At last, Riot Games unveiled its details for the 2018 World Championships, which will span South Korea this year. The event kicks off in Seoul on Oct. 1, when a dozen teams will begin competing in the play-in tournament. The first round of Worlds will begin on Oct. 6 before teams move on to Busan, where matches will run from Oct. 10-17 and eight teams advance to the quarterfinals (Oct. 20-21).
Surviving teams will then face off for a spot in the finals at Gwangju on Oct. 27 and Oct. 28, before the final two teams travel to Incheon for the crown on Nov. 3.
Changes to the format will include trimming the overall length of the tournament, including the group stage running only eight days and the quarterfinals running two days.
In a letter to fans, Derrick Asiedu, global events lead for Riot Games’ central esports team, noted that the delay in releasing this year’s schedule was due to the fact that “we bet on a Finals venue and it didn’t work out. Both the venue and us were interested in hosting the World Championship Finals, but there were a few variables that meant we had to wait a few more months before getting a firm commitment. In the meantime, we hedged our bets, went searching for a ‘plan B,’ and initiated conversations.”
He went on to tell fans that the company now expects to have long-terms plans in place for future events, writing “We’ll have more firm news on later in the year, but the short of it is we think we are now able to commit to a multi-year roadmap, complete with cities and venues. This has been a major undertaking for us, as it includes working with local governments and cities for full visibility, but it’s something we’re excited to lay down as concrete plans for the future.”