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1xBet: Why the League of Legends World Championship matters

By - 9 October 2023

1xBet is actively developing its esports business, sponsoring many major tournaments with the Electronic Sports League (ESL) and other esports organisations. The bookmaker is an esports teams’ sponsor of the Brazilian MIBR and the European OG Esports with the latter winning The International Dota 2 twice in 2018 and 2019.

When it comes to the most popular esports discipline, many people remember Dota 2 by Valve. However, this legendary game cannot be considered the MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena) genre’s undisputed leader as long as League of Legends by Riot Games exists.

Best MOBA in the World

Few people know, but League of Legends was released in 2009, while Dota 2 came out only two years later. Moreover, the World Championship, the first major annual tournament for League of Legends, was held a little earlier than the more promoted The International for Dota 2.

Both tournaments were in the summer of 2011, and since then, Valve and Riot Games have competed every year, trying to amaze esports fans with the most impressive and large-scale spectacle. Gradually, the World Championship and The International schedule shifted to the autumn, marking the end of the season in each discipline.

It is the perfect time to gather the best teams from all the major regional leagues and find out who is the best. This year, the League of Legends World Championship 2023 will last from October 10 to November 19, and 22 teams will compete for the title.

World Championship and The International

Today, both esports disciplines are almost equal in the number of World Championships: the 12th The International and the 13th World Championship (also known as LoL Worlds or simply Worlds) will be held in 2023. The number of competing teams is also approximately the same – about 20 are in each contest. But the money amount differs significantly.

In the first tournament, The International prize pool was $1,600,000, and in 2021, it broke all records, exceeding the $40,000,000 mark. To raise such a significant amount, Valve sells players a content set for the championship, and part of the proceeds goes to the prize fund.

For comparison, in the first season of the World Championship, players won only $98,500, but the second tournament was held with a $2,000,000 prize. The World Championship maintains this level, rarely delighting players with larger sums. The record was in Seoul in 2018 – the participants fought for their share of $6,450,000.

Not being able to increase the prize pool, Riot Games can build around League of Legends not just the players’ community and the esports direction, but an entire media universe.

It includes music (each championship has its anthem), comics, an animated series about the game’s characters (Arcane from Netflix), as well as computer, console, mobile and board games (Teamfight Tactics, LoL: Wild Rift, Legends of Runeterra, Ruined King, Convergence, Tellstones: King’s Gambit, etc.).

The World Championship opening ceremony is a mega show where famous artists perform, and millions of people watch these concerts.

LoL Worlds Statistics

League of Legends is especially popular in the Asian region, clearly evident from the victories in the World Championship statistics. The records for the number of trophies belong to teams from the South Korean League of Legends Champions Korea (LCK) – they won seven championships out of 12. In second place with three titles are Chinese League of Legends Pro League (LPL) teams.

The list is completed by Europe and Oceania, having only one title each – in 2011, Fnatic won the very first championship, and a year later, the Taiwanese team Taipei Assassins won. The only World Championship three-time winner is the South Korean team T1, which in 2022 stopped just one step short of its fourth title. Last year’s champion, the South Korean team DRX, will not defend their title, as they have not qualified for the LoL Worlds 2023.

The League of Legends World Championship’s influence on global esports development is invaluable. Without this tournament and competition from Riot Games, other game developers and tournament operators may have lost the motivation to improve their championships, increase prize money, and attract an ever-larger audience.

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