Following the announcement earlier this week that Riot Games’ restructuring of European League of Legends had led to the postponement of NLC and UKLC Promotion and Relegation tournaments, Riot has announced more changes to European LoL.
From 2022, Freaks 4U Gaming will take over the Northern European ERL (European Regional Leagues) region from DreamHack/ESL and Telia, and will implement a ‘multi-division league ecosystem’ that is ‘open to all’, similar to the League of Legends Prime League in the DACH region.
Freaks 4U will help Riot implement fundamental ecosystem changes across Europe from 2022.
Moreover, to facilitate the the ecosystem changes set to be made, the 2021 Summer Promotion tournament between Telia Masters and NLC will be cancelled. Instead, Freaks 4U Gaming will set up a ‘calibration stage’ to determine the slots for Division 1 as well as the multi-division ecosystem from September, for which teams from Northern Europe are encouraged to register for participation. For more information on seeding for current NLC teams, continue reading (bullet-pointed section).
While not willing to divulge any more at this stage, here are some things Riot has confirmed about the restructuring:
- 2021 will mark the last season of the UKLC, Telia Esports Series and Telia Masters
- Freaks 4U will take over the NLC from 2022 and introduce a multi-division league ecosystem that will be open to all teams from the region, similar to the League of Legends Prime League model
- Divisions 1 and 2 will conform to the standardised league size of 10 teams per ERL, which is a mandatory requirement for accredited ERLs across Europe from 2022
- The originally planned 2021 Summer Promotion tournament between Telia Masters and NLC will be cancelled, as mentioned above
- Freaks 4U Gaming will set up a ‘calibration stage’ to determine the slots for Division 1 as well as the multi-division ecosystem from September. The top six teams of the NLC Summer Split will be automatically seeded into the new first division of NLC. All other teams and divisions will be filled via the calibration-phase tournament, with previous NLC teams and the top two Telia Masters teams receiving a seeding advantage.
Here is what Riot Games stated in a release regarding the current system in Europe and the need for its amendment:
‘A consistent challenge for League of Legends in Northern Europe has been its fragmented competition landscape. The region consists of a multitude of countries and cultures, including the UK, Ireland, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Norway, and Iceland. The NLC serves as the top-tier competition of the region, representing all of these countries, whereas the Telia Esports Series, UKLC and Icelandic Esports Open, which feed into the NLC via the Telia Masters, were structured as a country-based competition ecosystem. This national focus can collide with a region-wide focus on the top tier, which impacts accessibility, roster decisions, and ultimately competitiveness.’
Riot has thanked DreamHack/ESL and Telia each for their respective service over the last few years.
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