Here's Riot Redbeard with the official announcement:
"Back in November, we shared our excitement that the 2014 Worlds Final would be hosted in South Korea. Fast forward a few months, and we've got even more news to share as we kick off the final countdown to this season's finale in Seoul.
We're thrilled to announce that we're going to be hosting the 2014 World Final on October 19th at Sangam Stadium. This stadium is most famous as the venue of the 2002 FIFA World Cup, and since then has played host to some of the best sporting and entertainment events in South Korea. Bringing the action to so many passionate and dedicated fans requires an awesome venue - and we look forward to welcoming more than ever before in this world-class sports arena.
Of course, no end goal is complete without the journey. This year, we're taking Worlds on the road and hosting group stages in Taipei and Singapore in September. The action will then move on to a quarter final showdown in Busan, Korea in October before the victorious teams emerge to battle it out in Seoul (home of defending champions SKT T1 K) in the semifinals and final. We're looking forward to making our first stop in some of these regions and bringing the most talented League of Legends competitors in the world directly to local fans.
Fueling the epic journey through Taiwan, Singapore and Korea will be our brand new event format that now includes a sixteen team group stage arranged from our global leagues. Three top teams from NA, EU, Korea, and China will join two teams from Taiwan and SEA and two wild card winners to fight on the global battlefield. The teams will be placed into four groups and battle it out in the group stages before the top two teams from each group move on to the quarter-finals.
We’re also increasing the number of wild card teams that participate from all around the world. Latin America will face off against Brazil at the NA LCS Regional Final, while Oceania, CIS and Turkey will battle it out on the ground at EU LCS Regional Final for the last spot. We’re opening the door for more teams and more world-class talent from around the globe - all hungry for the chance to lift the Summoner's Cup.
We'll be updating LoLesports.com in the next few weeks with more news, dates and ticket information as well as all the action leading up to regional qualifiers so stay tuned!"
Over on reddit, Riot Magus and Riot RedBeard revealed a few more details!
When asked how many people the World Finals venue can hold, RedBeard estimated:
"40k - 50k, but still working on layout plans. Going to be insanity."When asked how the play-offs will be handled, Magus confirmed they will be:
"Bo5 throughout the single elimination knockout stage."As for a location for the playoffs, RedBeard noted:
"Sadly not disclosing any venue information just yet outside of Sangam Stadium."He continued:
"Will be in the coming weeks, want to give people enough notice to book travel."
In response to criticism on the Wildcard spots, Magus declared:
"It's called Worlds for a reason - a player in every region should have a shot at winning it all, no matter the odds."
When asked how the teams will be split up for group stages, Magus commented:
"A group will be pulled from several "pools" - exact procedures will be announced later. It won't be completely random, nor will it be arbitrarily determined."He continued:
"Regions with 3 seeds have a 2-team per group max limit.
Regions with 1 or 2 seeds have a 1-team per group max limit.
Thus, White/Blue/SKT/OMG can't happen. Additionally, the top region seeds will be "protected" - so you can't have KR #1, CN #1, NA #1 and EU #1 in the same group. We'll announce more details on the group draw process later, but it'll be similar to World Cup with a few twists."As for a stream event for the groups being drawn, Magus noted:
"Not promising anything until our plans are finalized :)"Magus also noted the groups stage will be :
"2 Bo1s (so a split bo2 if you want to think of it that way, no points though), similar to last year."Magus also shared his thoughts on double elimination brackets, saying:
"The drawbacks around double elim are real - inflation of the number of games leading to fatigue for live fans / online viewers / teams / production staff, less intense stakes for the early rounds when it's okay to lose, an awkward final format (either double finals if the loser bracket champs win the first round or game advantage, both of which suck), repeat matchups and the list goes on.
Let's just say that there's a time and a place for double elim, but it's not at Worlds. You'll possibly see double elim in events that absolutely need to know 1-2-3-4 (for example, if we're seeding a new league in an emerging region, possibly in the Challenger championship, etc.).
I think a lot of players ask for double elimination because of the perceptions that "more games are better" and that they think they'll be guaranteed an epic final. While there are some pros to double elim (the final is probably better, barring the extremely awkward format), I think the costs far outweigh the gains.
edit: I tried to stay at a high level with this, the tradeoffs and complexities run deeper, but this is a TLDR version of why I don't like double elimination for high visibility tournaments like Worlds."