Earlier today, Riot Games announced that the League of Legends World Championship would officially take place in Reykjavik, Iceland at the Laugardalshöll indoor sporting arena. In the same announcement, Riot stated that the two Vietnam Championship Series teams would not be able to attend Worlds due to the Covid-19 travel restrictions put on by the Vietnamese government. As a result, Rogue Esports, the LEC’s third seed, will take their place in the Group Stage when Worlds begins on Tuesday, Oct. 5.
Why is Rogue going into the Group Stage immediately?
The announcement that VCS teams will miss Worlds comes as no surprise considering the Vietnamese government’s stance on travel. VCS teams have missed three international Riot events in a row due to the tight Covid-19 travel restrictions that the country has enforced. Despite many teams qualifying for these events, and the VCS still running, the teams are unable to participate in international competition. That is at least until the situation in the country improves and international travel is allowed again.
In Aug., the VCS was forced to cancel its 2021 summer split due to Covid-19 and contractual issues between Garena and Riot. While there was a chance that the VCS could send teams to Worlds, it ended up not going through.
Rogue came in as the LEC’s third seed, coming off of a disappointing season. Rogue nearly won the spring split, if not for a reverse sweep by the current LEC first seed, MAD Lions. In the summer, they were touted as favorites for the LEC championship but they fell to Fnatic in the lower bracket after losing to MAD Lions in the upper bracket.
Said it on broadcast during #LEC playoffs as well but pretty sure that Rogue would heavily benefit going through playins in Worlds this year. A few extra games vs. easier opponents can bring back so much of the momentum that they lost during playoffs, hard challenge ahead.
— Erik Wessén (@Treatz) September 9, 2021
While Rogue did not achieve the LEC championship they were looking for throughout the season, the world stage provides new opportunities for the team to prove themselves. Being directly seeded into groups also removes the risk of having to play through the play-in stage. However, it also means that Rogue will have to directly jump into the action without getting to test the meta.
Will the direct seeding be to Rogue’s advantage? Can they fulfill the expectations set on them at the beginning of the year? Only time will tell when Worlds begins on Tuesday, Oct. 5.