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Top LOL Tournaments and Leagues in 2021

Top LoL Tournaments, Leagues and Championships

PARIS, FRANCE – NOVEMBER 10: During 2019 League of Legends World Championship Finals at AccorHotels Arena on November 10, 2019 in Paris, France. (Photo by Michal Konkol/Riot Games)

Few esports tournaments enjoy as much recognition and prestige as the major, top-tier League of Legends tournaments we’re about to talk about in the guide below. 

As part of the Riot’s own franchised series of leagues and championships, the events below are a must-follow for any LOL punter or fan. 

With a schedule spread across the entire year, LOL’s regional championships and in-between-split events gather millions of fans tuning-in to see the best LOL teams battling over hundreds of thousands of US Dollars in prize pools. 

If you’re a LOL fan, these are the unmissable events you need to see in 2021. So without further ado, here’s our list of top LoL events this year

The Top LOL Tournaments and Leagues in 2021 are:

  1. 2021 World Championship
  2. The Mid Season Invitational 2021
  3. League of Legends Champions Korea (LCK) – South Korea
  4. League of Legends European Championship (LEC) – Europe
  5. League of Legends Championship Series (LCS) – North America
  6. League of Legends Pro League (LPL) – China
  7. League of Legends Japan League (LJL)

The 2021 World Championship

Date: TBA
Prize Pool: TBA
Teams: 24

The League of Legends World Championship is the seminal event of the yearly LOL season, gathering the best teams from all the regional LOL leagues. 

Worlds 2021 is returning to China in 2021, with a grand final planned to take place in  Shanghai and several stops in various cities along the way. 

Not much is yet known about this year’s event, mostly because of the ongoing global pandemic which put a stop or delayed multiple in-person esports events in 2020. 

Exact dates, pools and and the tournament format are not available at the moment, but if the event follows last year’s rules, here’s how things might go down:

Teams:
We’ll most likely see a total number of 24 teams participating. 13 teams qualified as their region’s winners, 4 through the Championship Point seeds and 5 regional finals winners and 2 runner-ups. 

Prize Pool: 
Last year’s event had a total prize pool of over 2.2M USD. Approximately 40% of that goes to the tournament winner while the runner-up receives 14%. 

Format: 
Worlds 2021 can potentially start with two Play-in Rounds, followed by a Group Stage and the Playoffs. 

The Mid-Season Invitational 2021

Date: TBA
Prize Pool: TBA
Teams: 12

The Mid-Season Invitational is the second most important LOL event of the year that gathers the winners from  Riot leagues’ Spring Splits. 

The tournament is a great opportunity for teams to test the waters before the Worlds event, and face their potential opponents in the concluding League of Legends event of the year.

Information available on MSI 2021 at the time of writing was scarce and following the cancellation of last year’s event, details on what we should expect this year are missing. 

League of Legends Champions Korea (LCK) – South Korea

Spring Split: 13th Jan. – 28th Mar. 
Summer Split: TBA
Prize Pool (total): $720,000
Teams: 10

The official South Korean league is one of the strongest, if not the best, LOL championship in the world. 

The LCK teams have consistently dominated their European, North-American and Chinese teams, winning no less than 5 Worlds Finals, the last one in 2020. 

The LCK is also one of the most popular and most watched esports championships in the world.

In 2020, the Summer Split was watched by over 800,000 viewers while the Spring one attracted over 1M viewers and a total of 63M hours watched. 

By comparison, the 2020 LCS Summer split was watched by over 500,000 users for a total of 40M hours. 

LCK – Home of the legendary T1 roster

Copyright: Riot Games

T1 previously known as SK telecom T1 is considered by most to be the best LOL team in the world. It is the first and only LOL team that managed  to win the World Championship three times.

More than that, T1 managed to win the event two times in a row, in 2016 and 2017.

PlaceEventPrize
1stLCK Spring 2019$88,239
2nd2017 World Championship$620,540
1stMid-Season Invitational 2017$676,000
1stLCK Spring 2017$88,044
1st2016 World Championship$2,028,000
1stMid-Season Invitational 2016$250,000
1stLCK Spring 2016$87,486
1st2015 World Championship$1,000,000
1stLCK Summer 2015$84,901
1stLCK Spring 2015$93,266

League of Legends European Championship (LEC) – Europe

Spring Split: 22nd Jan. – 14th Mar.
Summer Split: TBA
Prize Pool (total): €400,000
Teams: 10

LEC is one of the most prominent regional leagues, featuring some of the biggest names in professional LOL today. 

