Riot ‘looking into potential improvements’ for EU Masters Play-Ins following criticism around the format and lack of an English broadcast


Article by Megalodontus and Dom Sacco

Riot Games says it’s working to improve the set up around the European Masters Play-Ins stage, which sees some of the top League of Legends teams around Europe qualifying for the Main Event.

Several members of the League of Legends community took to social media over the past week to complain about the lack of an English stream broadcast and co-streaming for the Play-Ins, as well as the format.

Some criticised the time frame for matches, with others questioning the need for Play-Ins at all. Others requested best-of-five matches and better seeding for the Play-Ins group draws.

Members of the community also took to Reddit to share their views, with two Reddit threads making the front page, one one criticising the viewing experience and the other bemoaning the lack of an English stream.

Maximilian ‘MAXtheX’ Peter Schmidt, Riot’s head of esports for League of Legends in Europe and MENA, responded to the feedback on Twitter, saying Riot will be looking at making some improvements for next time.

The news comes as the UK’s Fnatic Rising, who lost to Excel Esports in the NLC Spring 2021 finals, were knocked out of the tournament by G2 Arctic 2-0.

Related article: Interview with G2 Arctic support and former UK scene player Oleksand ‘Efias’ Yankovich

This means NLC champions BT Excel are the only NLC team left in the EU Masters. Excel were first seed from the UK and Northern Europe tournament and qualified for the Main Event, while Fnatic were second seed and entered the Play-In stage, which they have just been knocked out of.

EUM was run by ESL in the past. In 2020 Riot Games announced it would be managing it in-house. Riot expanded the Play-Ins stage and awarded more seeds to the European Regional Leagues (ERLs), as well as promoting it occasionally on the LEC broadcast.

Some in the UK scene have been upset that the tournament provides NLC teams with one Main Event qualifier slot, rather than two, like some leagues have (for example the French LFL).

The Spring 2021 EU Masters groups are as follows:

The EU Masters Main Event gets underway from April 14th, with the action being broadcast on the EU Masters Twitch channel.

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