When League of Legends tournament organizers decided to change up the format for the annual Worlds Championships competition, they were aiming for thrilling cross-regional battles and additional best-of match play opportunities. Little did they realize that their attempts to shake things up would result in an unexpected situation that fans have jokingly referred to as a ‘Civil War.’
The revised format introduced a Swiss stage, acting as a preliminary phase leading into the single-elimination knockout rounds. It is essentially a shortened round-robin contest where teams with matching records are picked to play against each other based on random draws. After initiating the stage, teams with identical results post-match challenge others in additional randomly-drawn match-ups.
In such a setting, winning three matches earns a team a place in the knockout round, while suffering three losses means a disappointing end to their tournament journey. While perhaps a touch complicated, this modified style was meant to foster inter-regional competition and keep the suspense high.
However, the first day of the tournament quickly displayed the unforeseen consequences of this experimental arrangement. With exceptionally low odds, the random draws led to five consecutive regional matches. These contests were between North American LCS contenders NRG and Team Liquid, EMEA's LEC competitors MAD Lions and Team BDS, and China's LPL teams JD Gaming and Bilibili Gaming. South Korea's LCK faced an even more dramatic scenario, with two regional match-ups: T1 versus Gen G and KT Rolster versus Dplus KIA.
This surprising shift led fans to redefine the Worlds Championships into humorous 'Civil War' analogies, referring to a scenario where, instead of international battles, it inadvertently pit regional peers against each other in a friendly 'feud'. Envoking references from the popular Captain America: Civil War movie, fans took to social media to air their amusement.
But all might not be lost. The Swiss stage of the competition continues through October 28, while the World Championship grand finale is scheduled for November 19. Time will tell if this new structure will bring about anticipated cross-regional competitions and provide the electric showdown that die-hard League of Legends fans are eager to witness.
To lighten up the situation even more, a League of Legends developer recently divulged information on the game's traditionally worst matchups, placing one character at the bottom of the list not once, but thrice. Laughable chaos in the championships and fun revelations about the game itself; all in all, it has been a memorable affair for fans of the popular MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena) game this year.
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