Sources - LoL: Esports World Cup invited the top two teams from the Spring Split of the four major leagues



24/05/2024 - 4'

Team Liquid and T1 have already implicitly confirmed their participation

As previously announced, the Esports World Cup (EWC) will host an international League of Legends tournament, marking a rare occasion where such an event is not organized by Riot Games. This will even be the first time since IEM Legends in February 2017 in Poland that Riot will not be hosting a major event on its game. According to sources close to Sheep Esports, the Esports World Cup for League of Legends will begin in the first week of July. The competition will start on July 3-4 and conclude on July 7.

Last January, Jacob Wolf reported that, according to an internal email, two teams from each major region will be able to participate in the Esports World Cup. This means there should be two teams from the following leagues: LoL EMEA Championship (LEC), LoL Champions Korea (LCK), North America's League Championship Series (LCS), and China's League Pro League (LPL). It is also noted that Riot Games will not decide which teams are selected, as the EWC will make these selections.

Back to MSI

According to information obtained by Sheep Esports, it appears that these are the teams that finished in the top 2 of each major league of the spring split who have been invited to this one-week tournament. This does not mean that the teams will accept the invitation and participate, but they are the teams that the Esports World Cup has initially invited. If all the invited teams accept, the lineup would be similar to those seen at the MSI but with fewer regions : G2 Esports and Fnatic for LEC, Team Liquid and FlyQuest for LCS, Gen.G and T1 for LCK, Bilibili Gaming and Top Esports for LPL.

Among the Western teams, Team Liquid has already tweeted asking for support for the EWC. Sources close to Sheep Esports indicate that G2 Esports and FlyQuest have been indeed invited and will attend the Esports World Cup, along with Fnatic, who has also been invited. Regarding Asian teams, if the two teams of LCK and LPL accept the invitation, they will participate in the EWC. Otherwise, replacements will likely be sought. Additionally, T1 posted a tweet after their MSI and Spring Split qualification featuring an announcement for the Esports World Cup on the Sphere of Vegas, showcasing the League of Legends logo and Faker with the T1 logo on his back.

As a reminder, the first edition of the Esports World Cup will be held over an eight-week period next summer, in 19 different games. The competition follows on from the Gamers 8, backed by investors Savvy Gaming Group, which has been running for two years with the ambition of naming the best club in the world. With an astronomical cash prize of $45 million, the 2023 Gamers 8 attracted popular games such as Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Rocket League, FIFA, Fortnite and Starcraft 2, which will be back again. The cashprize record was once again broken, with a total of $60 million raised for this first edition of this “new” tournament. More generally, Saudi Arabia is seeking to become increasingly influential in the world of esports. In addition to developing its teams, the kingdom has, for example, bought and merged ESL and FACE IT, two major tournament organizers, in January 2022.

Second attempt

This isn't the first time Riot Games and Saudi Arabia have looked to forge closer ties. Back in July 2020, the LEC was considering a partnership with futuristic city project NEOM. However, this partnership was quickly canceled due to strong public outcry against the monarchy's human rights abuses, particularly towards the LGBTQ+ community. The issue came back to the fore last March when the Canadian Esports Federation stated on X, through its CEO Melissa Burns, that “Esports Canada cannot make any promises/guarantees” about the safety of EWC participants that are transgender/gay.

When contacted by our colleagues at The Esports Advocate, the International Esports Federation tried to reassure by stating that "Saudi Arabia is a safe and inclusive destination for athletes from diverse backgrounds, regardless of their religion, gender, nationality, or ethnicity, both now and in the future". "Saudi Arabia has successfully hosted numerous international sporting events, including, but not limited to the F1, FIFA Club World Cup, World Masters of Snooker, Riyadh Season Tennis Cup, Riyadh Season “Knockout Chaos” in boxing, Global Esports Games, and the Gamers8", emphasises the IESF.

Header Credit Photo : Lee Aiksoon/Riot Games

- Alejandro "Anonimotum" Gomis -

- Lucas Jacque (Editor) -