League of Legends Tournaments

During the development of League of Legends, some people at Riot wanted to create a copy of the original MOBA; DotA: Allstars. After some time of conflict internally at Riot Games, the people who wanted to copy DotA went on to develop another less successful esports game; Heroes of Newerth. Thankfully, a group of people at Riot Games stayed true to their vision of creating their version of a MOBA game. If they hadn’t done that, League of Legends esports would likely not have been as successful as it is today. We would have been stuck with three DotA type esports; Dota 2, League of Legends and Heroes of Newerth. Instead, we have loads of exciting League of Legends to bet on and tournaments to look forward to on a regular basis.

History of competitive LoL

From the get-go of LoL, Riot Games started establishing a competitive League of Legends esports scene. The first official League of Legends tournament was held during DreamHack Summer in Sweden back in 2011. The tournament “Worlds”, is today known as the second biggest esport event in the esports industry. In 2011, for Worlds Season 1, the prize pool was $100,000. Fnatic won the first title and $50,000. The tournament was hugely successful and over 1.6 million viewers online. Riot Games went all-in with World Season 2 in Los Angeles with a prize pool of $2,000,000 and twelve teams competing. The tournament had lots of technical issues causing many matches to be replayed, one matchup dragged on for over eight hours in total. Season 2 became a wake-up call for Riot Games as they realized they put too little effort into the esport part of League of Legends.

The following years’ Riot Games allocated more resources and effort into the esports scene to re-establish trust with organizations and fans. Seeing the commercial opportunity and the coming boom of esports, they established themselves at the top of the food chain alongside Valve. From 2012 onwards, each season of the League of Legends World Championship had over $2,000,000 in prize money. DAMWON Gaming ended up winning and will take home 25% of the undisclosed prize pool.

League of Legends World Championship

As mentioned, the World Championship in League of Legends has been played every year since 2011. A total of $26,750,091 has been paid out to the competing teams across nine tournaments. A multi-million dollar payout is expected for Worlds 2020 but the prize pool has not been confirmed yet.

The 2020 edition of League of Legends World Championship had 22 teams competing. The tournament was held entirely in Shanghai due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Many players that were supposed to participate were unable to attend due to quarantine issues. Two teams from Vietnam were blocked from travelling entirely; Team Flash and GAM Esports. Gambit Esports will receive 0.6% of the prize pool without playing a single map. They were invited as potential stand-ins for the team Unicorns of Love who were at risk of not attending due to VISA issues.

The 2020 League of Legends World Championship was made possible through an isolation bubble. Similar to that how the NBA and NHL season was played out during 2020. While the prize amount is not confirmed yet, it’s expected to exceed $2,000,000 at least. That would make the LoL World Championships the second-largest esport tournament in the world this year, trailing only Dota 2 the International 10.

Major League of Legends tournaments and leagues

League of Legends Champions Korea

Champions Korea is the main LoL tournament in South Korea. LCK is divided into Spring and Summer Split; LCK Spring and LCK Summer. These two League of Legends tournaments then lead up to the LCK Regional Finals at towards the end of the year. In the finals, four of the top teams from LCK Spring and LCK Summer compete. The top teams are defined by the number of Championship Points they manage to collect during the regular season. The teams competing in the Regional Finals have no chance to win any money; they only compete for a spot in the League of Legends World Championship.

The first edition of League of Legends Champions Korea was held in 2012. Since then, it’s grown a lot and is today considered to be the strongest League of Legends competition in the world. South Korean LoL teams have high quality and most of the top pros comes from the country. The World Championship in League of Legends has been won by South Korean teams no less than four times out of ten.

The LCK is organized by the Korea Esports Association (KeSPA). KeSPA has been instrumental to shaping League of Legends esports together with Riot Gaming. Back in 2012, the organization was responsible for 25 different esports within the South Korean borders.

League of Legends Pro League

LPL is the equivalent of LCK but for China. League of Legends Pro League has a similar structure where the regular season is split into two; LPL Spring and LPL Summer. As teams play through the regular season phases they collect Championship Points. The four teams with the most points qualify for the LPL Regional Finals. The winner of the Regional Finals automatically qualifies for the World Championship. The Regional Finals of LPL has no prize money in the prize pool. Instead, the top two teams will get a direct entry to the World Championship.

LPL Spring Split and LPL Summer Split both have a prize pool of roughly $600,000. In 2020 Top Esports and JD Gaming won the splits for their share of the prize pools along with spots in the 2020 LoL World Championship.

