The Recopa Sudamericana is played over two legs; home and away. The team that qualified via the Copa Libertadores plays the second leg at home. The team that accumulates the most points —three for a win, one for a draw, zero for a loss— after the two legs is crowned the champion. The away-goals rule is not used. Should the two teams be tied on points after regulation of the second leg, the team with the best goal difference wins. If the two teams have equal goal difference, extra time is used. The extra time consists of two 15-minute halves. If the tie is still not broken, a penalty shoot-out ensues according to the Laws of the Game.
Estudiantes qualified to the Recopa Sudamericana by winning the 2009 Copa Libertadores. It was their fourth Copa Libertadores title and first in 39 years, which they achieved by defeating Brazilian club Cruzeiro 4–1 on points. Liga de Quito are the reigning title holders of the competition, having won the 2009 edition of this competition after beating Internacional on both legs of the Recopa, their first title of the competition. The club earned the right to defend the trophy after winning the 2009 Copa Sudamericana, beating Fluminense in a rematch of the 2008 Copa Libertadores Finals (which LDU Quito also won). The victory was the club's first ever title in the competition and third international title ever (as well as their nation's).
Prior to the 2010 Recopa, Estudiantes and LDU Quito had previously met two times in South American competition. The first meeting between the two sides took place in the Round of 16 of the 2008 Copa Libertadores; LDU Quito won the first match 2–0 at the Estadio Casa Blanca in Quito, and lost 2–1 at the Estadio Ciudad de La Plata. Luis Bolaños's 25th minute goal in the second match gave LDU Quito a favorable goal difference, which eliminated Estudiantes. LDU Quito subsequently went on to win the competition. Estudiantes are entering the Recopa for their first time ever. They are the seventh Argentine club to dispute this title; the first to do so was Racing in 1989. This will be LDU Quito's second consecutive appearance (as well as their second all-time appearance) of the Recopa Sudamericana. They are the only side from Ecuador to participate in the Recopa Sudamericana.
The venues for this final series are Estadio Casa Blanca, located in Quito, and Estadio Centenario Dr. José Luis Meiszner in Quilmes. The Estadio Casa Blanca was built between 1995 and 1997, and it hosted its first match on March 6, 1997 in a game between LDU Quito and Atlético Mineiro of Belo Horizonte. The stadium has hosted a final series match for the Copa Libertadores in 2008, the Recopa Sudamericana in 2009 as well as the 2009 final of the Copa Sudamericana. With a capacity of 55,400, it is the largest stadium in Quito, and the second largest in Ecuador after the Estadio Monumental Banco Pichincha in Guayaquil. Estadio Centenario Dr. José Luis Meiszner is a football stadium located in club Quilmes. It was constructed by the Quilmes in 1995 to commomerate their centenary in 1997 (which is also why the stadium bears the name "Centenario"). It underwent a renovation in 1998 to increase its capacity. This will become the first time the venue hosts an international final series match.
The referees for the 2010 Recopa Sudamericana are Roberto Silvera of Uruguay and Carlos Simon of Brazil. Silvera has been a referee since 2003 and has officiated several CONMEBOL club competitions including a final series match of the 2006 and 2009 Copa Sudamericana.