Riot Games Reveals the Next Chapter for League of Legends Esports in EMEA

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Riot Games Reveals the Next Chapter for League of Legends Esports in EMEA

The plans, which mark the start of the second decade of LoL Esports in the region, include key changes to the LEC and wider EMEA ecosystem.


Rumors had surfaced nearly a month ago that European LoL would see significant format changes in the incoming year. While fans have been speculating about these changes, there wasn’t an official word on them, until now. In a press conference held in Berlin, Germany today, November 18, Riot Games and LEC representatives talked about the planned 2023 changes to not only LEC but the European ecosystem as a whole.

Starting with the 2023 Spring Split, the League of Legends European Championship will be renamed to the League of Legends EMEA Championship as Europe, Turkey, CIS, Middle East and Africa will be merged under a single region: EMEA. 

“Over the past decade, our team has worked tirelessly to create an industry-leading esports ecosystem. Today, we’re excited to reveal our plan for the next decade of LoL Esports in EMEA and the changes we’re bringing to the LEC and wider ecosystem to continue offering a best-in-class experience to our players”, said Maximilian Peter Schmidt, Director, League of Legends Esports, EMEA. “We’re focused on offering our players the best competition possible. These changes will further enhance the opportunities for professional and aspiring LoL players in the region, giving them more avenues to reach the elite level of competition in EMEA.”

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The key changes to the LEC and wider ecosystem from 2023 include:

LEC 

  • The LEC will be renamed the League of Legends EMEA Championships and will undergo an exciting season overhaul, with format changes to the competition itself, and the introduction of the LEC Season Finals
  • The competition will take place across three splits: Winter, Spring, and Summer, with Winter Split and Spring Split taking place prior to MSI, and Summer Split and the LEC Season Finals taking place following MSI and prior to the League of Legends World Championship
  • Each split will begin with a single, best-of-one round-robin competition. This will then be followed by a best-of-three double-elimination group stage featuring the top eight teams, before concluding with a four-team, double-elimination best-of-five playoff stage
  • The season will culminate with the LEC Season Finals, which will feature the best six teams from the entire season – with split winners qualifying automatically – and the best teams in the competition qualifying for Worlds. The LEC Season Finals will also feature a roadshow event on the final weekend of the competition

EMEA Ecosystem and ERLs

  • Europe will merge with Turkey, CIS and MENA to become EMEA; a single and united competitive region for LoL Esports creating a multi-tiered esports ecosystem that sets the bar for excellence in competition and entertainment
  • The unification of the region will see the TCL (Turkey Championship League) and AL (Arabian League, previously Intel Arabian Cup) join the newly renamed ERL (EMEA Regional League) circuit
  • EU Masters will transition to become EMEA Masters (EM) – a truly pan-regional competition – giving more teams from across the new, unified region the opportunity to qualify and participate in the tournament and offering players the opportunity to showcase their talent
  • The changes mean all players that have residency status in Europe, Turkey, CIS, and MENA can compete freely in the LEC and won’t be subject to the Interregional Movement Policy, offering aspiring pros in the region more pathways to reach the pinnacle of the top professional league within EMEA: the LEC
  • The LCL will remain suspended until further notice. Riot will continue to monitor the landscape and assess the possibility of including the league in the expanded ERL ecosystem at a later date
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Riot Games Reveals the Next Chapter for League of Legends Esports in EMEA
Rohat Dicle Kılınç
Rohat is a writer mainly focused on the League of Legends esports scene, and an LCS hopeful.