The official LEC hometown is Berlin but other cities around Europe such as Athens, Rotterdam or Copenhagen, can host occasional matches. 

As part of the official franchise system developed by Riot Games, LEC has a fixed number of “partner” teams, that, since 2019 no longer face relegation. 

Instead, they are considered permanent partners. Currently active teams include names such as FC Schalke 04, Fnatic, G2 Esports, Rogue or Team Vitality. 

What’s the LEC Format & Schedule?

Following a similar format to the rest of the official Riot leagues, the LEC is played in a Group Stage + Playoffs format. 

Group Stage starts on January 22 and ends on March 14th. The dates of the playoffs are not yet made public. 

Prize Pool Distribution

PlacePrizePoints towards Worlds 20201
1st€80,00090
2nd€50,00070
3rd€30,00050
4th€20,00030
5th€12,50020
6th€7,50010

League of Legends Championship Series (LCS) – North America

Spring Split: 5th Feb. – 11th Apr.
Summer Split: TBA
Prize Pool (total): $400,000
Teams: 10

The LoL Championship Series, a.k.a. LCS, is the official North American franchised LOL league. 

Similar to its european counterpart the LCS features the same number of partner teams – and a yearly Season divided into the Spring and Summer Splits. 

Between the two, the LCS is considered the less competitive league, sending only 3 seeds to the World Championship. 

No LCS team has ever reached a grand Worlds final.  

Who’s taking part in the 2021 LCS championship?

The 10 official LCS partner teams are  100 Thieves, Cloud9, Counter Logic Gaming, Dignitas, Evil Geniuses, FlyQuest, Golden Guardians, Immortals, Team Liquid and TSM. 

League of Legends Pro League (LPL) – China

Date: 9th Jan. – 18th Apr.
Summer Split: TBA
Prize Pool (total): $1,300,000
Teams: 17

For our 6th and final spot on the list we’re moving back to Asia. 

The League of Legends Pro League or LPL, is the highest-level LOL league in China and one organised a bit different to its European counterparts. 

The league features 17 teams instead of 10, and even though it follows a similar calendar, with Spring and summer splits it offers a larger prize pool and a different format. 

What’s different about how LPL Splits are organised?

Due to a higher number of participating teams, the LPL uses a unique format among LOL leagues, with a Playoffs stage divided into two phases. 

  • Phase 1 uses a King of the Hill format, with 3rd to 10th seeded teams from Group Stage being divided into two brackets, the winners of which advancing to Phase Two. 
  • Phase 2 follows a double elimination format, with Best of 5 matches. Additionally, the higher seeded teams have a Free Side Selection Privilege and can choose which three games of the Bo5 series to pick the side. At the last two matches, the Free Side Selection Privilege will be determined by a coin toss. 

LPL Teams’ performance at the World Championship

Although the LPL sends one direct seed to the MSI and one to the World Championship, the LPL teams have consistently performed well during the World Championships. 

In 2020, Suning managed to reach the Worlds Final. A year before, in 2019, FunPlus Phoenix managed to win the event, defeating G2 in the final, winning over $800,000 in prizes. 

LOL Japan League

Spring Split: 23rd Jan. – 11th Apr.
Summer Split: TBA
Prize Pool (total): ~$400,000
Teams: 8

The Japanese official LOL league features the smallest number of partner teams but dont’ let that fool you.

LJL is home to some powerful rosters and talented players such as Ceros or Evi – both playing for Detonation FocusME.

The Japanese league uses a Best of 1 format for it’s Group Stages, with each team playing 14 matches. The tournament’s regular season spans 11 weeks and seeds 6 teams into the playoffs.

The 1st and 2nd place are seeded into Winners’ Finals while the 3rd to 6th place are seeded into Losers’ Round 1.

Winner of the Spring Split qualifies for the Mid-Season Invitational 2021.

As all the other leagues, the LJL is operated and sponsored by Riot Games. the 2021 edition of the league is scheduled to take place in Tokyo.

Watch live the LJL matches on Twitch at:


There you have it! Our take on the best LOL tournaments of 2021 and the ones you should definitely keep in mind if you’re looking to bet on League of Legends matches

Did we miss anything? Would your top look any different? Let us know! 

Last Updated:
31/01/2021

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rendered (mm/dd/yyy):7/31/2021, 10:08:46 AM