Riot Games has today revealed more specific details around its upcoming changes to League of Legends European Regional Leagues (ERLs), including the NLC for teams in the UK, Ireland and Nordics.
Competition formats are being standardised across the different leagues, new pro-am tournaments are being added and there’s a rule change affecting academy teams, among other announcements.
All ERLs will host their own pro-am tournaments from 2022 onwards. These will take place between seasons, around October or November each year, kind of like the old Forge of Champions tournaments in the UK.
Then, academy teams, like Resolve Academy for example, will no longer be allowed to operate in a competition that can qualify into a league where their first team is competing. This will avoid things like the Barrage vs Barrage situation from occurring in the future.
Riot said this has been put in place “to avoid main and academy teams potentially facing each other in a promotion/relegation tournament, and thereby causing potential competition integrity issues”, before adding that some regions will receive a grace period until 2023 to deal with the change.
Also, the NLC has been announced as an Accredited ERL for 2022, meaning it will have offline events, and NLC players will be added to Riot’s Global Contract Database (GCD), which outlines the contract dates for all Riot-sanctioned leagues.
The NLC joins other Accredited ERLs: the Superliga (Spain), LFL (France), Prime League (DACH) and Ultraliga (Poland/Baltics).
Non-Accredited ERLs include the PG Nationals (Italy), Esports Balkan League, Greek Legends League, Elite Series (Benelux), Hitpoint Masters (Czech Republic/Slovakia) and the Liga Portuguesa (Portugal).
The changes were revealed in an announcement post on the lolesports.com website by Maximilian ‘Max the X’ Peter Schmidt, head of esports for League of Legends in Europe & MENA.
Riot will also be standardising formats and setting unified standards between the different ERLs. For example, all Accredited ERL Division 1 leagues will feature 10 teams, a double round robin best-of-one format and a six-team double elimination format in the playoffs stage. There are more specifics in the announcement post linked above.
“In the past, the sheer number of competitions has resulted in suboptimal scheduling, unwanted overlaps, and all around unfortunate scheduling circumstances on many occasions,” Max the X said. “To tackle this, we will be standardising competition formats as well as schedules for ERLs from 2022 onwards.”
The news comes after NLC changes were announced, and teams were confirmed for the NLC Division 1 qualifier, which is currently ongoing.
Dom is an award-winning writer who graduated from Bournemouth University with a 2:1 degree in Multi-Media Journalism in 2007.
As a long-time gamer having first picked up the NES controller in the late ’80s, he has written for a range of publications including GamesTM, Nintendo Official Magazine, industry publication MCV as well as Riot Games and others. He worked as head of content for the British Esports Association up until February 2021, when he stepped back to work full-time on Esports News UK and as an esports consultant helping brands and businesses better understand the industry.