IEM have ended their long-running associating with League of Legends, as IEM organiser Michal Blicharz announced on Reddit last night that IEM would be dropping League of Legends from the current season.
According to the Reddit post, the reasoning is largely centered on scheduling. When League of Legends first appeared at the IEM in 2011, the new game was far from the monolithic MOBA we now know, and it gave the game a massive boost in popularity to see it played out at an internationally recognised event.
However, since then Riot Games have started building their own tournaments, with their first ever World Championships coming later in 2011. This has meant that to organise League of Legends events at IEM, the organisers need to play around Riot’s growing calendar of events.
Indeed, in his Reddit post, Blicharz indicated that Riot would no longer be putting the gaps into the LCS for IEM events, as they had done in the past. This has resulted in several top-tier teams declining invitations for the IEM events, preferring to rest and practice for the Riot run events.
A combination of these factors, and no doubt some others behind the scenes, means that for now League of Legends is off the menu at IEM, and it may never return.