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LoL Esports: MAD Lions make it to Worlds without winning a playoffs series

Published: 10:10, 05 September 2022
Riot Games
League of Legends champion Trundle splash art
League of Legends - Trundle was made to pick apart tanky champions, in more ways than one

MAD Lions became the first team to achieve an incredible feat that is more like the Golden Raspberry than an Emmy.

MAD Lions successfully qualified for League of Legends World Championship 2022 but that isn't going to be cause for much celebration here. The team became the first to do so even after failing to win a single best of five series in the playoffs.

They ended the regular summer season in second place, which guaranteed them a spot in the upper bracket for the playoffs. They didn't stay there long as Rogue knocked them down to the lower bracket after winning the series 3-2 but MAD's lowest possible finish was still fourth place.

Once Fnatic knocked them out after a thrashing in a BO5 that ended up with a score 3-1, MAD indeed became the fourth-place team.

Normally, they wouldn't qualify to Worlds 2022 at all but there was a seeding rule change during the season that influenced their position. Namely, Russia's invasion of Ukraine resulted in Riot Games suspending their leagues in the region, which meant CBLOL wouldn't get a spot in the play-in stage.

Instead, the spot was awarded to LEC, which became the third region to feature four teams at the tournament, the other two being LPL and LCK.

Riot Games League of Legends - Renekton Renekton won a lane and a game against MAD

While qualifying to the most prestigious tournament of the year without winning a single BO5 during the summer playoffs is interesting in its own right, MAD went the extra step to ensure their record remains untouched for a long while - they didn't win a single series in any playoffs this year, including the spring split since they didn't qualify for that one.

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