Riot Games revealed the 2021 League of Legends World Championship format as well as its pools for the draw phase. The most notable news to come from the Worlds reveal regards the slight tweaks in format because Vietnamese teams cannot attend and League of Legends Championship Series teams are losing their Pool A status.
— LoL Esports (@lolesports) September 15, 2021
Worlds 2021 format
Due to the fact that only 22 teams will attend the international tournament, as opposed to the usual 24, the Play-In Stage will have two groups of five teams. The preliminary stage will take place from Oct. 5-9 with a single round-robin for each group. The top team from each group will automatically qualify for the main event Group Stage. The second, third and fourth place squads will battle in a best-of-five bracket seeded by group play. The third and fourth seeds will play first and the winner will challenge the second place team for the final spot in both groups. Teams are drawn into each group from two separate pools.
The group stage will be held from Oct. 11-13 and Oct. 15-18. The 16 teams will be broken up into four groups of four teams for a double round-robin stage. Teams will be drawn into their groups from different pools of teams, arranged by previous international results and major region status.
Pool A consists of the top seeds from the League of Legends Korean Championship, League of Legends Pro League, League of Legends European Championship and Pacific Championship Series. Pool B has the LPL, LCK and LEC second seeds as well the LCS first. Lastly, Pool C has the third seeds from the LPL, LCK, LEC and the LCS second seed. As per usual, the top two teams from each group will advance to the Knockout Stage.
The Knockout stage is unchanged from previous Worlds formats. The final stage of the tournament is still a single-elimination bracket with teams battling in a best-of-five series. The stage will start with quarterfinals from Oct. 22-25. Semifinals will run from Oct. 30-31, and the stage will culminate with the finals on Nov. 6.