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By NightElemental, September 21, 2020

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After eight months of patience and anticipation, we finally have an official tournament for Legends of Runeterra. Here is a short summary of what we know so far, as well as our first impressions.

LoR Masters Europe First Impressions

LoR Masters Europe First Impressions


After eight months of patience and anticipation, we finally have an official tournament for Legends of Runeterra. Here is a short summary of what we know so far, as well as our first impressions.

Don’t forget to checkout the official announcement article.

Qualifiers

Country Qualifiers

Summary

Starting on the 21st of September, all Masters players will compete against each other in an attempt to amass as many points as possible for their country of residence. We do not yet know how those points will be calculated but we do know you will need to have played 40 games during this time period in order to be eligible.

On the 12th of October, each country will be ranked according to their two best players' performances. At this point, the 16 countries with the highest score will qualify for the tournament with their top three players as their representatives.

First Thoughts

After the release of a pick and ban tool for the current gauntlet, a lot of us were expecting an in-game qualifier in which anyone, regardless of rank, could participate. Although the process would be long, it would have allowed truly hidden gems to rise from the depths.

As of right now, we do not know how the scores will be calculated. It looks like it might just be based on Masters placements on the 12th of octobre, but we hope not as that would give a huge advantage to players already in top positions. In addition to that, the fact that 40 games are required to be played hints that there might be an MMR that requires placement matches in order to calculate initial scores. Take that with a grain of salt, however, as those are just heavy speculations.

Splitting the players by their respective countries is a really smart move. A common problem with esports is that audience members who aren’t actively playing the game don’t know who to root for. This will likely attract a lot of viewers unfamiliar with Legends of Runeterra and maybe even card games in general, so Riot will need to do their best to ensure those players understand what is happening.

Tournament Format

Tournament Format

Summary

This tournament's format is extremely similar to the football World Cup. Once the 16 teams have qualified they will be split into four groups of four. Every weekend for three weeks, each team will bring nine decks and will fight every other country in their group twice. From there, the top two countries from each group will then proceed to the Quarterfinals. All matches will be in best-of-five format, and their opponents will get the opportunity to ban three champions which implies the decklists will be hidden.

First Thoughts

Since the release of Legends of Runeterra back in January, many unofficial tournaments attempted to predict what the official ruleset would look like. After many different tests, the most popular deck format was usually three decks, one ban, and best-of-three, with restrictions ranging from regional restrictions (i.e. no overlapping regions, only unique region combinations) or card restrictions (e.g. a maximum of three copies of a card amongst all decks). In fact, this is the exact format that we as a team are using for our Aretuza Summit event in October.

Champion bans had been tested in the past, however didn't have too much success since it meant that other than the champions, players didn’t know what deck they were playing against. On the other hand, if organised correctly, the players will have to debate and communicate a lot more than usual which will make the games a lot more intense and entertaining to watch.

Questions

Even with all of this information, there are still a lot of things we and the community are unsure about such as:

  • Are they planning an American Masters?
  • Are the Qualifers really only based on Masters rank?
  • Can you ban "No Champion" decks?
  • What production value can we expect from the tournament?
  • Will riot organise casters?
  • Will be be able to listen to the players debate on the best moves?

Stay on the lookout for more articles on those subjects as we will be releasing more detailed articles as soon as we have more information.

Conclusion

Europe Masters is exactly what we have been waiting for. Although hidden decklists are a little controversial, I believe Riot is doing the right thing by appealing to the viewers and trying to reach out to new players. We often dismiss it, but tournaments are basically an advertisement for the game, and the format Riot has chosen does a good job at attracting a new audience. What Riot needs to do now, is to ensure those new viewers understand what is happening so they try the game in the future. If they succeed this could lead to a bigger playerbase, bigger competitive scene, and of course bigger prize pools.

Best of luck on your quest to Masters #1

Night

Author

NightElemental

NightElemental NightElemental is Aretuza Member

Stan began his dive into the world of CCGs all the way back when the WoW physical card game was released. Since then he has played all available Online CCG's at a respectable level. Legends of Runeterra caught his eye and he is aiming to participate in as many tournaments as possible. Juggling between a bachelor in Computer Science and CCG's he is also working on a Deck and Statistics tracker in order to help all other players improve wherever possible.

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