Rebuilding the Path to Pro in TFT

Paving the future of competitive TFT in Set 11 and beyond.

EsportsAuthorMichael Sherman
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If you tuned into the Inkborn Fables dev drop after the Remix Rumble Championship, you were the first to hear that we’re making our biggest changes yet to the way players compete in TFT esports each set.

Before we dive in on what’s changing, we wanted to talk a little bit about our goals for regional competition. At its core, our regional events give high level players the opportunity to showcase their mastery and skill over a set. Once a player hits Challenger, these events serve as a way to give new heights to climb and opponents to face.

Additionally, regional events give fans a way to see their favorite players, what compositions are strong, and watch their favorite streamers talk about or even compete in their favorite game.

But there are some weaknesses to our current approach. Most glaring, the way that players compete or watch is different all around the world. While this was helpful at the start of TFT esports to help us learn what works and what doesn’t, it also means following or getting involved is really challenging to understand.

Additionally, we’ve heard feedback from players that events feel like a qualifier for a qualifier, and players are unsatisfied with winning anything short of a Worlds slot. We believe there's an opportunity to introduce new layers of competition that create exciting new stakes and new competitors.

Finally, it's no secret that we've made a lot of adjustments over the years to how many players qualify to championships from each region. The original seeding was built largely off of how big the player base is in each region and perceived competitiveness. TFT has grown a lot over the years, we’ve added new regions over time, and we’ve even seen smaller regions like Japan make huge runs. We want to make seeding more flexible, while maintaining a clear path for how players qualify for Worlds.

What’s Changing?

Set Championships

Starting at the top with championships, we’re rebalancing seeding to be more consistent around the world. As a baseline, we’ll be distributing slots at the pan-regional level, with 7 slots going to the Americas, 7 slots going to EMEA, 7 slots going to APAC, and 7 slots going to CN.

To make sure we’re still awarding performance, the top 3 pan-regions at the previous set championship will also receive an extra seed and the winner of the previous set will automatically receive a slot as long as they qualify for their regional finals. These 4 extra slots bring us up to the 32 players that will make up the championship.

In short, pan-regions have at least 7 slots, but can earn up to 2 more based on their performance. For the Inkborn Fables Championship, we’ll start with 8 slots for each pan-region, and award performance slots starting in Set 12. The Remix Rumble champion will take one of those 8 slots from their region - which in this case would be North America.

Regional Competition

With the move to distributing championship slots pan-regionally, we’re also moving to pan-regional finals and cups. Set 11 will feature 3 Pan-Regional cups that seed players into a Pan-Regional finals. Players in EMEA might be familiar with this model, as it’s similar to how they compete today, bringing together players from the EUW, EUNE, TR, and CIS servers.

These cups and finals will now take place during the same weekends, using the same patches, and similar formats. How you qualify for these events will vary a little bit with each pan-region, to account for the number of servers that they serve.

We’ve been working with our teams around the world to streamline these as much as possible. When a regional team wants to deviate from the format, we’ve brought other teams together to discuss if we should adapt these globally, trying to ensure that we’re maintaining what has made the previous regional formats a success, while making a more consistent path around the world.

To qualify for these events, we’ll use a combination of ladder, previous results, and other tournaments like the TRCs in Europe.

Finally, we’ve taken this opportunity to standardize prize pools for cups and finals for a total of $85K USD per set, per pan-region. In most cases, this means they have increased, but in a few places they’ve stayed the same.

Given the scale of TFT in China, and the inclusion of FFGS, a licensed mobile version of TFT in China, China will continue to maintain its own structure to better suit the needs of its players, and we’ll continue sharing lessons back and forth to help build the best global structure possible.

A New Global Brand

As TFT esports grows, we want the way we think and talk about it to grow too. We’re using this opportunity to introduce new naming conventions and logos to bring everything a little closer together around the world, and make it easier to reference different events and their results, no matter what pan-region you’re cheering on.

Though the names are new, we think they’ll be familiar to every TFT player. First, are the Tactician Trials, which acts as opening qualifiers for the following weekend. Each Tactician Trials are followed by a Tactician’s Cup. There are three Tactician’s Cups in total - an early, mid, and late cup. Players who qualify for their Pan-Regional Final will be competing in their Pan-Regional Golden Spatula. And for all the bragging rights, each Set will end with a global championship – the Tactician’s Crown (previously what we called Set Championships). The first of its kind will be Set 11’s Inkborn Fables Tactician’s Crown.

This update is just the beginning of TFT esports next chapter. We can’t wait to continue connecting high stakes play with TFT.


What’s Next?

We believe 2024 will be a monumental year for the growth of TFT as we look to massively expand access to high stakes play. These foundational changes to regional competition are core to realizing this opportunity, whether it’s to make more consistent space for events like the CN international invitational towards the middle of the Set, or exploring integration of additional tournaments and 3rd party events.

Prize pools in 2024 are also going up dramatically, with the increases at the regional level, and the introduction of a 3rd Championship (aka Tactician’s Crown), the global available prize pool will increase from $2M to $3M in 2024.

In the coming days, you’ll be able to learn more about how Set 11 will be run in your region so keep an eye out for all the details. For those competing in this Set, good luck, your journey will start with climbing the ranked ladder in Inkborn Fables.

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