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How to watch 2016 Worlds, Week 1: schedule, streaming, and the best games

There are 24 games on this weekend. Here are the ones you should watch.

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After the long, long wait, the 2016 League of Legends Worlds Championship has finally arrived. This year's tournament will be played in North America, starting with the group stage in San Francisco and concluding with the finals in Los Angeles, with stops in Chicago and New York along the way.

Can SK Telecom T1 become the first team to repeat as champions? Can the ROX Tigers finally claim glory? Can EDward Gaming stop Korea's Worlds streak? Can Team SoloMid live up to the hype and finally produce a star Western performance? All these questions and more will be answered over the next month of play.

But with so many games, which ones should you really take the time to watch? Have no fear, that's what we're here to answer, starting with the first week of group stage play.

On each day, I've forced myself to pick at least one WATCH THIS game. Otherwise, games are sorted based on a subjective assessment of stakes, competitiveness, and entertainment value ... and this week, everything's graded on a curve.

All games can be streamed live on Lolesports. All times listed are Eastern. For the full group stage schedule, click here.

WATCH THIS Maybe watch this Hey, it's Worlds
Thursday G2 Esports vs. Counter Logic Gaming, 7:30 p.m. H2K vs. ahq e-Sports Club, 9:30 p.m. ROX Tigers vs. Albus NoX Luna, 8:30 p.m.
Team SoloMid vs. Royal Never Give Up, 12:30 a.m. Samsung Galaxy vs. Splyce, 11:30 p.m. INTZ e-Sports vs. EDward Gaming, 10:30 p.m.
Friday SK Telecom T1 vs. Cloud9, 7 p.m. Flash Wolves vs. I May, 8 p.m. H2K vs. INTZ e-Sports, 11 p.m.
Team SoloMid vs. Samsung Galaxy, 9 p.m. Royal Never Give Up vs. Splyce, 10 p.m.
EDward Gaming vs. ahq e-Sports Club, 12 a.m.
WATCH THIS Maybe watch this Hey, it's Worlds
Saturday Royal Never Give Up vs. Samsung Galaxy, 12 a.m. ROX Tigers vs. G2 Esports, 8 p.m. Counter Logic Gaming vs. Albus NoX Luna, 7 p.m.
Flash Wolves vs. Cloud9, 9 p.m.
I May vs. SK Telecom T1, 10 p.m.
Splyce vs. Team SoloMid, 11 p.m.
Sunday SK Telecom T1 vs. Flash Wolves, 11 p.m. EDward Gaming vs. H2K, 8 p.m. ahq e-Sports Club vs. INTZ e-Sports, 7 p.m.
Counter Logic Gaming vs. Rox Tigers, 10 p.m. Albus NoX Luna vs. G2 Esports, 9 p.m.
Cloud9 vs. I May, 12 a.m.
WATCH THIS Maybe watch this Hey, it's Worlds

A little explanation for each of the WATCH THIS picks:

  • G2 vs. CLG kicks the whole thing off, and will be vitally important in a Group A that has a clear No. 1 and No. 4 team but a contested No. 2 spot. This game will also give us a better idea of where Europe and North America stand as regions.
  • TSM vs. RNG is another litmus test for North America, and it's one that will feature the very hyped bottom lane matchup of Doublelift and Biofrost vs. Uzi and Mata.
  • SKT vs. C9 will see Impact go up against his former team, and it's our first chance to see the reigning champions at this year's tournament.
  • TSM vs. Samsung is going to be a tough game in arguably the toughest group of the tournament, and is crucial to TSM's hopes of making it to the knockout stages.
  • RNG vs. Samsung is here because honestly you could probably put any Group D game under WATCH THIS.
  • SKT vs. Flash Wolves was a great matchup at MSI, and one that the Flash Wolves took twice. SKT will look to become the first Korean team to ever beat the Flash Wolves.