UPDATE: ESPN reports these plans have been delayed until 2019.
Riot also announced that a new EU Masters tournament will take place, the first of which was won by Origen in Leicester’s Haymarket Theatre.
The rumours around the revised EU LCS are coming in thick and fast now.
Last month, Dot Esports reported that Riot may be adopting a ‘Champions League-style’ format for the EU LCS.
And last week, Esports News UK published an article stating that the EU LCS may be moving to the UK.
Now, if the latest speculation from ESPN’s Jacob Wolf is to be believed, then both previous articles have elements of truth to them, but aren’t quite spot on.
ESPN reports that the new revamped EU LCS will be split into four regions: London, Paris, Berlin and Barcelona.
Each region will apparently host its own league which will consist of six teams, and according to the report, ‘teams won’t have to fear the possibility of relegation from their new domestic leagues’. This ties in with what we reported around the EU LCS possibly adopting a ‘franchise-like’ system.
The top teams from each region will reportedly qualify into the overall top-level ‘Champions league’ featuring 16 of the best European League of Legends teams overall. This will run alongside the domestic leagues.
“Each region will apparently host its own league which will consist of six teams, and according to the report, teams ‘won’t have to fear the possibility of relegation’ from their new domestic leagues.”
ESPN also reports that the current 10 EU LCS teams will be able to declare their own home territory. If this is true, Fnatic would have London, for example.
Apparently Fnatic, G2, Misfits and Splyce have asked to play in London, according to the latest ESPN report. Unicorns of Love, Schalke and Roccat have opted for Berlin, H2K and Giants have focused on Barcelona and Vitality have gone for Paris.
With a format change to the European League of Legends Championship Series ahead, the 10 EU LCS-affiliated teams submitted their region preferences to Riot Games, league sources told ESPN.
It also reports that Riot is ‘currently recruiting teams for its domestic leagues’, which would explain why Riot is in talks with several UK organisations right now.
Ben Spoont, owner of EU LCS team Misfits, has since said on Reddit: “While I can obviously not get into specifics of which are included in Jacob’s article (some right, some wrong, lots of critical pieces not discussed), I can emphatically say that the proposed competitive system from the Riot EU side is a game-changer and shakeup necessary to revitalize a diverse and strong region, a region in which by player size is MUCH bigger than NA.
“The new competitive format they’ve created will make every match significantly more meaningful than as currently stands.”
The rumour comes after H2K urged Riot to make changes to the EU LCS, in order to make it more sustainable for teams, and after Riot announced the NA LCS would be adopting its own franchise model.
High-level League of Legends has come to London’s Wembley SSE Arena in the past, including part of the LCS in 2014 and Worlds in 2015.
Dom is an award-winning writer who graduated from Bournemouth University with a 2:1 degree in Multi-Media Journalism in 2007.
A keen League player and WoW RPer, he has written for a range of publications including Games TM, Nintendo Official Magazine, games industry publication MCV as well as Riot Games. He currently works as full-time content director for the British Esports Association.