UPDATE (November 27th 2019): Riot UK’s head of esports, Mo Fadl (aka Riot UglySmurf), has published a statement confirming the news, saying Riot will continue its commitment in League of Legends esports in the UK and Europe.
Mo said: “I can confirm that we will not be working with LVP on the UKLC in 2020. LVP remain a valued partner for Riot Games, working alongside our Spanish team on the SuperLiga Orange, and we really appreciate their hard work helping to establish the UKLC and Forge of Champions over the past two years.
“Right now, we’re discussing our options for the UKLC in 2020, and while we totally understand people’s desire to speculate and interpret, any speculation on what we will do is genuinely premature. We are keeping teams up to date, and we’ll make sure to let fans know what’s happening when the time is right.
“We’re super proud of how far the UKLC and Forge of Champions have come in the last two years, and we will continue our commitment in levelling up the regional league ecosystem for League of Legends in the UK and across Europe.”
Excel Esports also outlined their commitment to UK League:
Original article (posted November 26th 2019): Esports tournament provider LVP will not be running the UK League Championship (UKLC) next year, Esports News UK understands.
We’ve heard from trusted sources that LVP is ceasing its operations in the UK.
It’s not clear at this stage whether the UKLC will continue in its current form or not, though it’s like another company (or even Riot itself) may take over production duties going forwards.
It’s possible another operator may run some kind of UK League of Legends tournament in 2020, offering qualification through to the EU Masters (like the UKLC has done so far).
LVP, which runs the successful Superliga Orange League of Legends competition in Spain, was first announced as Riot UK’s production partner back in March 2018, taking over from ESL UK.
The Forge of Champions UK League of Legends competition was revealed a few months later.
Riot signed a three-year partnership with LVP to ‘propel competitive UK League of Legends into the spotlight’, promising millions of pounds of investment including the structure, marketing, staffing and on LVP’s UK-based studio.
The UK League Championship (UKLC) was then announced in early 2019 featuring a unique tower format, plus academy teams from the likes of big UK-based organisations Fnatic and Excel.
A few months ago, it was announced that the UKLC’s tower format was being retired in favour of a more traditional round robin format.
It’s not clear why LVP is apparently withdrawing from operating the official UK League of Legends esports competitions, but several people involved in with the tournaments and LVP UK have recently tweeted about looking for new roles.
Some LVP staff have also removed ‘LVP UK’ from their Twitter bios and other social profiles; some have found other roles.
The UKLC generally pulled in viewers in the low thousands on Twitch, and enjoyed some nice spikes when the likes of Fnatic Rising played. According to Esports Charts the UKLC spring 2019 split had 1,734 average viewers.
Esports News UK has reached out to Riot and LVP UK and will update this article if we receive clarification or comment.
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.