The first ten regions in League of Legends’ new ‘national champions league’ have been named.
Riot listed the territories in an announcement post on the Lolesports website, along with the respective European Regional League (ERL) for each one.
For example, Spain has the Superliga Orange and Germany has the ESL Meisterschaft. Interestingly, the ESL UK & Ireland Premiership was not mentioned under the UK section. Instead, Riot said that ‘more information is coming early next year via lolesports’.
The league has previously been mentioned in reports as some sort of ‘champions league’, but Riot is now referring to it as a European Cup, though the final name is not yet decided.
It is replacing the recently scrapped EU Challenger Series, which sits below the LCS, and will contain the winning team from each of the following regions:
- France (tournament name TBC)
- Germany, Austria & Switzerland (DACH – ESL Meisterschaft and more TBC)
- Nordics: (tournament name TBC)
- Poland (ESL Mistrzostwa Polski)
- Spain (Superliga Orange)
- UK (tournament name TBC)
- Portugal (Moche LPLOL)
- Italy (PG Nationals)
- Balkans (Esports Balkan League)
- Czechia & Slovakia (Hitpoint.cz)
Riot also reaffirmed their commitment to offer ‘increased support’ to European Regional Leagues like the ESL & Ireland Premiership.
ERLs will run in spring 2018, with structure and timings varying from country to country. The European Cup will then run at the end of the spring and summer splits (after the LCS finals), for about two to three weeks.
“For the first time ever, we’ll be introducing a tournament where local country champions will face-off against their international competitors to crown the best ERL champion in Europe.”
Riot also hopes to add more ERLs in the future, some in time for summer 2018.
“For the first time ever, we’ll be introducing a tournament where local country champions will face-off against their international competitors to crown the best ERL champion in Europe,” Riot said in a statement.
“Local heroes will compete to represent their country as they take to the international stage to compete for prize money and glory.
“We’ll be revealing more information about the European Cup midway through the 2018 Spring Split including details around format, structure and where to watch.”
Riot also provided an outline of how the competitive year will shape up in Europe:
What do we know about the UK scene changes so far?
Riot has been formulating its plans for the future of UK League of Legends throughout 2017. Riot opened a new office in London earlier this year and has been on a big recruiting drive.
Most recently, Riot Games UK appointed Mo Fadl as its new head of esports, who will help develop the UK LoL scene.
The company has been in talks with partners like Multiplay and ESL UK for its 2018 UK esports roadmap, including which leagues will operate and the format they have. An announcement is expected in early 2018.
It’s not clear whether current ESL Premiership champions exceL Esports will qualify for the new European Cup or not, but it’s looking unlikely.
On the future of the UK LoL scene, Riot Games’ head of UK publishing Mark Cox said at a recent conference: “We’re looking at building from the grassroots upwards. Our new head of esports will come in and start looking at all our partners. It’ll be right from the bottom to the top, not just looking at the pro scene, but looking at how we can build on what we call competitive and social play and getting people engaged with the game.
“We need to be a better esports country and have better representation globally.”
Image source: Riot Flickr
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 of Legends and World of Warcraft player, he has written for a range of publications including GamesTM, Nintendo Official Magazine, industry publication MCV as well as Riot Games and others. He works as full-time content director for the British Esports Association and runs ENUK in his spare time.