Nov 15, 2023
Nearly half of the 64 seats for Legends of Runeterra’s 2023 World Championship have been taken! It’s been a long journey and we’ve seen some of our competitors securing their spots by winning Seasonals, Worlds Qualifiers, or by being one of the top three Runeterra Points earners of the past two seasons. And of course, the reigning LoR Champion, Aragornn qualified directly, we can’t see what deck he’s gonna bring this year!
But our journey isn’t over yet as there are still 33 spots up for grab, and they’ll all be claimed this month!
The RP ladder cut-off will happen on November 27, 12:00 AM PT. At this time, the RP race will be over. For each shard, the three players that have earned the most points during the Fate's Voyage: Onward season, and the six players with the most points for the whole year, will get their tickets to Worlds.
Path of a World Champion
The remaining 33 slots for LoR Worlds will all be filled during what's left of Fate's Voyage: Onward.
One way for the hopeful Champions to reach Worlds is to accrue the most Runeterra Points during the ongoing season. Just like in Glory in Navori and Heart of the Huntress, three players per shard will qualify by having earned the most RP during the Onward journey.
Competitors can earn a maximum of 4 RP by ending among the top 25 players in any of the ranked ladders (either Standard or Eternal), and additionally gain between 3 and 12 RP by placing well in the Eternal Open on November 18 and 19.
(Don’t worry, if all this point tracking is a bit too much, Aegis Esports maintains and updates a spreadsheet with a tally of the Runeterra Points for every player that still has a shot at reaching Worlds. And if you’re like us and find spreadsheets too spooky, the Runeterra Report keeps a simplified version on their website, based on Aegis' tally.)
We spoke with ABG Rogio, who is currently among America’s top five earners during Fate's Voyage: Onward who said, "That's my main plan, being among the top 3 point earners this season, I think my chances are very good as long as I qualify for the next Eternal Open. I plan to play intensively as soon as the Variety patch drops and also aim to reach Top 10 in the ladder to get a few more RP. That way I would be able to leave the Last Chance Qualifier to my teammates."
The Last Chance Qualifier will take place on November 25 and 26, just one week after the Eternal Open, and will be the last chance for those who cannot qualify by other means. The LCQ provides no Runeterra Points, but the winner and the runner-up get a ticket straight to Worlds.
But, here's the twist! The Eternal Open will allow competitors to bring Eternal decks. Yet the LCQ will only allow for Standard decks, so competitors that don't make it through the Open will have a week to switch formats and get ready for the LCQ.
We wanted to check in to see how some of our players felt about this twist, and Sirturmund said this about his odds making it in the America shard, "My plan is to focus on both to try and maximize my chances, I had two top cuts this season but, unfortunately, I came up short at top 64 in both. So while I don’t have a ton of season points, a top 4 in the next Eternal Open gets me very close."
Sirturmund plans to grind the Eternal ladder for the first week and a half of patch to practice for the Open and secure ladder points, which he will also need. "If the top cut in the Open doesn’t work out," he says, "I’ll pivot to spamming the Standard ladder to practice for the LCQ. I already did a disservice to my chances by not taking earlier seasons seriously and putting me out of the running for yearly points. I would be doing a disservice to myself again if I didn't attempt both remaining routes."
Yearly points are one of three ways to qualify. Competitors can also earn their spot at Worlds if they are among the six players from each Shard with the most RP throughout the year.
"I'll try to get to Day 2 on the Open; a top 64 should secure my spot for Worlds," says Sorry, who finds himself among EMEA's top six in the yearly RP race. "So I'll give the Eternal Open my best, or at least beat competitors that might overtake me if I face them on Day 1. If I don't make it through the Eternal Open, I'll be shifting all focus to the LCQ."
If switching formats with just a week of prep seems nerve-racking… you’re not wrong. Some top competitors have opted to just focus on one path.
"Worlds is the most important thing for me," says ABG Tyguy who is tied for second place for most RP this year in the Americas. "I will be putting all my focus on the Eternal Open as I want to secure my Worlds position no matter what. I'll switch to Standard if I must, but going for the LCQ is such a difficult task that it's hard to recommend anyone to focus on that right now."
