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The play-ins are over, and the group stage at the 2021 League of Legends World Championship is about to begin. The field of 22 has shrunk to the final 16, with one of the remaining teams destined to become our 2021 Worlds champions.

As usual, the group stage will be the decider in halving the pack down to the eight clubs that battle in the single-elimination knockout rounds. This year, though, due to the truncated schedule caused by the last-minute moving of the tournament from China to Iceland, the format of the group stage has slightly changed.

Worlds 2021 group stage format and schedule

While the number of games will remain the same, each group playing in a double round-robin to decide which two teams of the four make it to the playoffs, the schedule has changed. Usually, the first round-robin happened over four days, with each of the four groups receiving a slight breather in-between with a day off.

This isn’t what is happening this year, as for the first time ever, all 16 main event teams will compete on the same day for three straight days before returning to each group finishing their second round-robin on a specific day.

The result of a compacted schedule has delivered the equivalence of Christmas Day for League of Legends fans. Eight matches, 16 world-class teams, and huge storylines ripe throughout a day primed to be a special day in worlds history.

Here’s the full schedule of the opening day of the group stages at Worlds 2021:

  • DWG KIA (LCK) vs. FunPlus Phoenix (LPL) – 4 a.m. PST / 7 a.m. EST / 1 p.m. CEST
  • Royal Never Give Up (LPL) vs. PSG Talon (PCS) – 5 a.m. PST / 8 a.m. EST / 2 p.m. CEST
  • Fnatic (LEC) vs. Hanwha Life Esports (LCK) – 6 a.m. PST / 9 a.m. EST / 3 p.m. CEST
  • Gen.G Esports (LCK) vs. LNG Esports (LPL) – 7 a.m. PST / 10 a.m. EST / 4 p.m. CEST
  • T1 (LCK) vs. Detonation FocusMe (LJL) – 8 a.m. PST / 11 a.m. EST / 5 p.m. CEST
  • 100 Thieves (LCS) vs. Edward Gaming (LPL) – 9 a.m. PST / noon EST / 6 p.m. CEST
  • Team Liquid (LCS) vs. MAD Lions (LEC) – 10 a.m. PST / 1 p.m. EST / 7 p.m. CEST
  • Cloud9 (LCS) vs. Rogue (LEC) – 11 a.m. PST / 2 p.m. EST / 8 p.m. CEST

All game times subject to change beyond the opener of DWG KIA vs. FPX

Tyler Erzberger is entering a decade of covering esports. When not traveling around the world telling stories about people shouting over video games, he’s probably arguing with an anime avatar on Twitter about North American esports.
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