153 points, or two top 31-35 finishes. We can also for sure say that popular streamer BBG is qualified, as 194 points is too many for anyone to overtake in just two seasons.
As for the seasonal points, it’s still way too early to tell. Unlike the ranked seasons which are already 3/5ths of the way over, the seasonal point race has just begun as it only counts the Shurima seasonals since the Targon ones played 5 rounds of swiss instead of 9. We’re also adding together point totals from all 3 seasonals instead of just your best 2, so even the current point leader MF Teneryx can be easily overtaken over the next few months. It’s very possible that you won’t be able to snag an invite if you don’t top 32 a seasonal and get those extra games in, as currently the cutoff is 17 points and the most you can get without topping is 16 (a 7-2 record with a game win in both of your losses). I like the diversity of qualification methods and the seasonal points is probably my favorite as it rewards consistency instead of the results of one event, and surely multiple time seasonal toppers deserve a spot at the world championship. The one issue I have is that the ranked ladder plays such an integral role in all forms of qualification, since seasonal tie breakers are determined by ladder seeding. It’s a little disheartening to know that it's possible to 7-2 all three seasonals but not make it to worlds from seasonal points because your ladder rank wasn’t good enough. Not everyone enjoys playing ladder and in the future I hope that it's a little more removed from the qualification process, as going 7-2 three times in a row seems to be the consistency that seasonal points set out to reward.
If both of those methods sound like a bit of a headache and you want to avoid trying to do math and figure out minimums and what ladder rank you need to be, you can always just top 4 a seasonal championship like Puyshipii, MajiinBae, Erigby, Helpless victim, Gnomdeguerre, iannogueira, Syphren, random7HS, sin of kira, and FloppyMudkip did. Henneky even did it twice already! While it's certainly no easy feat, it is the one that comes with the most security and prestige, and even helps the community! FloppyMudkip was almost guaranteed to qualify for worlds through the ranked ladder, and has now graciously donated his spot by qualifying in this manner. Similarly, Henneky’s back to back top 4 performances have opened up an additional qualifier spot through seasonal points.
We’ll be doing some deeper dives on the qualified players in the coming weeks, but before we wrap up I want to set the stage for this road to the world championship by reminding everyone of the Monuments of Power seasonal tournament. While the stars of the World Championship will likely be crowd favorites from the grassroot tournament scene and streamers who qualified through ladder, it’s important to keep the underdogs in mind. Puyshipii, Gnomdeguerre, and Helpless Victim were relatively unknown factors coming into their qualifying seasonal, with Helpless Victim even hitting masters for just the first time that season. They’ve also kept relatively low profiles since that event, and will likely be ranked very low on power rankings going into worlds, just as they were for the Monuments of Power seasonal. Top 4ing an event is usually seen as one of the most prestigious and flashy ways to qualify, and yet here it feels as though these players will be seen as underdogs in the round of 64 because they aren’t as popular or haven’t demonstrated consistent results.
When I won a world championship in 2016 (just in case you were wondering why I was the one writing this article) my teammates and I ran a community poll of who they thought would make it to the top 8, and I was ranked 7th out of 8 on my team (and played against #8 in the top 4). Consistency is certainly a desirable trait in a competitor, but at the end of the day we’re still only playing one tournament, and I fully believe that each qualification method has an equal chance of sending players through. The road to the World Championship and Legends of Runeterra esports history has just begun, and there’s still plenty of time and ways to make sure that your name is the one etched in stone.