League of Legends’ thirteenth season commences soon, and so does its new competitive season. To mark the start of Season 2023 in LoL esports, each region hosts its own Kickoff event, which replaces the annual All-Star tournament. Today, Riot Games shared the format and the schedule for the Season 2023 Kickoff tournaments.

Mixed rosters, new draft mode

Riot’s post is vague about the teams competing in each Kickoff event since the regions use their own rules to draft the teams. A general theme, however, seems to be that each team is a mix of players from different organizations. It could be the case, for example, that the Kickoff event hosts two teams that are made up of one player per participating organization in the league. These teams compete in a best-of-three setting (except in the LPL, which uses a best-of-one format) to determine which team can crown itself the winner of its region’s Kickoff tournament.

Interestingly, Riot is not using its standard draft mode for the event. Instead of the usual format where each team bans three champions, picks three champions, then bans two more champions, and rounds out the composition with two final champions, all champions are viable for the first game. There are no initial bans. Once a champion has been picked, however, it is no longer viable in the rest of the series. This draft mode, called “Fearless”, was first used on a notable stage in China, where the LDL experimented with the draft mode.

Season 2023 Kickoff schedule

Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2023:

  • LCK: 10:30 AM — 2 PM CET
  • VCS: 2 PM — 5 PM CET
  • CBLOL: 5 PM — 8 PM CET
  • LCS: 8 PM — 11 PM CET
  • Rebroadcasts: 11 PM — 6 AM CET

Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023:

  • LJL: 8 AM — 11 AM CET
  • LPL: 11 AM — 2 PM CET
  • PCS: 2 PM — 5 PM CET
  • LEC: 5 PM — 8 PM CET
  • LLA: 8 PM — 11 PM CET
  • Rebroadcasts: 11 PM — 6 AM CET

The grand prize: an emote

Though the Season 2023 Kickoff event is largely a for-fun tournament, Riot has added stakes to it. Each team that wins its respective region’s tournament gets to pitch an emote design that will make it into the League of Legends client.