Riot Games has shed light on its plans for the EU League of Legends Championship Series (EU LCS) in 2018, and revealed big changes to the format.
First, the EU LCS will be moving away from, its current best of three format, shortly after the NA LCS revealed that it was going back to solo games, too. There’s now the belief that there are too many games as part of the EU LCS. In their blog post, Riot has said that it’s had a negative impact on engagement with fans saying they didn’t have enough tough to watch their games.
The EU LCS will return to the single league, double round robin best of one matches for the regular season starting from Spring 2018. It will also be shifting broadcast days, moving to Friday and Saturday match days for the regular season, with games played only on these two games during the regular season. Start times haven’t yet been revealed.
Mid-year promotion and relegation is also going to be removed in 2018, giving teams a bit more stability that Riot claim will let teams and players plan ahead, bring in infrastructure and sponsorships. This is a big change for the EU Challenger Series, which previously allowed teams to get promoted for winning.
It’s not a disastrous change, because the EU Challenger Series is going away in 2018, to be replaced by smaller tournaments.
“When Challenger Series was launched, the goal was to create an environment for teams to grow and develop talent, as well as providing a path to the top for new team organisations.” said Riot’s blog post. “Unfortunately, the current structure doesn’t meet these goals - overall it’s a high-risk, high-investment system for teams without stability for pros, and limited exposure.”
“We believe we can do more for aspiring pros, which is why we’ll be removing Challenger Series and introducing a new pan-European tournament involving local country teams. Already established ERLs will continue to qualify teams into the tournament and we’ll be increasing our support across Europe to enable aspiring pros to take part in the competition regardless of which EU country they’re in. The top teams from various local competitions will qualify for a special pan-EU tournament that will run twice a year.”