The playoff bracket has been drawn for the 2018 League of Legends World Championship.
This year’s event has seen one of the most exciting group stages in the event’s history, with the final standings in three of the four groups ultimately coming down to tie-breakers.
It’s also been the most evenly-matched year since the ascent of the South Korean squads. For the first time since the introduction of the four-group format, an LCK team failed to make it out of the group stage – defending World Champions Gen.G Esports no less.
When the dust settled, it was China’s LPL that secured the most playoff spots, with all three representatives - Royal Never Give Up, Invictus Gaming, and EDward Gaming - reaching the quarterfinals. Both South Korean teams that got through however, KT Rolster and Afreeca Freecs, secured the top spots in their respective groups.
The playoff bracket was drawn in a live show, with the first seeded teams being drawn first and the second seeds filled in afterwards. Crucially, though teams from the same region could meet in the first round, teams that played in the same group could not be on the same side of the bracket.
The result is a bracket that sees tournament favorites KT Rolster and Royal Never Give Up on a collision course for the semi-finals – although KT will have to go through Invictus Gaming to get there, no small challenge.
Meanwhile, a Fnatic that have been cited by many as the strongest Western team to ever play at Worlds have a route clear of either team. They now have a very realistic shot at becoming the first Western team to reach the final since Season One, especially after their spectacular group stage showing.
Meanwhile, Fnatic and G2 Esports from the EU LCS both made it to the playoffs, with Fnatic locking in a first seed after an epic performance against Invictus Gaming in Group D. Finally, NALCS third seed Cloud9 fought from play-ins to claim the second spot in Group B.
The bracket will play best-of-five matches and be as follows, with the top two matches leading to the first semi-final, and the bottom two leading to the second: