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After stealing the show in Vegas with a playable Project L demo at Evo 2023, Riot Games is aiming to take over Sin City again on December 8-10 with their first-ever official Teamfight Tactics open LAN event which is open to all players of any rank or region, but with a catch.

Official details on the TFT Vegas Open have been revealed including prize pool, sign-up information, and of course, price of entry. With a prize pool over $300,000 the cost of this isnt just being taken on by Riot, but also the player entries themselves. Price of entry to this 512-person three-day event will run players $399 with higher-ranked players paying a discount.

But even if the cost is nearly quadruple what it costs to enter Evo, Riot’s head of global TFT esports Michael Sherman believes the price provides players bang for their buck while also setting the tone that this tournament is high-risk high reward.

“We determined the price for the passes as well as the discounts for top-tier players in order to ensure we are bringing in players who will take the tournament seriously.” Sherman said.

What is the Prize Pool For the TFT Vegas Open?

Part of taking the tournament seriously is making sure there is a meaningful prize pool. First place at the TVO will walk home with $100,000 with a steep drop off of $25,000 for second place. The total prize pool equates out to $308,500 which trickles all the way down to top 128. Meaning that as long as players make it into the top quarter of the playing field, they will cash out.

Placing into that first payout threshold will net players $450 which is a little more than the pass itself. Sherman said that paying out that far encourages every player, regardless of current standing, to play out every round as every placing matters.

“We wanted to ensure the journey throughout the entire weekend feels like it’s building up consistently and that started with making sure each day of the competition mattered” Sherman said.

As for why Riot decided on the $300,000 prize pool and not a bigger one, Sherman said it simply wouldnt be fair to upstage Riot’s global championships that have prize pools in the mid-$400,000’s.

“This was a deeply discussed topic - for one, we understand this event can’t easily be attended by everyone in the world, and so we wanted to keep the prize pool lower than the Set Championship prizing of $450,000,” Sherman said. “Additionally, we wanted to have a prize pool that was greater than the sum of the competitor pass fees. From there, we played around with a few scenarios, and ultimately felt that $300k was the most exciting. “

What is the Format For The TFT Vegas Open?

The format for the event is aimed to maximize a ramping intensity which is outlined by the tournament structure.

TFT Vegas Open format

Day 1 will have all 512 players split into lobbies of eight based on their initial seeding which is done by their in-game rank from Set 9 and Set 9.5. From there, these lobbies will play three games each. The top four from each lobby will move on, eliminating half the field in the process.

The second half of Day 1 will have the remaining 256 players shuffled and put into new lobbies of eight. With points reset, these lobbies will play another four games with the top four players in each making it to Round 3 on Day 2 and securing a payout.

Day 2 the competition gets a little more intense. Instead of cutting half the players, in Round 3 the remaining 128 players will again be split into lobbies of eight and will play four games each, but only the top two players in each lobby will go onto the Round of 32.

And to wrap up Day 2, the 32 remaining players will split into four lobbies of eight with points reset. Again, they will play four games with the top two players advancing to the top 8 on Day 3.

Championship Sunday will have the final 8 players play in a checkmate format. Get to 20 points to put the lobby in check. Win a game while in check to activate checkmate and win the tournament.

While this format is the optimal one Sherman and his team landed on, it wasn't the only concept they considered.

“We explored a number of formats throughout the process, my favorite exploration was making a Round of 64 with 8 lobbies of checkmate going on at the same time, and only one player from each lobby would advance to The final table. Ultimately, we ended up prioritizing a few things,” Sherman said. “we wanted players to feel like they only had to be better than the people at their table, this way it didn’t feel like you were being knocked out by someone you’d never even seen and you had more direct agency over how you advance from round to round.”

Sign Ups and Side Events

As for signing up for the event as a player, Challenger players (based on rank as of August 30th at 12:01 AM PT) will have first priority when signups start on September 5th. Riot will be creating a custom website that will act as as one-stop shop for updates, standings, sign-ups and more. Challenger passes will cost $199. One day later Grandmaster and Master players will be able to signup at a $299 price point. And finally on September 7th, General competitor passes will release as well as Spectator passes which will cost $399 and $150 respectively.

TFT Vegas Open venue

For spectators and players who get knocked out early, Riot is planning on hosting a lot of side events which include for fun tournaments, panels, meet and greets and more. Details of those will be released at a later date.

Sherman wants to make it clear that this is supposed to be a one-off event to celebrate the launch of TFT’s 10th set in December and there are no set-in-stone plans to do this again. However, Riot is watching this with great interest.

“We also view this event as an experimental test for the future of TFT esports and the increased participation model that we want to move towards. If the event is a huge success, there is definitely the possibility of holding another event like this in the future.”