Betting Provider Comparison/Best LoL Tournaments: LCS, LCK, and International Events

Best LoL Tournaments: LCS, LCK, and International Events

If you’re into League of Legends esports, you know the game has a thriving competitive scene with countless tournaments across the globe. However, there’s only so much you can do in a day. So if you’re interested in following the tournaments or betting on League of Legends matches, it’s great to know which events deserve your time.

Without further ado, here’s our list of the best LoL tournaments in the world!

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1. NA LCS

NA LCS Format

Now, technically, the NA LCS isn’t a tournament. It’s a league. That being said, this type of competitions play a gigantic role in the world of League of Legends esports, so it’d be a mistake to dismiss them. The NA LCS acronym itself stands for the “North American League of Legends Championship Series”, and the event takes place in Los Angeles, USA.

Over the course of the competition, 10 professional organizations play in the double round robin format. This means that each team plays twice against every other lineup. And so, for 9 weeks of the regular season, top-tier organizations clash in fierce Bo1 matches. The winners of each game get a point added to their overall score while the losers walk away empty-handed.

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Once the regular season comes to an end, 6 teams with the best win/loss record advance to the playoffs. Out of them, 2 best-performing lineups get a bye to the Semifinals. The playoffs format shifts towards Bo5s—prolonged series where the first team to take 3 games claims victory. This structure is ideal for betting on League of Legends matches, as teams tend to come out in full force, so Bo5s are much easier to predict than Bo1s. In a predictable fashion, the lineup that crushes all enemies in its path receives the trophy and the NA LCS title.

Keep in mind, though, that every year has two NA LCS seasons: Spring Split and Summer Split. And while the Spring Split grants numerous benefits like Circuit Points, Rift Rivals slots, and Mid-Seasonal Invitational tickets, it’s the Summer Split that matters the most. Because the three NA LCS teams that acquire the most Circuit Points by the end of summer, qualify for the largest LoL esports tournament in the scene. The World Championship.

Why Watch NA LCS?

It’s no secret that the lack of domestic talent and lax player mentality made the NA LCS less competitive than most major leagues. However, things are beginning to change. The league recently adopted the franchising model. This means that its participants have permanent slots, so they can’t be knocked out or replaced by other organizations. Such sense of stability attracted massive investors, making the NA LCS one of the most solvent competitions in the League of Legends esports.

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There’s serious money here. And money always attracts talent. With that, the NA LCS turned into a melting pot of top-tier players from all across the globe. As cultures clash and players overcome their differences, the NA LCS gives birth to entertaining personalities and striking narratives. Of course, these don’t always make the league more competitive, but they definitely make it more fun to follow!

2. EU LCS

EU LCS Format

Much like its North American cousin, the EU LCS is a league. The acronym means “European League of Legends Championship Series”, and the event itself takes place in Berlin, Germany. The EU LCS format mirrors that of the NA LCS, making it easy to follow both competitions.

One notable difference is the absence of franchising. Granted, the EU LCS announced its plans to switch to the North American model, so its teams don’t run the risk of relegation. But for now, it doesn’t have the same financial backing as the top League of Legends tournaments.

Why Watch EU LCS?

The EU LCS is widely renowned for its individual talent. Since Europe has a much larger player base compared to North America, every year brings new names to the spotlight. Some of them are mechanical prodigies that make their presence known through spectacular outplays, others are bold innovators that come up with creative off-meta strategies.

That being said, European lineups tend to lack synergy. After all, it’s difficult to make a cohesive team out of five players that don’t speak English as their first language. Still, the best EU LCS organizations always find a way to show up at LoL esports tournaments.

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3. LCK

LCK Format

Yeap. The LCK is also a league. However, it’s wildly different from the NA LCS/EU LCS. The acronym stands for the “League of Legends Champions Korea”, and the event takes place in Seoul, South Korea. Once again, the regular season consists of 10 teams playing against each other for 9 weeks of the double round robin format. But the matches themselves take the shape of Bo3s, so LCK teams have to take 2 games to get that W.

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The playoffs are even more distinct. For one, only 5 teams can make the cut, so there’s already one less contender compared to Europe and North America. Not only that but the lineup with the best regular season record automatically secures a bye to the finals. Meanwhile, the second-best team goes to the Semis, the third-best team qualifies for the Quarters, and the remaining teams play in the wildcard round. All matches (apart from the wildcard round) follow the Bo5 format.

