WE HAVE THE DATES!

For months we knew that the 2018 League of Legends World Championship was going to be held in South Korea. Now we finally know when the big day is -- November 3.

This year, the entire tournament process will take place in cities around South Korea, ending with the pinnacle event in Incheon.

This is the final schedule:

Play-in Stage

City: Seoul

Dates: October 1 - 4, 6 - 7

Group Stage:

City: Busan

Dates: October 10 - 17

Quarterfinals:

City: Busan

Dates: October 20 - 21

Semifinals:

City: Gwangju

Dates: October 27 - 28

Finals:

City: Incheon

Date: November 3

Clear your calendars and book those tickets for South Korea! (Picture: Riot Games)

Now that we know the when and where, let’s get to the who.

The regional leagues are still in their summer split season, with some team rankings still extremely close. The first place team for the Summer Split in these leagues will automatically get a spot at the Worlds. So let’s check in on which teams are standing strong right now.

North America LCS

As I write this, Team Liquid and 100 Thieves are at the top of the rankings with 8 wins and 4 losses each. They were the top two teams at the end of the Spring Split, with Liquid winning first place at the Spring Split against 100 Thieves, so the rivalry is strong.

The latest chapter will take place on Saturday night, although it might not mean that much in the grand scheme of things.

The first place team in the Summer Split will automatically get a spot at Worlds, while the team with the most championship points throughout the entire season will also get to go as second seed. So there’s a good chance both teams will go, but that surely won’t stop Saturday night’s clash from being a must-watch.

Europe LCS

Right now Misfits Gaming is leading the pack at 10 wins and 2 losses. Even though the team didn’t even make the Spring Split playoffs, they have been on a strong streak since the Summer Split started. They’re looking more like the Misfits that gave a dazzling performance during the Worlds 2017 quarterfinals against SK Telecom T1.

But they did fall to Splyce earlier this week in a shock upset. The game dragged on for more than 20 minutes with little progress, and it seemed that Misfits fell back into their struggles with the late game.

Still 10-2 is an impressive record, and Misfits looks primed to make it to Worlds again this year.

League of Legends Champions Korea (LCK)

The LCK has won five out of the past seven Worlds. And this year the region will be playing on home turf. But the fight to be the best of the best is incredibly close right now.

The last time South Korea hosted Worlds was in 2014… the year with the best opening music act IMO. (Picture: Riot Games)

Griffin, Gen. G Esports, and KING-ZONE DragonX are fighting for that first place spot in the Summer Split right now. Gen. G Esports (Formerly KSV and Samsung Galaxy) won Worlds 2017, defeating KING-ZONE DragonX (Formerly Longzhu Gaming) along the way. Now the two teams get to butt heads again for that automatic spot in Worlds 2018.

While KSV had a middling performance during Spring, KING-ZONE DragonX has a edge over the other two, having finished first place and also won second place at the Mid-Season Invitational.

Griffin isn’t a team that’s easily dismissed however. They weren’t around for the Spring Split, but barrelled through the rankings for Summer and ended up at the top. (Also, I personally have a soft spot for them for winning with a Teemo pick that wasn’t locked in by accident.)

Tencent League of Legends Pro League (LPL)

The LPL is separated into two divisions for most of the season, and right now Invictus Gaming and Rogue Warriors are at the top of their respective groups.

Move over Royal Never Give Up and Edward Gaming. Invictus Gaming is a force to be reckoned with only one loss all Summer Split. And Rogue Warriors’ midlaner and captain Doinb is continuing to push his already strong team through key moments in team fights.

Invictus is one of the oldest organizations in China. It was actually at the top of its division during the Spring Split with just one loss, but fell in the playoffs to Royal Never Give Up and Rogue Warriors, ending the split in fourth place.

Meanwhile Rogue Warriors was formed recently, and most of its members have never been to the Worlds before. However, they performed well during its very first international tournament at Rift Rivals, guiding the LPL tol victory.

We’ll see if either team will be able get to South Korea, and help the LPL finally seize its first Worlds Trophy.

League of Legends Master Series (LMS)

This is the region with the least surprises… so far. Flash Wolves remain undefeated in the Taiwan/Hong Kong/Macau league. They have consistently been the best team in the LMS, and it doesn’t look like they’ll be giving up that number one spot this Summer Split.

Flash Wolves were at the last three Worlds and virtually all the other international tournaments as the LMS representative, but unfortunately always fall short against teams from other regions.

Of course, this current state of play isn’t set in stone. There’s still about two to three weeks left in the Summer Split. And even though these teams may be at the top of the scoreboard at the moment, they still have to win their league’s playoffs to be the official first place winner, and get that ticket to the World Championship.

But being at the top right now is key to keeping the teams’ momentum going. And when it’s the chance for international glory on the line, every little advantage helps.