Riot Games plans to make several changes prior to the next season of the European League of Legends Championship Series, according to an ESPN report.
Riot planned to implement a new format for the EU LCS by dividing the league into four separate regions, according to another ESPN report. Those plans, however, have been put on hold until “at least 2019,” according to ESPN.
As an alternative approach, ESPN reported that the EU LCS will use a double best-of-one regular season format in 2018—which is the same format that the NA LCS recently reinstated for 2018. This will reportedly replace the EU LCS’ current two-group format, as well as eliminating relegation between the Spring and Summer Splits, according to ESPN.
Following complaints from European organizations, such as H2K, Riot also reportedly plans to increase the stipend for each team. EU LCS teams will now earn 500,000€ instead of 350,000€, according to ESPN. This difference of 150,000€ is roughly a 43 percent increase in the stipend earned by each team in the league.
Fans shouldn’t feel any pressure to adjust to this similar format in both the NA and EU LCS, however, since Riot plans to franchise the NA LCS—and the regional format for the EU LCS still could become a reality after the 2018 season.