The procedure of the new drawing stage was also revealed, which includes a drawing for the play-in stage, part of the expansion of worlds this year.
There will be two draws. The play-in draw will feature the No. 1 seeds from Brazil, CIS, Japan, Latin America North, Latin America South, Oceania and Turkey, the No. 2 seed from Southeast Asia, and the No. 3 seeds from China, Europe, North America, and the LMS. The 12 teams will be divided into four groups to play in a best-of-one round robin to determine the top two teams in each group. Those eight teams will move onto the next round of the play-in stage, where the top four will advance to the group stage.
The play-in teams have been sorted into three pools for the drawing, based on regional performance of up to the past two years of competitive results. Pool 1 contains the third seeds of China, EU, NA, and LMS. Pool 2 has Southeast Asian team and the first seeds from Turkey, Brazil, and the CIS, and Pool 3 contains the first seeds from Latin America North, Latin America South, Oceania, and Japan.
Each play-in group will contain at least one team from each pool. The drawing will start with teams in Pool 1 being drawn into one group each, followed by teams in Pool 2, then Pool 3.
The group stage draw will feature the top two seeds from NA, EU, China, and LMS, the first seed from Southeast Asia, the three seeds from Korea, and the four teams that made it through the play-in. The 16 total teams will then be divided into four groups of four, which will be played in a double round robin, best-of-one format. The top two teams of each group will advance to the knockout stage, where each match will be played in a single elimination best-of-five format.
The group stage draw teams will also be divided into three pools based on regional performance. Pool 1 will have the first seeds of LMS, EU, China, and Korea, Pool 2 will have the rest of the teams that have qualified directly to the group stage, and Pool 3 will have the four team that made it through the play-in stage. Each group will have one team from Pool 1, two teams from Pool 2, and one team that qualified from the the play-in stage. No one group will have more than one team from the same region. Each Pool 1 team will occupy one of Groups A, B, C, and D, and drawing will continue for the other two pools in order.
The Group Draw Show will start with the play-in draw, with the group stage draw following soon after.
Cover photo courtesy of Riot Games