Faker has a high chance of attending the 2022 Asian Games' League of Legends medal event, and he might miss the 2023 LoL World Championship if Riot Games don't change Worlds 2023's schedule
Credit: Colin Young-Wolff/Riot Games

That's a disaster!

Worlds 2023’s schedule might interfere with 2022 Asian Games




Postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic’s resurgence in China, the 2022 Asian Games will take place between Sept. 23, 2023 and Oct. 8, 2023. Due to this development, the event will likely interfere with the 2023 League of Legends World Championship.

Imagine if Faker qualifies to Worlds 2023 but misses it to participate in the 2022 Asian Games instead. Now that would be a situation.
Could you imagine if T1 qualifies but can’t field this guy at Worlds 2023? Image source: Colin Young-Wolff/Riot Games

What does the LoL medal event mean for some of its participants?

Because the 2022 Asian Games feature a League of Legends event with medals on the line, teams from Asia will sound their finest players to the national team.

In South Korea’s case, the stakes are higher: if the team wins the 2023 Asian Games’ LoL event, the players will become “Art-Sports service agents” and will be able to undergo a much lighter military service—consisting of basic military training over four weeks.

As military service is mandatory there, many players have stopped their careers when they have reached the age of enrollment, usually 28.

Notably, Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok will reach that age in 2024, but he was shortlisted as a potential representative of South Korea in 2022. If he is selected, and if he wins, his military service will have similar accommodations to footballer Son Heung-min, who won a gold medal in the 2014 Asian Games.

However, as countries send their best representatives in all disciplines, LoL will not be exempt from that. As such, China, Vietnam, and other countries are guaranteed to send their strongest players and teams as well.

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Saigon Buffalo replaced GAM Esports, who participated in the 2021 Southeast Asian Games. Image source: Colin Young-Wolff/Riot Games

How will the 2022 Asian Games interfere with LoL Worlds 2023?

Because of the above, South Korea, China, Vietnam, Japan, and other nations will send their strongest players to the event. Many of those players are members of organizations that would likely make it to the 2023 LoL World Championship.

The event’s timing is the potential source of interference. That was the case with the 2021 Asian Games, where Vietnam sent GAM Esports to the event and forced the VCS to field second-place Saigon Buffalo at the 2022 Mid-Season Invitational.

If players cannot participate in both events at once, Riot Games may have to adapt its schedule around that of the Asian Games. Failure to do so may severely weaken some teams, diminishing the prestige of Worlds 2023 as China and South Korea’s finest players will be absent.

Adel primarily covers League of Legends, with a particular emphasis on League of Legends esports competitions. He has over 10 year of experience covering the LEC and other LoL competitive events across Europe.

Jaxon's Take

That’s... one way for EU or NA to win Worlds, but I’m not sure whether I’d call that a world championship. It wouldn't feel right.

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