Finally, the LCK participants have to worry about relegation. Two teams with the worst regular season record are knocked down to the Promotion Tournament where they can get eliminated from the league. The competition is much stiffer as a result, and most lineups do everything in their power to avoid this outcome.

Why Watch LCK?

If you’re looking for quality League of Legends esports, this is your place. This league is famous for its extraordinary level of play, and even a run-of-the-mill LCK team could challenge the best lineups from other regions. Of course, South Korea is the region for esports, so this level of dominance isn’t surprising.

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With a giant pool of top-tier players and dedicated coaches, Koreans seamlessly take over top League of Legends tournaments. Their mixture of talent and hard work is already quite potent, but the strategic prowess is the icing on the metaphorical cake. So as long as you want to witness League of Legends at its peak, don’t miss out on the LCK.

1. International LoL Tournaments

While regional competitions are certainly noteworthy, the best LoL events are international tournaments. All of them bring different things to the table, but there’s one aspect they have in common: the best teams in the world playing for huge stakes. And if that’s not a recipe for high-quality League of Legends, we don’t know what is!

Rift Rivals

Up until 2017, no one’s even heard of Rift Rivals. Granted, the event is fairly new, and it doesn’t hold as much weight as the best LoL tournaments, but it’s still one of the most exciting competitions to follow. It takes place at the beginning of July, and the top-3 teams from Spring Split are seeded into the bracket to represent their league against some of their fiercest rivals!

Russia vs Turkey! Europe vs North America! The three-way battle between South Korea, China, and Taiwan! Of course, most matches take the shape of Bo1s, so it’s difficult to tell which teams could showcase their arsenal. But the sheer level hype easily makes up for this shortcoming!

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Mid-Season Invitational

Mid-Season Invitational (or MSI) is a top League of Legends tournament that occurs after the spring season. The event kicks off with a giant Play-In bracket, involving eight teams from emerging regions (Brazil, Turkey, CIS, etc.) and two teams from the weakest major regions (Taiwan and Vietnam). The participants fight through the massive group stage and the knockout bracket to determine two lineups that will advance further.

And then, the Main Event begins. It has six top-tier lineups duking it out against each other in an effort to seize the trophy. Keep in mind that most of these are first-place teams from the Spring Split, so the level of play is as high as it gets. The prize pool also tends to be a minimum of $1,000,000, so there’s more than fame and glory at stake.

Finally, the MSI is a clash of playstyles. Most of these lineups approach the best LoL tournaments in wildly different ways. Some prefer to outmaneuver their opponents in a battle of wits, some think it’s best to win dominate teamfights, others favor underhanded tricks and off-meta strategies. Whatever the case, it’s the perfect opportunity to see how your home region fares against the international competition.

World Championship

There’s no denying that MSI is important. However, it doesn’t even begin to come close to the World Championship. This is the most prestigious LoL esports tournament in the scene. The event takes place after the summer season, and—much like the MS— it also has a huge Play-In stage.

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The differences start to show during the Main Event. The participant pool is much wider, as it includes the top-3 teams from each major region. All of them fight through a fierce group stage, and it’s common to see top-tier lineups like TSM or G2 Esports crumble because they can’t handle the heat. But the playoffs are even harder. A string of excruciating Bo5s puts great teams into do-or-die scenarios. There are no second chances for the losers. And the winners move on to face the next opponent.

In the end, though, the ordeal is worth it. For one, there’s a huge prize pool that goes over $4,000,000. But the title itself holds even more value since the Worlds winners are celebrated as the best teams in League of Legends history. There’s also the matter of national pride. For the last five years, World Championships have been dominated by South Korea, so other regions are itching for the chance to upset the favorites.

Other LoL Tournaments

We’ve covered a lot in this article—but we didn’t cover everything. And you might very well find that the best LoL tournaments are away from the spotlight. Places like Japan, Oceania, and Latin America all have their own events. Among them, the Chinese competition—LPL—deserves a special shout-out for being a major league that doubles down as the most bloodthirsty competition in League of Legends esports.

Then, there are the secondary leagues, local events, and even amateur tournaments. Every week, dozens of League of Legends competitions happen across the globe. The game offers countless tournaments for esports enthusiasts, so the only thing left is choosing which ones to follow.

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