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2017 World Championship China: location, schedule and new format announced

So much for sleep, NA fans.

Riot announced Tuesday that the League of Legends 2017 World Championship will be held in China, the country with the largest population of League players in the world. The tournament begins on September 23, and will conclude on November 4.

This years tournament will be expanded from years past. Instead of starting with a 16 team Group Stage, the tournament will begin with a Play-In stage, similar to MSI. A total of 12 teams will participate in the Play-In tournament. Korea will have all three of their teams bypass the Play-In due to the region’s dominance in years past. However, the number three seed from NA, EU, CN, and LMS will no longer be getting a guaranteed spot in the Group Stage, instead having to prove their worth by fighting their way through the Play-In. The other eight teams will consist of one team from each of the following regions: BR, CIS, JPN, LAN, LAS, OCE, SEA, and TUR. However, MSI 2017 will have implications on the seeding of Worlds once again, which can be read about our MSI 2017 explainer.

The first round will consist of best of one matches played in a double round robin style. Teams will be randomly sorted into four groups of three, with the lowest team from each group being knocked out at the end of round one. Round two will consist of best of five matches played between randomized groupings of the first and second place teams from each group of round one. The top four teams from the Play-In will move on into the group stages of Worlds.

Aside from LMS receiving a third seed this year, the rest of the 2017 World Championship format seems parallel to the 2016 World Championship.

Both the Play-In and the Group Stage will be played in Wuhan at the Wuhan Sports Center Gymnasium. The Play-In will take place from September 23 to September 26, as well as September 28 and 29. The Groups Stage will take place in the same venue a week later from October 5 to October 8, as well as from October 12 to October 15.

The Quarterfinals will be played in Guangzhou at the Guangzhou Gymnasium. The top eight teams at worlds will face off from October 19 to 22.

Semifinals will be played in Shanghai, China at the Shanghai Oriental Sports Center. The top four face of on October 28 and 29.

The final stop for the 2017 World Championship will be in Beijing at the famous Beijing National Stadium, also known at the Bird’s Nest. The Beijing National Stadium was first built for the 2008 Summer Olympics and has become one of the most iconic stadiums in the world. The Finals will take place on November 4.