The 2022 League of Legends World Championship kicks off on Thursday, Sept. 29. As usual, the first phase of the tournament is the Play-In Stage. In the Play-In Stage, a blend of minor region champions competes with the lower seeds of the four major regions. This phase of the tournament takes place in Mexico City.

Out of the twelve teams participating in the Play-In Stage, four will advance to the Group Stage. Here is how these four teams will be selected.

The Play-In Groups

The twelve teams competing in the Play-In Stage have been split up into two groups of six teams. Each team plays one game against every team in their group.

Play-In Group A:

  • Beyond Gaming (PCS seed 2)
  • Chiefs Esports Club (LCO champions)
  • DetonatioN FocusMe (LJL champions)
  • Evil Geniuses (LCS seed 3)
  • Fnatic (LEC seed 3)
  • Loud (CBLoL champions)

Play-In Group B:

  • DRX (LCK seed 4)
  • İstanbul Wildcats (TCL champions)
  • Isurus (LLA champions)
  • MAD Lions (LEC seed 4)
  • Royal Never Give Up (LPL seed 4)
  • Saigon Buffalo (VCS seed 2)

When the Round Robin is completed and each team has played five games, the first two tickets to the Worlds 2022 Group Stage are handed out: the first-place team from Group A and the first-place team from Group B make it through. The teams that end their Play-In group in fifth or sixth place are eliminated from the tournament.

The Arena Esports Stadium at Artz Pedregal in Mexico City. (Source: Riot Games)
The Arena Esports Stadium at Artz Pedregal in Mexico City also hosts matches of the Latin American competition, the LLA.

The Play-In Knockout

With two of four Group Stage spots left to fill and only six teams left in the fight, the Play-In Stage now enters its Knockout phase. First, an internal battle takes place within both groups. The third-placed team of Group A plays a best-of-five series against the fourth-placed team of Group A. The same happens between Group B’s third and fourth-best teams.

The winning teams of those series then advance to play against the second-placed team from the other group to play another best-of-five series. For example: if Group A’s third-placed team wins against Group A’s fourth-placed team, they then play their next series against the second-placed team from Group B.

The two teams that win these final series grab the final tickets to the Group Stage.

You can find the schedule for the Play-In Stage here. We also have a guide for the Group Stage and for the Knockout Stage. For a list of all teams competing at Worlds 2022, click here.