Riot Games and LVP (Video Games Pro League) have announced UK League Championship (UKLC), a new official regional League of Legends competition for the UK. The "multi-million pound, multi-year investment into UK esports" represents Riot’s "biggest commitment to the UK to date".
LVP will build its first UK-based office in London with a state-of-the-art broadcast suite and commence the seven-week UKLC season from February 13th, with the top four teams at the end of the season moving into the playoffs and Grand Final on March 31st. Nine teams have been selected to compete in the inaugural season: Diabolus, Barrage, Enclave, Bulldog, Phelan, MnM Gaming, and Darkspawn, as well as Fnatic and Excel, both of which were also accepted into the European Championship (LEC) last year. Analysis and commentary will be provided by Ciernan ‘Excoundrel’ Lowe, Dan ‘Aux’ Harrison, and Jake ‘Hiprain’ Matthews.
According to a press statement, teams "were required to go through a rigorous selection process to show their commitment to their players and ensure teams wanted to create long-term recognisable brands". Additionally, each team was required to submit a business plan, outline the "working environment" for its players, as well as legal and financial information.
"The UK esports scene has a tremendous potential but has been neglected in the past, which has meant the audience has gravitated naturally more toward global esports content," said Mo Fadl, head of esports, Riot UK. "By leveling up the entertainment experience and the focus on UK talent, we’re hoping to ignite the passion of the fans and develop a scene for the UK to engage with and be proud of."
"Together with Riot our goal is to put the UK esports scene on the map," added Sergi Mesonero, VP & co-founder, LVP. "Building the LVP London studio is a huge commitment for us, but means we’ll be embedded in the culture and able to create new and unique content and experiences that we know the community will love."
UKLC will run from February 13th to March 31st and will be broadcast every Wednesday and Thursday from 6pm-11pm GMT on Twitch.