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Top EU LCS Teams Declare Allegiance to London

8 September 2017 15:07

Its seems Riot Games is dead set on changing League of Legends each year to try and keep things fresh and new, with the company now making EU LCS teams declare major cities the home for their brands. LoL is battling against Dota 2 for viewers and title of the most popular eSport around, so it’s no surprise to see the changes keep raining in.

LoL Pick/Ban Changes

Before the beginning of this season, Riot Games changed the pick/ban system to allow for ten phases, up six from the previous season. The change had an immediate effect on competitive LoL, with many high profile matches being decided quickly, due poor champion management from both players and team managers. Eventually the top teams figured out new strategies, but you still see glimpses of weakness from even the best teams, including SK Telecom 1, reigning world champions, after they went through a spell of barely being able to land a win.

LoL Franchises

Not content with this major change, Riot Games announced its intention to franchise the NA LCS at the start of the 2018 season in a move that could shape the eSports landscape for years to come. The change came about after pressure from the top teams, likely due to the substantial increase in cash it would generate for their LoL teams through sponsorship and league revenue shares. Its exclusively open to the top teams, with the buy-in set at $10million and only a few places available. The transition to a franchise league also changes the NA LCS gameplay, as there will no longer be any relegations or promotions, basically nullifying the most exciting part about the league to many fans.

EU LCS Split

People say “good things come in threes”, but depending on your point of view, you may regard the latest suggestion to split the current EU LCS into four smaller regions as quite the opposite. Current teams will have to choose their “home” cities and they will make up the league’s regions. The cities for these regions are likely to be London, Berlin, Paris and Barcelona. This is an attempt to give a softer version of the NA franchising, but without the revenue share agreement. The rev. share aspect was the big draw for teams towards the North American league, and It wouldn’t be a surprise if some European teams were miffed they don’t get the same bonuses.

London’s First LCS Teams

Four teams chose London immediately; Splyce, Misfits, Fnatic and G2 eSports. Interestingly enough, these four teams were also the teams that expressed interest in joining the NA LCS franchising for 2018 season and wanted to split from the EU scene. Could this be a sign these teams see London becoming the future hub for European LoL? Let’s hope so, but it’s more likely an attempt between the teams to band together and aim for creating some kind of revenue share for themselves.

Each region will consist of six teams, so all four regions will have to recruit additional teams from other leagues outside the EU LCS, such as the current Challenger Series that is basically being nullified over in North America. It also can’t be ruled out that new teams will be formed with substantial financial backing, allowing them to jump straight into the top tier of European LoL.

Details of the exact format of the new tournament are yet to be ironed out, but the top teams from the four regional leagues will qualify for a top-tier league that runs alongside the domestic leagues. This means there is more stability for teams in terms of not having to worry about relegation. It also offers them a sense of national pride, competing against others in Europe whilst also trying to dominate their own country. This new format also makes it significantly easier to add new regions to the mix if there is the promise of a ‘higher league’ for the top teams to compete in.

Pulished on: 2017-09-08

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