Since 2017, the League of Legends Championship Korea has been the only League of Legends region to send its third-seeded team directly to the group stage at the World Championship. As of yesterday, the Tencent League of Legends Pro League will assume that role, with all three LPL teams advancing directly to groups, according to a report by InvenGlobal.
The third-seeded team from the LCK will now join No. 3 seeds from the League Championship Series, League Master Series, and the League European Championship in the Play-In Stage.
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The seeding changes reflects the LPL and LCK's comparative international performances as of late. In 2018, Invictus Gaming dominated Fnatic to win Worlds, with LPL teams also scoring two top-four placements at the 2017 World Championships. On the other hand, the LCK hasn’t notched an international victory in almost two years.
The LPL’s advantageous position is far from secure. The international field is more open than ever before, with the LEC’s G2 Esports cleanly winning this year’s Mid-Season Invitational and LCS organizations such as Team Liquid and Cloud9 also making strong statements at international events. If an LPL team doesn’t perform well at Worlds, another region may soon take hold of that third-seed-to-groups pipeline.