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Deep Dive – A Brief Look at the History of Worlds


24 Sep 2020

Gabriel Sciberras

Adding to our extensive coverage of Worlds 2020, the largest esports event of the year, we’re unpacking history. Accordingly, in this featured article, we’ll be diving into the history of Worlds as a historic event, naming all of the champions so far. Read on for a deep dive.

Ever since the early beginnings of the esports industry, multiple esports scenes have forged their yearly calendar in a certain way. Indeed, the typical format at the highest level is a regular season followed by an ultimate event – one to crown an undisputed champion. Competitive League of Legends has embraced this since its beginnings.

Worlds 2020 Meta Analysis
Credits: LoL Esports Flickr

In fact, the first World Championship event took place in 2011. Following the conclusion of the very first competitive season, a first victor was crowned.

Season 1 World Championship – 2011

  • $99,500 on the line
  • Winner – Fnatic (LEC)
  • Runner-Up – against All authority

This first event served as a tester. Also, it would be first and only time an LEC roster would claim world dominance. The Korean wave was inbound together with a bump up in prize pool. Also, only eight teams from 4 regions qualified for the event and would only run for one weekend.

Season 2 World Championship – 2012

  • $2,000,000 prize pool
  • Winner – Taipei Assassins (LMS)
  • Runner-Up – Azubu Frost
Credits: LoL Esports Flickr

A major move in the history of Worlds. Riot Games bumped up the prize pool and invited 12 teams. Viewership increased monumentally and surprisingly, a team from the LMS region (Taiwan/Hong Kong/Macao) claimed victory.

Season 3 World Championship – 2013

  • $2,050,000 prize pool
  • Winner – SK Telecom T1 (LCK)
  • Runner-Up – Royal Club

With the slight increase in prize, 2 more teams bumped up the number of teams to 14. It would be here that the historic organization of SK Telecom T1 would earn their first win for themselves and their region.

2014 World Championship

  • $2,130,000 prize pool
  • Winner – Samsung White (LCK)
  • Runner-Up – Star Horn Royal Club

Another significant moment here in the history of Worlds, as Riot Games renames the event as so. Here, the term ‘Worlds‘ was born. Now, 16 teams involved themselves as the LCK region would claim another title.

Credits: LoL Esports Flickr

2015 World Championship

  • $2,130,000 prize pool
  • Winner – SK Telecom T1 (LCK)
  • Runner-Up – KOO Tigers

While prize pool for the main event wasn’t shifting much, Riot Games was investing in supporting the seasonal events surrounding the event. Sticking to 16 teams, SK Telecom T1 once again claimed the throne. Here at the Mercedez-Benz Arena that the event earned the reputation of being an industry staple.

2016 World Championship – History of Worlds Highlight

  • $5,070,000
  • Winner – SK Telecom T1 (LCK)
  • Runner-Up – Samsung Galaxy

Another massive moment in the history of Worlds as Riot Games doubled the prize pool. Beyond that, the legendary rivalry between SK Telecom T1 and Samsung Galaxy was born together with the icon in “Faker”.

2017 World Championship

  • $4,596,591
  • Winner – Samsung Galaxy (LCK)
  • Runner-Up – SK Telecom T1
Credits: Inven Global

An incredible grand finale would dethrone SK Telecom T1, who haven’t won since then. The slight reduction in prize pool was compensated for the fact that 24 teams made up the event which now spanned for a total of 2 months.

2018 World Championship

  • $6,450,000
  • Winner – Invictus Gaming (LCN)
  • Runner-Up – Fnatic

A surprising victor from the Chinese region stormed the 2018 Worlds event. With no team from the LCK reaching the top 4, this event marked the end of LCK dominance as an era as the rest of the world in the LEC and LCS began catching up.

2019 World Championship

  • $2,230,000
  • Winner – FunPlus Phoenix (LPL)
  • Runner-Up – G2 Esports

Although a significant drop in the prize pool, the 2019 World Championship is the most recent event in the history of Worlds. It backed up a record amount of sponsors for the event, with an esports industry record for viewership – almost 4 million concurrent viewers! That’s more than The International and any other event in history.

In conclusion, with the Worlds 2020 event started tomorrow through the Play-In, we couldn’t be more excited for another chapter in this history. Will a team from the LCS finally win it? Can the LCK regain its throne?

For more esports news, visit: https://www.esportsguide.com/news.

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