Tencent Games organize the LPL each year. Tencent is the majority holder for Riot Games. Tencent also has 40% stake in Epic, the developer of Fortnite, another immensely popular gaming title.

League of Legends Vietnam Championship Series

The Vietnam Championship Series was previously known as Garena Premier League. The name came from Garena Vietnam who is the exclusive operator for games like League of Legends, FIFA and Arena of Valor. Garena Premier League switched the name to Vietnam Championship Series when it became an independent LoL tournament in 2018. From 2018 onwards the VCS is hosted by Riot Games and Garena Vietnam.

The top two teams from VCS got invites to the League of Legends World Championship. Unfortunately for Team Flash and Gam Esports who won the 2020 edition, the Covid-19 pandemic prohibited them from participating in Worlds.

League of Legends European Championships

The European Championships follow a similar format as LPL and LCK. There’s the regular season play which is split up into the LEC Spring Split and LEC Summer Split. During the regular season, teams collects Championship Points. The top four teams from LCK Spring Split are directly qualified for LCK Summer Split along with winning Championship Points. The top four teams of the LCK Summer Split get a direct qualification. Both the Spring and Summer Split have prize pools of over $220,000. Riot Games themselves are solely responsible for hosting the LEC.

League of Legends Championship Series

League of Legends Championship Series follows the same format as the LEC. Regular season is divided into LCS Spring Split and LCS Summer Split. Team collects Championship Points and compete for seeds for bigger tournaments like the World Championship. Each LCS split has a minimum of $200,000 in the prize pool. Riot Games are the sole organizers of LCS.

A unique aspect of the LCS is that the players competing is paid monthly salaries on top of money derived from prize pools. The average salary for an LCS player was $410,000 in 2020. This is on par with professional soccer players in the MLS.

Mid-Season Invitational

The Mid-Season Invitational (MSI) if an offline LAN tournament that features the winners from the regional leagues splits; LCS, LPL, LEC and LCS. This LoL tournament is held once per year when 13 teams compete. Each year a new city hosts the MSI.

Similarly to the World Championship, the prize pool for the Mid-Season Invitational is partly crowdfunded. The initial prize pool is always $1,000,000. Then 25% of all proceeds from the sale of in-game items and skins is added to the prize pool. In addition, each organization competing in the MSI have Team icons for purchase in-game. 50% of the revenue from these icons go to their respective organization. Riot Games are the organizers of MSI.

The 2020 edition of Mid-Season Invitational was cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Depending on how the situation develops, the MSI may be played after the Summer Split, sometime towards the end of July 2021.

Mid-Season Cup

The MSC premiered in 2020 as a response to the Covid-19 pandemic where we saw many offline League of Legends tournaments cancelled. The top four teams from LPL Sprint Split faced off against the Top four from LCK Spring Split. Top Esports came out on top and cashed $240,000 of the total $600,000 prize pool.

Rift Rivals

League of Legends Rift Rivals is a popular LoL tournament that’s been hosted by Riot Games since 2017. Rift Rivals is made up of five tournaments that run simultaneously in respective LoL region. Rift Rivals comes in different shapes and forms. In 2018, the following Rift Rivals tournaments were hosted; Rift Rivals: LCK vs LPL vs LMS, Rift Rivals: LLN vs CLS vs CBLOL, Rift Rivals: NA vs EU, Rift Rivals: LCL vs TCL vs VCS and Rift Rivals: SEA vs LJL vs OPL. The 2019 season saw Rift Rivals: LCK vs LPL vs LMS vs VCS and Rift Rivals: NA vs EU.

Due to the Coronavirus, the 2020 Rift Rivals season was cancelled. Rift Rivals was then expected to make way for the delayed Mid-Season Invitational, which later on got postponed until earliest summer 2021. It remains to be seen when Rift Rivals will be resumed. Price pools for this League of Legends tournament is between $60,000 to $144,000.

League of Legends tournaments FAQ


The LoL competitive scene in one of the three best in all of esports along with Dota 2 and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. Riot Games and their partners in various regions tends the domestics scenes in respective region extremely well. While the Covid-19 pandemic has taken away some LAN tournaments during 2020 and possibly 2021. We are hoping that Riot Games will fill up the void with prestigious online League of Legends tournaments, so we have more LoL odds available for betting.