The Open Before Worlds
November 18 and 19, the last Eternal Open of 2023 will take place. This will be the last tournament providing Runeterra Points this year, and the competition will be extremely fierce! Some competitors that have already secured their spot at Worlds will also be heading to the Eternal Open to keep their skills sharp.
"Qualifying for Worlds took a lot of perseverance and self-improvement, which I've been focusing on since the start of 2023," says THC Raphterra, who earned his hard-fought Worlds spot by topping the APAC point race during Heart of the Huntress. "After qualifying, I initially planned to take it easy until Worlds started. However, I kept going hard since I don't want my Worlds run to end early due to rust or lack of practice, and I'll probably play the Eternal Open."
The same is true for Ultraman1996, the latest EMEA Seasonal winner. Even though he secured his Worlds spot early in the year, he is one of EMEA's point leaders for the current season and may very well end up in the first spot of that leaderboard.
This last Eternal Open will work exactly like previous Runeterra Opens this year. Every LoR player can compete on day one (yes, even you!) provided that they show up on time and have a proper lineup. On day two, the top 64 competitors will duke it out for RP and riches, the winner taking home a cash prize.
"I only realized I had a shot at qualifying after I topped both Opens this season and a friend told me," Leer says. He has no shot at qualifying via yearly RP, but his good performance during Fate's Voyage: Onward gives him a chance to make it via seasonal points in the EMEA shard. "I never would've thought that I'd get a shot at qualifying for Worlds… but now that I got one, I will give it my all (like I always do!)."
That being said, Leer is trying to keep his expectations low because he knows that one bad draw can ruin his run. "Competing is quite time-consuming," he says, "but I have a couple of great friends that I can prep and bounce ideas with that make the process a lot more enjoyable. Without them, I wouldn't have made it this far."
Last Chance Qualifier
The last chance to earn a spot at Worlds will be the Last Chance Qualifier. The LCQ will take place on November 25 and 26. It will run exactly like every previous Open this year: Nine rounds on day one, and top 64 on day two. LCQ is open to everyone, except for those of you who have already qualified for Worlds. If you would like to participate, create your Standard tournament lineup deck and check the “Tournament” tab in-game. Who knows, maybe we’ll see you at Worlds!
There are a few differences between the LCQ and our previous Opens:
- Players who have already qualified for Worlds cannot participate.
- Prime Glories do not count – everybody will be on an even playing field.
- The LCQ will not award cash prizes.
- The LCQ will not award Runeterra Points.
Worlds Format and Dates
LoR Worlds 2023 will have a fresh, new meta: Runeterra's next expansion will launch on December 6, with Worlds taking place a week later from December 14-16. The tournament's format will be Standard, and competitors will get early access to start testing and brewing for a week before the expansion drops.
The cross-shard clash will commence on December 14, with all 64 competitors battling through seven Swiss rounds.The next day, the top 16 players from Day One will compete in a double elimination bracket to decide the top four slots.
On the final day, we’ll watch the Winner Bracket finals, Loser Bracket finals, then the Grand Final, where we crown the LoR Champion for 2023!
The Stakes at Worlds
All 64 Worlds competitors will get a special reward before the tournament even begins: Early access to the upcoming expansion The expansion will be going live on December 6, but our competitors will be able to test and cook up some new decks before everyone else, so they can hit the ladder prepped and ready to top deck on launch day.
And while early access to an expansion is nice, we also have some rewards for those who prove they are the best of the best. World participants will compete for a $140,000 USD prize pool. The winner will take home $30,000 USD and the runner-up will earn $12,000 USD. First and second place will also earn the Architect of Legends perk: They'll be let loose and allowed to run wild* in the LoR Card Kitchen!
* We should note that Dev supervision will be provided, nobody wants LoR to get a one-mana draw-two, I mean, of course we all want exactly like that. But that’s the Devs’ tough job: make sure there’s not too much of a good thing.
The 2023 Worlds Champion and Runner-up will also get to partner with one of LoR's Card Designers, and they'll get to collaborate on an original card design: the Champion will design a follower, and the Runner-up a spell. They will also offer feedback on the art concept and initial sketches, and be kept updated from concept to final illustration.