Early Tuesday morning, Riot held its annual Worlds Group Draw Show, in preparation of the event which begins in just two short weeks. This year was a little different, however, thanks to the introduction of the Play-in portion of the tournament, hosted just before the standard World Group Stage.
For the Play-in draw, some of the world’s smaller regions, as well as the third place teams from larger regions such as North America, Europe, China and LMS were placed into groups they’ll have to compete against for entry into the larger World Championship.
Group A should be the most competitive in the Play-in tournament with China’s third seed, Team WE facing off against two of the best smaller region teams in the world, CIS’s Gambit Gaming and Latin America North’s Lyon Gaming.
North American fans will also want to keep an eye on Group B as the region’s third place qualifier Cloud9 will be competing for their own entry to the World Championship Group Stage.
The Play-in tournament will begin with groups playing single games against themselves with the top two teams from each group advancing. They will then have to play the other advancing teams in best-of-five elimination matches. Of the 12 teams that start the tournament, only four will advance to the Group Stage. The tournament kicks off September 23.